Microsoft buys Office collaboration tool maker LiveLoop: Sources

Microsoft has bought another productivity company. This time it's LiveLoop, a vendor of collaboration plug-ins and tools for Microsoft Office.

Microsoft has purchased San Francisco-based LiveLoop for an undisclosed amount, according to sources.

LiveLoop builds collaboration tools for Microsoft Office. Its first product was LiveLoop for PowerPoint, which is a PowerPoint plug-in that allows an entire team to collaborate on a document simultaneously.

According to the explanation on the Web site, "LiveLoop converts presentations into Web URLs that can be viewed from any computer or phone *without* installing any software," or using Web-hosting services for online meetings like GoToMeeting.

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A notice on LiveLoop's corporate Web site says that LiveLoop will be shutting down on April 24, but doesn't say why. The full wording of the notice:

"LiveLoop will be shutting down permanently on April 24th, 2015. New user registration and presentation upload have been disabled.

"Existing LiveLoop users: if you have any data you would like to retrieve from LiveLoop, please do so before April 24th. On April 24th, all presentations and user data will be permanently deleted"

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A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that Microsoft bought the company with the following statement:

"Microsoft is excited to welcome the talented team from LiveLoop to help build great collaboration across Office applications, as part of our strategy and vision to reinvent productivity."

LiveLoop is financially backed by venture capital firms New Enterprise Associates and Columbus Nova Technology Partners.

Microsoft has been buying up a number of smaller companies making productivity-related applications and services as of late, including e-mail startup Acompliand Android calendar vendor Sunrise. LiveLoop also is in the productivity category.

LiveLoop's first product would be a nice complement to the meeting- and collaboration-specific software and services that Microsoft is installing on its new Surface Hub videoconferencing system.

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