Microsoft successfully acquires collaborator app Liveloop

29 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Microsoft acquires and shutters PowerPoint collaboration startup LiveLoop (confirmed).

The software giant didn’t reveal any financial details, but confirmed the deal via email saying the team from LiveLoop will help build great collaboration across Office applications, as part of the company’s strategy to reinvent productivity.The deal follows Microsoft’s acquisitions of calendar maker Sunrise and mobile email software builder Acompli, two other startups bought to enhance the company’s Office offerings.

Microsoft has acquired LiveLoop, a five-person San Francisco startup that built a web service that lets people share their PowerPoint presentations without forcing people to download software, unlike services such as, GoToMeeting, and WebEx. Moreover the app enables the users to view their presentations anytime anywhere, share presentations and even conduct meetings on the web without resorting to software installations. The acquisition, however, fits well with its plan to make its applications and services available on as many devices as possible irrespective of the OS. LiveLoop’s technology converts PowerPoint files into URLs that can be viewed from computers and smartphones without installing any software, according to the company’s website.

The acquisition could bring more interactivity to PowerPoint itself. “We don’t believe that software-as-a-service (SaaS) needs to be set in a Web browser — products like Google Docs are severely limited in features and performance,” LiveLoop founder Amal Dorai told VentureBeat in a 2011 interview. “Other startups within this space have not built real-time collaboration technology (DocVerse, Offisync, Versly), so their collaboration experience is hampered. So instead of having to email to colleagues large presentations or use an online meeting service like GoToMeeting, users can share a URL to start an online meeting. According to its website, LiveLoop is based in San Francisco and co-founders both hold engineering degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Earlier the Redmond-based company has also purchased calendar app Sunrise for $100 million and e-mail client Acompli for $200 million. “LiveLoop will be shutting down permanently on April 24th, 2015.

On that date all presentations and user data will be permanently deleted, so anything users would like to retrieve from LiveLoop has to be downloaded before that date. While both those companies are focused on native apps, the LiveLoop acquisition hints that Microsoft also sees a future in Web applications for smartphones.

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