Microsoft waves magic Wand to make chat bots better

Microsoft acquires Wand Labs

Microsoft has made another acquisition, snapping up Wand Labs in an effort to bolster its chat bot efforts.

Wand Labs is a messaging app developer that was founded in 2013 and has chops pertaining to 'conversational intelligence'.

You're probably familiar with Conversation as a Platform, a term Microsoft ushered in at the Build conference back in the spring, which the firm has since been driving forward with in Skype, introducing a number of bots to the service.

Wand's specific expertise lies in "semantic ontologies, services mapping, third-party developer integration and conversational interfaces", according to the blog post Microsoft made announcing the takeover.

Essentially, this is all about Redmond pushing harder with chat bots that can better understand natural human language, and hence better serve users.

New era

Vishal Sharma, chief executive of Wand, commented: "I'm delighted to be joining a company that shares our passion and enthusiasm for this new era where conversation is the central focus. Making experiences for customers more seamless by harnessing human language is a powerful vision and one that motivates me and my team."

He added: "Our deep experience with semantics, messaging and authority are a natural fit for the work already underway at Microsoft, especially in the area of intelligent agents and cognitive services."

As for Wand's messaging app, that has now been shut down.

In a huge move, Microsoft also recently splashed out to snap up social network LinkedIn for no less than $26.2 billion (around £18.5 billion, or AU$35.5 billion). How much Redmond paid for Wand wasn't revealed, but obviously won't have been on nearly the same scale.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).