September 23, 2015
Less than a year ago, Microsoft (MSFT) bought mobile email app developer Acompli and its team of some two dozen staffers for about $200 million to create Outlook Mobile.
Now the vendor has turned to Acompli founder Javier Soltero to take over all of Outlook engineering not merely Outlook’s mobile versions, according to a Re/code report.
Soltero told Re/code his goal is to create an Outlook email app that Windows and Mac users want to use, as he has with Outlook for iOS and Android.
“That’s the opportunity we are chasing and it’s a rich opportunity,” Soltero said.
He told Re/code that the challenge is quite different from Outlook mobile in that changes will be made to Outlook as millions of users use it.
“In terms of the huge installed base, there’s always a bit of ‘who moved my cheese?’ involved in evolving products like this,” Soltero said. “We’ve come to understand that productivity software is always evolving, and it’s our responsibility to bring the customer along a journey of constant improvement as opposed to dropping major releases every few years.”
Soltero also said the move from running small teams to a large operation such as Outlook engineering requires an adjustment on his part.
“The size of the team is a bit daunting for a guy who’s spent the last 10-plus years in companies with less than 75 people,” he said.
At the time Microsoft bought the San Francisco-based Acompli, tech site TechCrunch called the Acompli email app “one of the better mobile email applications to emerge in recent months,” describing it as “designed for business and professional users looking for a simple, but powerful tool to manage their email, calendar, and shared files while on the go.”
And, Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows called Acompli “nothing less than Outlook for Android and iOS, and an answer to the mess Microsoft has created on those platforms.”
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