Large corporations are fascinating sometimes in how employees and their creative efforts come and go, often in unexpected ways. Ray Ozzie, best known for creating the seminal application Lotus Notes, joined Microsoft in 2005 and served as Chief Technical Officer and Chief Software Architect until 2010, when he left the Redmond company to start Cocomo, which later morphed into Talko. Today, Microsoft announced that Ozzie’s newest baby, Talko, will be joining Microsoft, as the software giant has acquired Talko and will integrate it into Microsoft Skype.
According to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, Ozzie won’t be rejoining Microsoft. However, Talko’s technology will be, as will its other employees. Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Skype, Gurdeep Singh Pall, made the announcement:
I am pleased to announce today that Microsoft has acquired technology from Talko, maker of an innovative mobile app for on-the-go business communications. As part of the agreement, Talko employees will join the Skype team. Together, the new technology and talent will help us deliver great new features and capabilities in both Skype and Skype for Business.
I welcome the new team members and am excited about how Talko will fuel more innovation at Microsoft, whether it is enhancing the way family members stay in touch with Skype or building on the new Skype for Business services within Office 365. This is another example of our company ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes. We continue to invest in new technologies to empower people to more effectively communicate and collaborate across their personal and professional lives.
The Talko website provides a little more detail on just how absorbing Talko will impact Skype:
Talko, a mobile app for business team communications, was launched in September of 2014.
The app brought together messaging, calling, and conferencing – delivering a better way for mobile teams to communicate and be productive. Thousands of businesses have used Talko daily to coordinate their work while on-the-go.
As part of the Skype team, we’ll leverage Talko’s technology and the many things we’ve learned during its design and development. We’ll strive to deliver the best of our product’s innovations far more broadly than on our current path.
Microsoft has a strong recent history of buying various third-party apps and integrating them into its own products. The excellent iOS email app Acompli was purchased and morphed into Outlook Mobile on iOS and Android. And the iOS and Android app Sunrise is being rolled into Outlook Mobile’s Calendar functionality. Now, it looks like Skype will gain new team communications capabilities as Talko is similarly absorbed.
We’ll keep you updated on just what this acquisition means for Skype going forward. In the meantime, we’re also interested in seeing what Ray Ozzie has in mind for his next adventure.