Microsoft is buying Intentional Software, a small company founded 15 years ago by Microsoft veteran Charles Simonyi who had overseen the early development of the Microsoft Excel and Word applications using the nascent graphical user interface back in the 1990s.
Simonyi helped build Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet and Word document franchises.
As described in a 2007 New York Times report, Simonyi’s goal with the new company was to replace conventional coding with what he called intentional programming, “in which programmers would talk to machines as little as possible. Instead, they would concentrate on capturing the intentions of computer users.”
Microsoft has made some blockbuster acquisitions, most recently its $26.2 billion buy of professional social network LinkedIn. It has also made more focused purchases to boost its key productivity applications portfolio. Last year, for example, Microsoft bought SwiftKey, which helps users type faster on iOS or Android smartphones by predicting what they want to say.
According to microsoft, this acquisition will build on the work they are already doing to deliver the tools necessary to be productive in an information-rich world. Intentional Software’s technology and talent will enhance the firm’s existing capabilities and strengthen heir ability to add new tools and services to Microsoft’s robust productivity offering.