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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Microsoft Buys Keyboard Developer

Microsoft has purchased keyboard software developer SwiftKey, adding it to its own keyboard software, Word Flow. The software is used to make it easier and faster to type on a smartphone touchscreen by finding patterns that identify words users are trying to type.

SwiftKey’s work with artificial-intelligence techniques to speed up typing was part of the reason for the purchase, according to a report in PC World. A new SwiftKey keyboard launched last fall has shown it can provide users more privacy and security by doing a better job of predicting words to use.

The surprise part of the move is that Word Flow is releasing versions for Android and iOS keyboards’ software, something already offered by SwiftKey. Microsoft has no plans to shut down either SwiftKey app, according to Harry Schum, executive vice president for technology and research for Microsoft.

“We’ll continue to develop SwiftKey’s market-leading keyboard apps for Android and iOS, as well as explore scenarios for the integration of the core technology across the breadth of our product and service portfolio,” Schum wrote in a blog post announcing the acquisition.

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