Microsoft has been on an acquisition frenzy this year, with recent acquisitions including video game development studios Obsidian Entertainment and InXile Entertainment, as well as the software development platform GitHub. Microsoft seems intent on setting themselves up nicely in all technology-related niches in the near future, and keeping on pace with this game plan, Microsoft has just acquired the chatbot startup studio XOXCO.
XOXCO, despite having been founded in 2009, is still a relatively new company in the industry. Specializing in conversational AI and bot development, XOXCO is responsible for the creation of Howdy.ai, an AI program that functions with the popular collaboration software Slack. Microsoft made the move to acquire this studio in order to bolster their own efforts in conversational AI.
This acquisition was a pretty smart move by Microsoft, as the company has been competing with Slack for dominance in the arena of collaboration software. Microsoft’s group chat software, Microsoft Teams, is already in a pretty good place. Over the past several months, Microsoft has acquired Lobe, Bonsai, and Semantic Machine, all companies which specialize in AI/bot development and functionality. Adding the talented studio XOXCO to the Microsoft family may give the company the edge it needs in order to beat Slack for best collaboration software.