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Microsoft buys Intentional Software; Simonyi to rejoin Microsoft

Microsoft is acquiring Intentional Software, a Bellevue, Wash.-based productivity-app vendor whose well-known founder is a programming expert and former Microsoft manager.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is buying Intentional Software, the Bellevue, Wash.-based company founded by former Softie and intentional-programming expert Charles Simonyi, for an undisclosed amount.


Simonyi, while at Microsoft, oversaw the creation of a number of Microsoft productivity applications, including Excel and Word. Simonyi -- founder, chairman, and chief technology officer of Intentional -- and his team will be rejoining Microsoft as part of the acquisition, announced on April 18, becoming part of the Office group.

Microsoft is positioning the acquisition as "build(ing) on the work we're already doing to deliver the tools necessary to be productive in an information-rich world," in the words of Rajesh Jha, executive vice president, Microsoft Office product group.

Intentional Software, founded in 2002, was originally focused on making programming less complicated using concepts for "intentional programming," which Simonyi originally pioneered in work he did with Microsoft Research. More recently, Intentional Software has been working on productivity scenarios for future workplaces.

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Simonyi joined Microsoft in 1981; he left in 2002. Prior to joining Microsoft, Simonyi is credited for having created the first WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) word processor at Xerox PARC.

"I am excited, stoked, amped, and elated to join forces again with Microsoft, the premier high-tech company in the world. I am very happy that after this deal is completed, the talented team at Intentional will have a fantastic new home to continue our work and contribute to great products," said Simonyi in a note on the Intentional web site.

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