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Vishal Sharma, Founder and CEO, Wand Labs
Vishal Sharma, Founder and CEO, Wand Labs (via Wand Labs)

Microsoft has bought messaging-app developer Wand Labs, a purchase it said will accelerate its “conversation as a platform” vision announced at the Build developers’ conference in March.

“Wand Labs’ technology and talent will strengthen our position in the emerging era of conversational intelligence,” David Ku, a vice president in Microsoft’s information platform group, said in a blog post. The purchase “extends the power of the Bing, Azure, Office 365 and Windows platforms.”

Wand founder and CEO Vishal Sharma said on his firm’s website, “I’m delighted to be joining a company that shares our passion for this new era where conversation is the central focus.”

Wand had set out to “tear down app walls, integrate your services in chat and make them work together so you can do more with less taps,” according to its site.

It was working toward an API to its technology, which it said dealt with messaging; the secure granting, sharing and revocation of access to devices and services; and user management and identity. It had released early versions of an app for both iOS and Android, but those trials will now be discontinued, it said.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Wand — a Silicon Valley startup founded in 2013 and backed by InterWest, Khosla Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners — is tiny by comparison to Microsoft’s big gulp earlier this week, when it agreed to pay $26.2 billion for LinkedIn.

Only seven employees are pictured on its website. Sharma served as vice president of products for Google for seven years before founding Wand, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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