Microsoft doubles down on productivity with Wunderlist buy

Redmond embraces Mountain View AND Cupertino

The reinvention of Microsoft under chief executive Satya Nadella continues with reports the software giant has bought German-based iOS app Wunderlist.

The purchase, originally reported behind the Wall Street Journal paywall, is in the ballpark of $US100 - $US200 million, making it roughly the same size deal as the company paid for the popular iOS calendar app Sunrise in recent months.

Microsoft also recently bought the cross-platform email app Acompli, which works on both iOS and Android, and promptly rebranded it as the Outlook app.

Wunderlist is a popular to-do application that runs across iOS, Android and Windows phones. Desktop versions also exist for OSX and Windows. In addition to personal to-do lists, it also allows users to share and annotate their lists with other users in real time via the cloud.

Whereas the old Microsoft under Steve Ballmer was all about Windows and only Windows, Nadella's Microsoft appears focused on creating (or acquiring) the best applications across all platforms. In some ways this is a return to the very roots of the company, where in the early days it made software for a variety of platforms before it became beholden to the Windows platform and the Office cash cow juggernauts.

By acquiring Acompli, Sunrise and now reportedly Wunderlist, Microsoft has given itself a place at the table of iOS and Android productivity apps, buying it capabilities that simply don't exist for the company with its Windows Phone platform. ®

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