RealTime IT News

Microsoft Acquires Jump Networks

Following weeks of speculation, Microsoft Corp. Monday acquired Web calendar services provider Jump Networks Inc.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jump employees will join Microsoft's Consumer and Commerce Group and move from offices in Mountain View, Calif., to MSN Hotmail offices in San Jose, Calif. Bill Trenchard, Jump chairman and chief executive officer will work with the Jump! and MSN Hotmail teams in integrating Jump's technology into the MSN network.

On April 9, it was reported the Redmond, Wash-based giant was in talks with the Ithaca, N.Y.-based calendar company, whose technology enables consumers to access their e-mail, address books and calendars from any Internet-connected computer. On April 5, Jump's main rival, When.com Inc. was purchased by America Online Inc. for approximately $150 million in stock.

Microsoft said that it expects to bundle Jump's service with its MSN Internet network, adding to MSN offerings such as e-mail service MSN Hotmail and MSN Web Communities. The integrated area will be a one-stop communications area which providing e-mail, calendaring capabilities and online communities.

Microsoft said Jump's technology will also lend itself to e-commerce initiatives on MSN. Users will be able to receive upcoming events notifications which relate to personal interests, and they will also be able to automatically purchase goods and services through sale notices sent to their calendars.

"Consumers want constant access to their personal calendars and shared event information so they can make the Web a more personal and productive tool," said Marty Taucher, director of MSN network communications. "Integrating Jump's premier technology with the award-winning Internet services on MSN will further empower consumers, no matter where they are."

"We are very excited by this acquisition, because the value our team has created in Jump! will now benefit millions of MSN customers," said Bill Trenchard, chairman, founder and chief executive officer of Jump Networks. "From the start, our vision has been to improve the way people get things done on the Web, so that they can focus on their lives rather than their tools. Our becoming a part of MSN kicks that process into overdrive."