Microsoft to acquire LiveLoop productivity tool startup

Microsoft is to acquire LiveLoop, a startup that develops collaboration and sharing tools for Microsoft Office

Microsoft is to acquire LiveLoop, a startup that develops collaboration and sharing tools for Microsoft Office.

The San Francisco-based startup’s first product was LiveLoop for PowerPoint, a web application that allows teams to share presentations, run online meetings, and collect feedback and comments.

According to the company’s website, LiveLoop for PowerPoint turns any PowerPoint presentation into a link accessible from any web browser or smartphone.

Analysts said this product will complement the collaboration software and service Microsoft is putting into its new Surface Hub collaboration and video conferencing system to be launched later in 2015.

Microsoft has not announced the deal officially, but a spokeswoman has confirmed the deal without providing financial details, according to ZDNet.

The deal appears to be aimed at acquiring LiveLoop’s developers to boost collaboration across Office applications. The deal is part of Microsoft's strategy to “reinvent productivity", the spokeswoman said.

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A message on LiveLoop's website confirmed that the company will be “shutting down permanently” on 24 April 2015, but makes no mention of the planned acquisition by Microsoft.

The acquisition of LiveLoop is the latest in a string of small companies that make productivity related applications and services, including email app maker Acompli and Android calendar app maker Sunrise.

Although Microsoft paid $200m for Accompli in December 2014, it has rebranded the app as Outlook for iOS and Android.

Sunrise was acquired to improve the mobile email and calendaring experience in Outlook, but remains available to download as standalone software.

Although Microsoft’s plans for LiveLoop are unknown, from the notices on the company’s website it is likely to discontinue the standalone product and roll its features into Outlook, while the developers are likely to become part of Microsoft's mobile productivity group as happened with Acompli.

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