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Microsoft Acquires Calendar App Sunrise For At Least $100 Million: Report

6 February 2015, 12:01 am EST By Quinten Plummer Tech Times
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Microsoft continues its strategy of buying startups to reach into its rival's customer bases. The Sunrise calendar app is the latest startup taken into Microsoft's fold, reports say.  ( Sunrise )

While some experts have lamented Microsoft's myriad moves that look at drawing consumers deeper into its ecosystem, the company is said to be investing $100 million more into its strategy of reaching out. Microsoft is reportedly acquiring calendar app Sunrise in a move that could help the company reach more Android and iOS users.

Sunrise already touches the servers on which Microsoft would like to leave more of its fingerprints. Along with Microsoft's Exchange, Sunrise supports Google Calendar and iCloud.

The Sunrise app, available for free on both Google Play and Apple App stores, comes with a connection to more than 25,000 calendars that are preloaded with entries for everything from holidays and cake days to sports games and local events. However, it's more personal than that.

Sunrise users can populate their calendars with events and name days from Exchange, iCloud, Google Calendar, LinkedIn, Facebook and other accounts. The app also features a built-in weather forecast and Google Maps that users need to execute those calendar events with SEAL-like precision.


(Photo : Sunrise)

Though TechCrunch cites anonymous sources in reporting that the acquisition is complete or just about there, Microsoft isn't ready to comment on the acquisition of Sunrise. And despite acquiring separate calendar software a few months earlier when it purchased Acompli, the acquisition of Sunrise jibes with the strategy being methodically executed by Microsoft.

Microsoft has been using Acompli to bolster Outlook, which has been losing its luster in what it describes as a "cloud first, mobile first" world. The Outlook and Acompli teams have been merged to breathe new life into Microsoft's email client, but the purchase of Sunrise enables the Windows maker to dive deeper into this cloud and mobile world it has been speaking about since last summer.

Microsoft's move to push its Office tools onto rival platforms has been well-received from Google and Apple loyalists. However, Adam Hartung, book author and Forbes' top leadership columnist, said that the company needs to do a lot more to reach out to consumers and spend a lot less time trying to jail them in its declining ecosystem.

"[On the consumer side], the lack of good ecosystem -- coupled with quite small app base -- means consumers see no need for Windows mobile devices. And in gaming Microsoft has never created dominance over Sony, while both lose money in a suicide war for share," Hartung says in an email sent to Tech Times.

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