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Microsoft acquires Wand Labs to make texting rock

Wand Labs is a peek into the future of texting, and Microsoft has just ponied up and bought the whole company. What does this say about Microsoft’s strategy?

Microsoft on a buying spree

Looks like Microsoft’s acquisition streak isn’t over yet, and their most recent purchase is a big vote of confidence for the future of the mobile experience.

Microsoft acquired startup Wand Labs for an undisclosed sum, according to FastCo. Wand Labs aims to connect apps through chat, so you can do more with less taps.

Microsoft taps into trends to innovate

Through this move, Microsoft wants to expand the capacity of its core business by integrating modern innovations in trends. We saw a focus on big data through the acquisition of LinkedIn, which gives them access to a plethora of user information. They very clearly want to focus on connectivity through chatbots and app integration.

Microsoft built its business on bundling; now, they appear to be deconstructing that golden bundle. Another FastCo article states that the company has taken steps to free up their suite of Office products into component parts. This gives developers and end users more flexibility and customization.

Wand Labs’ technology would allow these products to share data with ease.

Let’s talk about the genius of Wand Labs

From what we’ve seen thus far, Wand’s abilities are impressive. With Wand, you can grant friends access to YOUR apps or services across multiple devices.

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For example, Spotify playlist data could be enjoyed on YouTube or Rdio. Wand acts as the Rosetta Stone for app languages and formats.

The app turns disparate code into a master key computer language that can now transcend apps. The implications are huge. Not only can your apps talk to one another, but Wand’s interface contains plugins that allow you to use apps that you don’t even download on your device!

Furthermore, you can share app functionality with contacts, giving them access to everything from your Twitter account to your WiFi password.

What we can learn from this acquisition

While this is all well and good for Microsoft, we can learn a lot about the direction of the mobile experience from their strategic decision.

Back in the days when desktops ruled the land, you had a single portal through which you could access lots of content. The app experience dismantled that function on mobile devices Wand exists as a browser for your phone that turns messages into actions and shuffling data between apps.

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Considering all this, and considering the sheer popularity of messaging apps, Wand appears to be a big part of the mobile landscape’s future. Building apps in accordance with that need for connectivity should be on the mind of anyone looking to develop an app as part of their business offering.


Written By

Born in Boston and raised in California, Connor arrived in Texas for college and was (lovingly) ensnared by southern hospitality and copious helpings of queso. As an SEO professional, he lives and breathes online marketing and its impact on businesses. His loves include disc-related sports, a pint of a top-notch craft beer, historical non-fiction novels, and Austin's live music scene.

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