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Microsoft Acquires Talko

Today Microsoft announced the acquisition of business communications app Talko, a company perhaps best known for its founder, Ray Ozzie, a former Microsoft executive and tech visionary whose resume goes back to the days of Lotus Notes.

We've covered Talko on No Jitter numerous times since the company's creation just over a year ago, aimed at reinventing the phone call in the world of business collaboration.

The news of Microsoft's acquisition came in a blog post from Skype VP Gurdeep Singh Pall. In the post, Gurdeep details that Talko technology would be used to help "deliver great new features and capabilities" in both the consumer Skype and Skype for Business products. The companies didn't announce the acquisition price. Also revealed, Talko employees are slated to join the Skype team at Microsoft -- although Ray Ozzie is not expected to return to his old stomping grounds, according to a comment he provided to Fortune.

"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," Gurdeep wrote, adding that the acquisition serves as an example of the company's goal to "reinvent productivity and business processes."

A quick visit to the Talko website and you are met with a letter from the "Talko Team," announcing the news and explaining both how the business came to this decision as well as plans for the business's eventual shutter.

After thanking Talko users, the team writes, "However, as engaged as many of you have been, the reality is that the broad-based success of communications apps tends to be binary: A small number of apps earn and achieve great viral growth, while most fall into some stable niche. For all the value and enjoyment it's delivered, and for all the team's listening and perseverance, Talko was largely on the path to filling a (passionate) niche. We're in this to have great impact, so it's time for a change."

The Talko service will sunset over the course of the first quarter, shuttering by March 2016, the letter says. Lucky for those current users, as one of its final acts, the team at Talko will be providing a way to export past conversations as simple files -- whether those conversations be voice, text, or photo.

See Microsoft corporate VP of Skype for Business Zig Serafin speak at Enterprise Connect 2016, taking place March 7-10 at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Fla. Register now to take advantage of reduced rates. Use the code NJPOST to receive $200 off the current conference price.

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