Microsoft announced today its intent to buy MobiComp, a Portugal-based software company that specializes in cloud computing storage services to mobile users. Terms of the planned acquisition aren’t being disclosed for now.
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) did say that if the deal goes through, MobiComp would become a wholly owned subsidiary and would join the software giant’s Mobile Communications Business.
MobiComp is best known for a series of storage and backup services that enable mobile operators to offer customers (end users) ready access personal content from their phones and other mobile devices. MobiComp’s services also help users publish updates to online communities and get entertainment and news content delivered to their phones.
Three of MobiComp’s better known services are MobileKeeper Backup & Restore, MobileKeeper Sharing & Communities, and Active mTicker.
“Like Microsoft, we’ve always believed in an open and innovative mobile platform and deep industry partnerships,” said Carlos Oliveira, co-founder and CEO of MobiComp, in a statement. “We’re thrilled that our work over the past eight years can now be extended by partnering with Microsoft’s world-class portfolio of mobile services.”
Microsoft said the plan is use MobiComp to help expand its Mobile Communications Business and services to the 11 mobile operators it has contracts with worldwide.
“As people increasingly have more and more valuable information on their phone, the value of protecting that data on their phone and getting more out of the phone will continue to grow,” said Scott Rockfeld, group product manager, Mobile Communications Business at Microsoft, in a statement e-mailed to InternetNews.com. “MobiComp helped pioneer technologies that allow the backup and restoration of mobile data and mobile posting of social content to Web sites such as Facebook.”
The acquisition comes at a time when mobile device sales are booming and devices like Apple’s iPhone are making mobile Web access far easier than earlier attempts.
“Cloud computing makes it feasible to get access to ‘your stuff’ anytime, anywhere,” Tim Bajarin, analyst and president of Creative Strategies, told InternetNews.com. “Microsoft’s already moving its software to the cloud, but it was missing the mobile connection layer, so this acquisition makes sense. You look at what Google and Apple are already doing and this helps Microsoft stay competitive.”
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has its Google Apps suite of online applications and storage, while Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) recently revamped its .Mac online service under the new name, Mobileme.
Some fifty handset makers run the Windows Mobile platform and 160 mobile operators in 55 countries carry Windows Mobile phones. Microsoft also said its Windows Live, which includes free instant messaging and blogging services, runs on every major mobile operating system worldwide.