Microsoft Might Buy A Startup That Powers 10 Percent Of The World's Smartphones

Jeff Haynie Appcelerator

Jeff Haynie

Cofounder Jeff Haynie Appcelerator

We keep hearing that Microsoft will soon snap up mobile app cloud company Appcelerator.

Sources close to the company have told Business Insider that "there's been dialog at various levels with Microsoft," but that the two are not yet in final talks.

The acqusition would likely be to beef up Microsoft's own cloud service, Azure.Advertisement

CEO and cofounder Jeff Haynie won't publicly comment, saying that his goal is to build a long-term company.

But if the price was right? Note that this is Haynie and cofounder CEO Nolan Wright's second startup together. They sold their previous venture, Vocalocity, to another service provider and it is still in operation today.

The closer you look at Appcelerator, the more you can see why Microsoft would be sniffing around.

Appcelerator, makes a popular mobile app development product called Titanium which lets app developers write apps for all the smartphone mobile operating systems including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and HTML5.

After writing their apps, Appcelerator hosts them and tracks usage and other stats. Because its basic service is free, it built an enormous following of 418,731 developers customers. It hosts some 50,208 applications deployed on 111 million devices, or about 10% of the world's smartphones. Owning Appcelerator would give Microsoft access to a huge network of developers to encourage them to write Windows Phone apps.Advertisement

Haynie and Wright are well-known in the app development world. Wright once worked at Marc Andreessen's Netscape. Haynie is an angel investor, known for his work on the web app hosting product JBoss, now owned by Red Hat. Red Hat even has a minor stake in Appcelerator, but not enough to block a sale to its rival Microsoft, sources say.

Appcelerator has become so popular, that Intel paid Appcelerator to support Tizen, sources close to the company say. Tizen is a new smartphone operating system that Intel and Samsung are developing to compete with Android and the iPhone.

Haynie has no urgent need to sell. Appcelerator is well-funded. It's landed $50 million in venture funds, enough money to make four acquisitions itself.Advertisement

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