In a blog post today, Microsoft announced the acquisition of AI scheduling tool Genee. The service will be shut down in September after integration into Microsoft’s Office 365 suite.
The service uses optimized algorithms and language processing to simplify meeting planning. It makes use of a virtual assistant similar to Cortana, so it’s clear where Microsoft’s ambitions lie.
It’s not uncommon for rival services to be shut down, but less common is the short notice. Microsoft plans to end the service on 1 September 2016, just ten days away.
However, Genee Co-Founders Ben Cheung and Charles Lee reassure users on their website:
“A new beginning means the end of another. The Genee service will shut down on September 1, 2016. While Genee will no longer send you useful reminders and agendas from your calendar, all existing calendar entries created by Genee will remain. We thank all of you who participated in Genee’s private and public betas.”
Users will not lose any existing data will likely have time to migrate their entries over to another service. There has been no word on how long it will take for Microsoft to come up with similar function, however, so customers could have to wait a while for a similar service.
Corporate Vice President of Outlook and Office Rajesh Jha says, “as we continue to build new Office 365 productivity capabilities and services our customers value, I’m confident the Genee team will help us further our ambition to bring intelligence into every digital experience.”
It’s all quite vague, which makes it difficult to predict what ideas Microsoft has. The Genee co-founders’ statement provides a little more information:
“The Genee team will take the valuable experiences and lessons that you taught us to Microsoft, where we’ll continue to build amazing next generation intelligent experiences..”
No doubt Microsoft can learn a lot from the tech startup. Their email and chatbot experience fits right in with the direction of Outlook and Skype recently, so it will be interesting to see what changes this brings.