Microsoft Picks Off Another Mobile Startup, Adding Popular Wunderlist App To The Mix

Microsoft has been picking off mobile app vendors left and right lately, and on Tuesday it revealed its acquisition of 6Wunderkinder, developer of a free to-list app called Wunderlist.

Wunderlist, which works on iOS and Android, has more than 13 million users who've collectively created more than a billion to-do lists, Eran Megiddo, Microsoft's general manager for OneNote, said in a blog post Tuesday.

"If you haven’t tried Wunderlist yet, you have a great opportunity to make the most of your time with its brilliant design and ease of use," said Megiddo in the blog post.

[Related: Microsoft Looks To Give Mobile Email A Boost With Acompli Acquisition]

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Megiddo didn't indicate how much Microsoft paid for German developer 6Wunderkinder, but The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the deal Monday, said it was between $100 million and $200 million.

Buying 6Wunderkinder, based in Berlin and founded in 2010, is the latest deal Microsoft has swung to infuse its mobile app ecosystem with popular offerings developed by startups.

Last November, Microsoft bought Acompli, developer of a popular free email app for iOS and Android, and then made it the Outlook client for the platforms. Then Microsoft acquired Sunrise, maker of a popular calendar app for iOS and Android, in February.

Jeff Chandler, president of American Technology Services, a Fairfax, Va.-based Microsoft partner, sees the 6Wunderkinder deal as another key part of Microsoft’s mobile-first, cloud-first strategy.

This strategy, Chandler said, makes even more sense when offerings like Office 365, Azure, OneDrive and SharePoint are taken into account.

"As a partner, we now have a set of very powerful tools available to us," Chandler said in an email. "The Wunderlist acquisition, along with other recent acquisitions, gives us a lot of momentum."

Douglas Grosfield, president and CEO of Xylotek Solutions, a Cambridge, Ontario-based Microsoft partner, said he's impressed with the move Microsoft is making in the mobile app space.

"Mobility and mobile apps are an area of significant potential, and monetizing opportunity is something Microsoft is, frankly, very good at doing," Grosfield told CRN.

Grosfield said he thinks integrating these technologies into the workplace, and mitigating the risks associated with doing so, will be a big opportunity for partners.

Tim Tyler, president of Accordant Technology, a Brentwood, Tenn.-based Microsoft partner, told CRN he's encouraged by the software giant's moves to upgrade its mobile app portfolio.

"Microsoft can now deliver business tools and applications -- like flexible calendaring and functional email -- across multiple devices," Tyler said in an email. "This is very strategic and will strengthen their position in the mobility space."

Megiddo said the Wunderlist app will still be offered free of charge and that Microsoft isn't planning any changes to its pricing for the premium Wunderlist Pro or Wunderlist for Business offerings.