Microsoft has been acquiring start-up companies lately with an aim to produce the best productivity experiences in mobile as their goal to spread their services across all major platforms continues.
Its recent purchase of popular productivity email app Acompli for just over $200 million resulted in a release of an incredible iOS Outlook app in record time. Microsoft even put a version of Outlook for Windows Phone on the back burner until Windows 10 arrives. It has caused waves upon its release and is currently the most popular productivity app in the iOS App store in many countries and receiving rave reviews and recommendations.
According to TechCrunch, Microsoft has just acquired yet another start-up called Sunrise which happens to make a very popular calendar app called Sunrise Calendar, and it did so for more than $100 million.
Sunrise is said to be the best mobile calendar app available with its powerful feature set and fantastic UI design. Additionally, it does a great in job consolidating calendars from different providers such as Microsoft Exchange, Google, iCloud and many third party apps. Sunrise also imports photos and details from your LinkedIn contacts which is very helpful for being aware of the person you may be meeting with.
This is a very popular app on the iPhone, iPad, and even Android devices, and according to TechCrunch, Microsoft intends to keep the app alive as it uses the technology behind it to better its own offerings at a much faster pace.
Take a look at the video below which will give you a great example of how powerful and effective this app is.
USA Today’s Evening Magazine conducted an interview with the voice actress who plays Cortana, both as the Master Chief’s personal assistant A.I. in the Halo Franchise and as the digital personal assistant on Windows Phone.
We learned that Jen Taylor doesn’t play Halo because she can’t get used to the controller but has her husband play it instead. She also mentions that she feels a little awkward with her role in singing songs as Cortana.
Jen Taylor started out as a radio DJ before she landed a role as Cortana in the Halo series in 2001, and she’s also active in local theatre.
Microsoft has just released a new commercial which shows off Cortana and the new HTC One M8 for Verizon with a little comparison to the iPhone 5s and Siri. This spot is most likely intended for cable networks due to it’s length and resemblance to the previous Cortana add with the Lumia 630.
Microsoft’s intention is to highlight Cortana and the recently released HTC One M8’s features in a conversation between the two rival digital personal assistants. This add also is also intended to show off Cortana’s has a more natural voice compared to Siri’s robotic one. Although it’s worth mentioning that these voices intended for this commercial only
Many Windows Phone fans have been waiting for a marketing push from Microsoft for a while now, and with Windows Phone 8.1 hardware starting to be more broadly available, It looks like Microsoft is getting started.