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Microsoft Buys Telephony Service Company Talko

Microsoft has acquired Talko, a company that provides conferencing and telephony services, for an undisclosed amount.

The company, which is Microsoft alum Ray Ozzie's latest startup, developed a mobile messaging app that Microsoft believes will improve its Skype service. While Talko's team is now a part of Microsoft, Ozzie is not coming back for a second tour of duty, as reported by Mary Jo Foley in her ZDnet All about Microsoft blog. Ozzie spent five years at Microsoft ascending to founder and former CEO Bill Gates' role as chief software architect. Microsoft had acquired Ozzie's Groove Networks, which became an integral part of SharePoint Server. Microsoft Office Groove evolved into what became SharePoint Workspace 2010 and now provides some of the core synchronization capabilities in OneDrive for Business.

The Talko app combined messaging, calling and conferencing and was designed to make workers who use mobile devices more productive. Talko said Microsoft has sunset the existing service and will integrate it into Skype. Microsoft expects to launch the new features in March. The company was vague about Talko will bring to Skype.

"As part of the Skype team, we'll leverage Talko's technology and the many things we've learned during its design and development," according to the announcement on Talko's site. "We'll strive to deliver the best of our product's innovations far more broadly than on our current path." For those who used the Talko service, the company said: "Please rest assured that we'll be giving you a way to request an export of all your past Talko conversations - voice, text, and photos - as simple files."

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.