Microsoft buys Ray Ozzie's Talko mobile-messaging startup

Microsoft is buying Ray Ozzie's mobile-messaging startup and plans to fold it into Skype. But Ozzie isn't coming back to Microsoft.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is buying Talko, the mobile messaging application company headed by Ray Ozzie for an undisclosed amount.


Ozzie, who was Chief Software Architect at Microsoft until 2010 (and previously the founder of Groove, another Microsoft acquisition), will not be rejoining Microsoft as part of the deal. The rest of the Talko team does seem to be joining Microsoft, according to the Microsoft December 21 blog post about the purchase.

Microsoft plans to use Talko to "fuel future innovation" in Skype and Skype for Business, Talko's post said.

Microsoft and Talko will be closing the Talko service "over the next several months" and completely by March 2016. According to the Talko blog post announcing the purchase, existing Talko users will have a way to export all their past Talko voice, text and photo conversations, as well as simple files.

"I remain a builder, and I love helping great product teams have broad impact with their work. Looking forward to figuring out what's next," Ozzie said in an e-mail exchange with me about his future plans.

Talko was designed to unify messaging, calling and conferencing, and worked when users were online or offline. I can't say I understood what Talko was supposed to do beyond that, as I found it confusing. It did integrate with Slack, however.

Talko is Microsoft's 20th acquisition this calendar year, those of us trying to keep count believe.

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