Microsoft announced that the company has acquired startup Genee for an undisclosed amount. The startup began their operations in 2014 under the helm of founders Ben Cheung and Charles Lee. The announcement from Microsoft states that both founders will be joining the Microsoft team as a result of the acquisition.
Genee is an artificial intelligence company that focuses on scheduling.
Microsoft plans to utilize the company’s technology in an effort to expand Microsoft’s Office 365 productivity features and capabilities.
Genee’s optimized decision-making platform uses natural language processing to streamline a person’s schedule. The way the platform works, according to an example from Microsoft, is that the user may send an email to a friend stating that they want to meet for coffee and would copy Genee in the correspondence.
The platform would look at the user’s current schedule and communicate with the user’s friend to determine the right time to schedule the meeting.
Users will be able to schedule appointments hands-free.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has made it his mission to beef up the company’s services using artificial intelligence. Nadella’s focus is aimed at users in the business workspace that need to have their life automated through artificial intelligence. Outlook, the company’s signature email software, is a key example of this with the Focused Inbox feature. The feature separates emails, much like Google’s Gmail, ensuring unimportant emails don’t interrupt a person’s experience by putting unimportant emails into their own tab.
Genee will close their service on September 1 according to the company.
The role that Genee will play after the acquisition is not yet known. The company’s algorithms may be plugged into Office, or the company may be tasked with helping to make Office smarter by enhancing current features and adding new features.
Cheung and Lee announced the acquisition on the company’s blog. The company will keep all existing calendars in place according to the announcement.