Microsoft buys former employee Charles Simonyi's Intentional Software

Judith Bessette
Abril 19, 2017

For the last two years, we were working closely with Microsoft to see if there are synergies between our technology and Microsoft's plans, which eventually led to today's acquisition announcement.

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. The entire team of Intentional Software will be joining Microsoft to work on these technologies as well.

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.

In 2002, The New York Times reported that Microsoft "holds a right to be the first to negotiate with Intentional Software if the company comes up for sale" - and it's now exercising that right to purchase Simonyi's firm, bringing him back into the Microsoft family. "Intentional's applications will enable people to capture and present their ideas, regardless of the type of content: text, tables, spreadsheets, photos, and drawings, coming from all kinds of input methods, from touch screens and video inputs to voice and motion sensors". But they have just mentioned that it will enhance Microsoft's existing capabilities and strengthen their ability to add new tools and services to Microsoft's robust productivity offering.

According to Jha's account, Intentional Software had initially been geared toward simplifying the programming process.

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"I am excited, stoked, amped, and elated to join forces again with Microsoft", Simonyi wrote in a post Tuesday.

Over the past few years, the Intentional Software team has applied their programming expertise to develop productivity scenarios for the future workforce.

Simonyi gets a bit more specific in his blog post on the acquisition.

The parties involved were certainly effusive about the deal with Intentional CEO Eric Anderson writing, "In this next chapter, I see the potential for an even greater impact".

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