Microsoft Corp. is acquiring yet another startup in a bid to improve its standing in the mobile productivity space.
The Redmond, Wash.-based company is going to acquire Sunrise, which has created a suite of calendar products for mobile and desktop, for at least $100 million, according to a story in TechCrunch. The calendar products allow users to connect calendars from different providers on their iPhones, iPads, Android devices, in the Mac App store, and on the web.
While Microsoft declined to comment on TechCrunch’s story, the idea behind the acquisition may be to win back users by supporting the platforms of the likes of Apple iOS. For example, the company recently released a new version of Office for iOS before it even released one for its own platform, Windows 10.
For current Sunrise users, the acquisition may not mean a whole lot of change for their current experience. Microsoft will most likely continue to support the apps as their own products, though it may tap into the company’s technology in developing other products.
That’s what happened with Acompli, a company it acquired in December 2014, when Microsoft took its email product and essentially rebranded it for its Outlook app for iOS and Android. The new Outlook app drew its appeal from being issued by Microsoft, but also being compatible with other popular email services like iCloud, Gmail, and Yahoo! Mail, as well other Microsoft standbys like Office 365 and Exchange.
With the acquisition of Sunrise, the strategy here may be to help Microsoft compete in the mobile productivity space. While it’s known for its Office products, the company wants to shift from selling individual apps, and instead transition to providing Office as a service to mobile users, whether they be consumers or business users – something that can only happen if mobile users embrace Office apps as among the ones they use everyday.