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Talko: Microsoft’s Latest Purchase


Jan. 6 2016, Updated 10:06 a.m. ET

Microsoft’s latest buy is Talko

Microsoft (MSFT) has announced its acquisition of Talko, a mobile messaging startup that was developed by Microsoft’s former CTO (chief technology officer), Ray Ozzie. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Talko is a developer of Apple’s (AAPL) iOS and Google’s (GOOG) Android apps, which enable business communications and collaboration through text, voice, and video. The entire Talko team, excluding Ray Ozzie, will be joining Microsoft. In December, prior to the Talko announcement, Microsoft announced the acquisition of Metanautix, a data analytics startup.

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Talko will boost Microsoft’ Skype capabilities

Talko’s technology, launched in 2014, will be integrated with Microsoft’s Skype. Apart from saving voice conversations, Talko’s apps allow users to tag, bookmark specific moments during a talk, and use a phone’s camera to share related photos or live video. The saved content is stored in the cloud.

Microsoft has made a series of productivity app acquisitions to boost its domain expertise as well as keep its competitors at bay. Microsoft acquired Yammer, a company operating in the enterprise social networking space. In December 2014, Microsoft announced the acquisition of Acompli, an e-mail startup company. In early 2015, Microsoft acquired Sunrise Atelier, a startup producing cloud-based calendar apps. In mid-2015, Microsoft announced its acquisition of 6Wunderkinder, creator of Wunderlist, a cross-platform, to-do list application.

With the recent acquisitions of Talko, Yammer, Acompli, Sunrise, and 6Wunderkinder, along with the development of apps for other platforms, it’s clear that Microsoft’s strategy involves the development of cross-platform apps and services.

Investors who wish to gain exposure to Microsoft could consider investing in the PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ETF (QQQ) and the iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD). QQQ and IWD have exposures of 28.4% and 3.4% to application software, respectively, and invest ~8.4% and 2.0% of their holdings in Microsoft.


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