As reported by the Washington Post, Microsoft today announced it has made plans to acquire Braga, Portugal-based MobiComp, a mobile-data company founded in 2000. Up until now, I had never heard of the company (in fact, of any Portugese company in the realms of the mobile industry), but at first glance this sounds like a logical acquisition for Microsoft to make.
MobiComp has always been privately funded and boasts on its website that it has been profitable since its first year. Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, we suspect this to be a nice home-run for founders Carlos Oliveira, Gastão Taveira and António Murta, especially since the company has apparently never taken outside investment.
With the mobile service industry growing fast thanks to new developments in the hardware and mobile internet access space, Microsoft is evidently looking to expand its services on the Windows Mobile smartphone platform as well as the Windows Live Web services division. The deal also reminds us of another European acquisition earlier this week, with Berlin-based Plazes being snapped up by Nokia.
MobiComp has developed several products Microsoft is likely to integrate with Windows Mobile sooner than later: MobileKeeper Backup & Restore, MobileKeeper Sharing & Communities, and Active mTicker. The suite of products is primarily used by companies to back up data stored on mobile phones, submit content from mobile phones to social networks like Facebook, and access news and other mobile media. A noteworthy reference on their customer list is Nokia.
For your reference, fifty handset makers build on the Windows Mobile platform, and 160 mobile operators in 55 countries carry Windows Mobile phones.