On Wednesday, it was confirmed that Microsoft had purchased Sunrise Atelier, a developer of calendar apps on iOS and Android devices. The news comes ten weeks after Microsoft announced that they had purchased Acompli, maker of the email client of the same name.
In a blog announcing the Sunrise acquisition, Rajesh Jha, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President, said “we believe a reinvention in the way people use calendars on mobile devices is long overdue.”
This recent move by Microsoft will go some way to reaffirming their aim, set out by CEO Satya Nadella when he first took over at Microsoft that the company needs to thrive in a “mobile and cloud-first world.”
While the Acompli range of email apps were taken down from the Apple store and Google Play when the developer was taken over at the beginning of December, the calendar apps developed by Sunrise Atelier will remain online.
Acompli was immediately merged in to Microsoft’s recently released Outlook app, available on both iOS and Android, but the fate of Sunrise has yet to be revealed, with Rajesh Jha stating, “In the coming months, we'll share more about how we'll build on Sunrise's success and apply Sunrise's innovations to other Microsoft apps and services.”
The Significance of the Recent Aquisitions
For a long time, Microsoft has been seen as a company that builds software in-house for their own platforms, but with this move to acquire two leading mobile productivity apps for cross-platform devices, their limitations in developing apps for the mobile market has become all the more apparent.
Whether this is seen as a failure on Microsoft’s part is open for debate. Jan Dawson at Tech.pinions puts a positive spin on the situation, saying “that Microsoft is willing to accept it perhaps doesn’t have the wherewithal to create these products, given the people and assets it has, is a positive sign, not a negative one, at this point in its history.”
The culture of the company in the past has been to create exclusivity for their own platforms, without even considering the rest of the market. With the rise of Android and iOS, and the various popular apps that have cross-platform compatibility, Microsoft not only wants to, but needs to be more open to inclusivity, which is something they will surely move towards and away from their Windows-only mindset.
Enticing Workers to Office 365
So what exactly will these recently acquired applications be used for? The Acompli email client was folded in to Outlook straight away, so Office 365 looks to be the target for Microsoft in the future. The company may want to entice more people in the workplace to use their app, with the added incentive of the leading calendar functionalities offered by Sunrise.
Currently, those wanting to use the Outlook app will have to sign up to Office 365, so improving this app will potentially increase those adopting Office 365 in their workplace.