When Microsoft rebranded the Xbox Music service to Groove Music, some people thought that perhaps the Redmond company had purchased Groove, an iOS music player that specialized in intelligent music discovery. At the time, no such acquisition was in the works. However, it looks like everything has come full-circle, as Microsoft is indeed acquiring Groove.
The announcement comes on medium.com from Zikera, makers of Groove. We don't have any additional information at the moment as to what, specifically, Microsoft is acquiring, whether it's Zikera or just the Groove app, but here's what we do have:
On behalf of the founders and the entire team, we have a special message to the millions of music lovers that have supported us:
Our journey started back in the days of the iPod. While it was a thing of beauty, we still struggled to choose what to play from our beloved music collection. From that instant, we envisioned a music player so intelligent that learns our tastes and habits in order to play the right music at the right time. Then Groove was born, and you made it a success. We are incredibly proud to have delighted you with a rich mobile experience and countless hours of music bliss through the tens of millions of personalized playlists we generated.
We also don't know if Microsoft is purchasing Groove to lock down the name or to incorporate the app's music discovery intelligence, or both. Certainly, Microsoft has made the most of it's iOS app acquisitions, such as rolling much of the functionality of the excellent Sunrise app into Outlook for iOS and Android. We'll be looking for official word from Microsoft, and will report back.
Update: We've received email confirmation on some of the details from Zikera:
At the end, joining Microsoft wasn't part of the deal. They acquired the technology and brand (including the Groove app's domain).
The Groove Team
Now, if only Microsoft will incorporate the technology and adds to Groove Music's music discovery functionality. We'd love to see this acqusition do for Groove Music what the Sunrise acquisition has done for Outlook on iOS and Android (and perhaps, on Windows 10 eventually as well).