Microsoft Lets Slip Acompli Acquisition

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Oops. Has Microsoft let the cat out of the bag regarding a possible acquisition of email startup Acompli?

Microsoft may have inadvertently let slip that it intends to purchase an email app developer, Acompli.

Acompli is a startup based in San Francisco and it provides a free email app for Android and iOS mobile devices, that helps people locate the most important emails in their Inbox quickly.

Blog Mistake?

The possible acquisition of the company by Microsoft was revealed when a blank blog entry written by Microsoft corporate vice president Rajesh Jha on Tuesday hit the RSS wires. The unfinished blog led to the following URL: http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2014/11/25/microsoft-acquires-acompli/.

The URL clearly states “Microsoft Acquires Acompli,” but Microsoft has reportedly declined to comment on the mistake.

It comes just days after the Chief Financial Officer of Twitter, Anthony Noto, publicly tweeted about a plan he had to buy a company, including how he wanted to help make the deal happen at a meeting in mid-December. Noto had been trying to send the message privately.

Microsoft’s accidentally blog entry however seems clear about its intentions to buy the email startup. But why? Acompli is apparently a calendar-focussed email app that incorporates location-sharing.

The app allows users to quickly setup a calendar event and send out invites, without leaving the email app itself. It also allows quick access of all the attachments in the account, and users can connect to Google Drive, Dropbox etc to access even more files, without leaving the app.

Outlook 2Possible Reasons

Microsoft’s reasoning behind a possible acquisition of the startup could that it wants to incorporate these capabilities into Outlook.com. In March this year for example, Redmond enabled users of its Webmail service to place Skype video and voice calls and initiate chats directly from the browser window.

Or it could be that Microsoft wants to ensure that a version of the app is developed for Windows Phone, as it currently only seems to be available on Android or iOS devices. The issue of apps (or lack thereof) is always cited by critics of the Windows Phone platform.

Although in reality, the Windows Phone environment now has most, if not all, of the major apps people tend to use nowadays.

And Windows Phone enthusiasts often point out that millions of apps sitting in the app stores of Apple and Android, are in actual fact zombie apps that are hardly ever downloaded.

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