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Microsoft buys SwiftKey, maker of the famous Android and iOS keyboard, for $250 million

Posted: , by Florin T.

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Microsoft buys SwiftKey, maker of the famous Android and iOS keyboard, for $250 million
While Windows Phone is barely relevant in today's smartphone market, Microsoft has found another way to reach mobile users around the world: via apps. The Redmond company already launched many apps of its own on Android and iOS, and it's now adding another (quite important) application to its portfolio: SwiftKey.

In case you don't know, SwiftKey is a software keyboard for Android and iOS, and it's extremely popular: at the moment, it's installed on about 300 million devices (Android and iOS combined). According to The Financial Times, Microsoft is paying $250 million for the company behind SwiftKey. Reportedly, the deal will be officially announced later this week.

Microsoft already has a software keyboard (Word Flow), which is available on Windows Phone devices, and will soon be released on iOS and Android. Needless to say, the acquisition of SwiftKey will help Microsoft improve its keyboard game (if we may put it this way). However, Microsoft is likely purchasing SwiftKey for its artificial intelligence technology, rather than the keyboard app. SwiftKey relies on artificial intelligence to learn how users type on their mobile devices, thus being able to predict future words.

SwiftKey Keyboard was a paid app until 2014, when it became free (but introduced in-app purchases, allowing users to buy themes and other personalized content). SwiftKey also developed an Android launcher, though this one has failed to gain popularity, and isn't as appreciated as the keyboard.


source: Financial Times (subscription required)

36 Comments
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posted on 02 Feb 2016, 19:12 16

1. S.Yashwanthram (Posts: 10; Member since: 21 Nov 2014)


Best keyboard ever
very smooth

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 00:05 1

19. volcano (Posts: 327; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)


combine this with wordflow and you will get the best keyboard ever :)

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 02:49 1

27. Predator-X (banned) (Posts: 44; Member since: 07 Jan 2016)


Hope they wont fck it up once purchased
But google keyb. is good too but bad support for other languages...

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 03:15 3

28. volcano (Posts: 327; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)


google keyboard was the worst keyboard i've tried

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 19:16 3

2. Pattyface (Posts: 1510; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)


I use this app exclusively on all my android phones.. I hate stock, samsung or most other keyboards

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 19:24 6

3. Macready (Posts: 811; Member since: 08 Dec 2014)


I prefer the original Swiftkey too, but the Samsung stock keyboard (at least on recent high end phones) is based on Swiftkey's core code and SDK, as confirmed by Swiftkey recently. Which also explains why the swiping and self learning effects are similar.
https://blog.swiftkey.com/samsung-keyboard-security-vulnerability-swiftkey/

This also means that the installed base for the Swiftkey core code is probably even well past 300 million, since Samsung sells more than that in a year alone.

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 22:13 7

17. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


Samsung stock keyboard is SwiftKey.

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 23:37

18. Settings (Posts: 1448; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)


It doesn't come preinstalled in my S6.

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 01:04

23. yoosufmuneer (Posts: 1457; Member since: 14 Feb 2015)


He meant the Samsung Keyboard.

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 01:46 1

24. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


The stock Samsung keyboard which comes installed is swiftkey. I mean it shares the same AI and prediction algorithms.

The outer appearance is different in Samsung one and you get a few extra features like change in keyboard theme according to the Touchwiz theme, adjustable height etc; but the internal working is same.

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 02:37

25. Settings (Posts: 1448; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)


Since when? Haven't knew that til now.

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 02:46

26. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


A few years I guess.

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 08:02

34. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3608; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


It certainly wasn't on the S3, that we the phone I installed my first 3rd party keyboard on because I couldn't take it. Ironically, that replacement keyboard was Swiftkey.

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 09:09

36. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


I am certain it was on S4.

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 19:30 2

4. Zeeya (Posts: 276; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)


BlackBerry (Virtual) Keyboard is much much better...

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 19:37 4

5. arsenaljimenez (Posts: 168; Member since: 03 May 2012)


The word flow keyboard is already way better. What's the point in buying this?

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 20:16 4

7. ibend (Posts: 3153; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


so they can own 2 best keyboard app on planet :D
and then they can see whatever people type on their smartphone, and mining some valuable stuff from it :D

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 21:32 3

15. joey_sfb (Posts: 5236; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Yup! That would be the Microsoft i have always known. Careful now i am typing this on Windows 10....

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 22:10 2

16. ananthu07 (Posts: 78; Member since: 25 Oct 2015)


don't you worry. Cortana will spy on you.

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 00:12 1

20. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


thats a sad news for swift key... microsoft is a failed company on mobile

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 03:28 1

29. jontaylor07 (Posts: 162; Member since: 12 Oct 2015)


The AI in word flow is not nearly on the level of the SwiftKey learning algorithms. SwiftKey not only is better at predicting your next word based on context, but also based on what it learns about you.

Of course SwiftKey users who've been happy with that app watching them type for years will claim that MS is 'spying on me', as they like to do with MS products.

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 20:05

6. SkyfallWalker (Posts: 73; Member since: 28 Jan 2016)


I use SwiftKey keyboard. The themes are awesome as well.

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 20:17 2

8. lyndon420 (Posts: 3709; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Never used it. My keyboard has always been swyped.

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 20:38 1

9. joey_sfb (Posts: 5236; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


A good complement to their Windows 10 spying ability. Now they could log mobile user key strokes as well.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2974057/windows/how-to-turn-off-windows-10s-keylogger-yes-it-still-has-one.html

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 20:47

11. joevsyou (Posts: 667; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


face palm... like they couldn't before. A digital life is no private life

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 20:59 3

12. joey_sfb (Posts: 5236; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


You sure they put a key logging in windows 7 or windows 8.1??

No that I know of.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2016/01/06/windows-10-spying-secrets-revealed/

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 04:19

31. JumpinJackROMFlash (Posts: 423; Member since: 10 Dec 2014)


They've since released Windows Updates that bring these awesome spying "features" to 7 and 8 as well, so you're not missing out!

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 21:07

13. joey_sfb (Posts: 5236; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2016/01/06/windows-10-spying-secrets-revealed/#2076d312fd5e

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 20:46 1

10. joevsyou (Posts: 667; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


i tried this keyboard and didn't care for it and went back to Samsung one.

but 250 million seems a little too much?

posted on 02 Feb 2016, 21:20 1

14. eman99 (Posts: 349; Member since: 03 Aug 2010)


Won't save your phones

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 00:39 3

21. Cyberchum (Posts: 659; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


I don't care what or not MS buys, all I ask is that they don't mess up SwiftKey for me.

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 00:45

22. jroc74 (Posts: 5980; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Good move by MS. I got a feeling they are going to get out the handset business. Make money with apps, services on phones.

It does seem like alot of money tho....

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 03:54

30. sip1995 (Posts: 1544; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)


Wordflow+Swiftkey=Best Keyboard

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 04:26

32. Mfa901 (Posts: 247; Member since: 14 Jul 2012)


good for Swiftkey team...

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 06:29

33. Zylam (Posts: 649; Member since: 20 Oct 2010)


Swiftkey for life! Use it in iOS and Android. Can't live without it. Hopefully this means it'll come to Windows devices too.

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 08:29

35. tokuzumi (Posts: 877; Member since: 27 Aug 2009)


Crap. The beginning of the end for SwiftKey

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