February 24, 2015

Microsoft acquires scheduling app Sunrise

The highest compliment a tech writer can give a mobile application is saying that it streamlines age-old tasks. One such area for app development is scheduling. Managing daily planners and literally "penciling in" important dates has largely been replaced by efficiency applications, both native and third-party to mobile devices. With the handiness of alerts and the ability to program functions on compatible applications, scheduling has never been so comprehensive. 

Microsoft announced this week that it will acquire Sunrise, a scheduling app developer, for $30 million. iPhone owners are familiar with the Apple Calendar app, and Google users have come to rely on its web-based scheduling platform. To compete in a marketplace with established heavyweights, Microsoft's acquisition could enhance its productivity offerings. 

"By connecting your calendar with a range of services, it provides a far better view of your day, week or month ahead," Microsoft explained in a statement. "[Sunrise] acts in a helpful and automatic way, pulling relevant details from across your digital life. It has a simple and beautiful design across devices for a reliable, consistent experience."

Turning digital calendars into integrated, cross-platform entities requires fluid transactions with other apps in your arsenal. Today, workflow apps can order an Uber, auto-send emails and perform other tasks that reduce steps for users. Currently, the Sunrise app is available on Apple and Android devices, as well as in a desktop version. 

As acquisition strategy, the purchase of Sunrise can save Microsoft considerable research and development time by providing an established set of solutions to be integrated into existing products. When large corporations acquire smaller entities, the costs can be earned back by the energy saved in developing new technology.