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Microsoft's latest acquisition hints at AI scheduling in Office

It's buying Genee, which uses a virtual assistant to take the headaches out of meetings.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 22, 2016
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Hate the song and dance involved in finding just the right time to hold a meeting? Microsoft does too. It's acquiring Genee, whose centerpiece is an AI-powered virtual assistant that helps you schedule events in sync with your itinerary. Email both a client and Genee while you're arranging a lunch meeting, for instance, and it'll let your contact know when you can make it. Just what Genee will do isn't clear, but it'll "accelerate intelligent experiences" in Office 365 -- as elsewhere, Microsoft wants to make AI a key part of your workday.

It's not so hot news if you're one of Genee's users. The company's founders note that the Genee service will shut down on September 1st. Your existing appointments will stay put, but you can't create new ones or get reminders after that date. The move isn't shocking, but we wouldn't count on Genee's integrations with Gmail or iCloud surviving the transition to Microsoft.

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