Popular third party keyboard SwiftKey is set to be purchased by Microsoft for US$250 million according to a report in the Financial Times.
Microsoft has been purchasing a number of popular Android apps over the last couple of years, notably Wunderlist and Sunrise Calendar (which will be rolled into Microsoft’s Outlook application), so the addition of one of the most popular third-party Android keyboard isn’t a surprise. Swiftkey is a pretty popular app on Android, with between 10-50 million installs listed on the current iteration of SwiftKey on Google Play, making it an attractive prize for the likes of Microsoft.
SwiftKey has been around improving the keyboard experience since Android was a thing, adding in much needed features for Android users such as improved accuracy and word prediction, theming, emoji and emoji suggestion support and more.
Microsoft, was famously late to the mobile game, launching Windows Phone long after Apple and Google had established themselves as the top players in Mobile. Windows Phone currently has 6.3% of the market share in Australia, a fairly low number when compared to the likes of Android (53.5%) and Apple (39.5%), so Microsoft has who have been attempting to bolster their mobile efforts by offering services from their own stable of products – notably MS Office – as well as third party apps like Wunderlist.
The deal has not yet been announced (though it seems a formality), but according to the Financial Times, co-founders Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock, will make around $30 million each from the deal. The report does suggest that Microsoft and SwiftKey, who both declined to comment on the report, will announce the sale later this week.