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Microsoft buys Genee, maker of a virtual scheduling assistant bot

Genee, which uses artificial intelligence to simplify digital scheduling, will shut down as a stand-alone assistant on Sept. 1.

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Microsoft will bring on Genee's co-founders to its team working on Outlook and Office 365.

Jim Kerstetter/CNET

Microsoft has bought Genee, a technology startup making bots to help set meetings and manage your calendar.

The company didn't disclose terms of the takeover in its announcement Monday.

Genee's virtual scheduling assistant is powered by natural language processing, artificial intelligence and chat bots. Co-founder Charles Lee said in a blog post that Genee will cease to operate as a stand-alone service next month. He and fellow co-founder Ben Cheung will join Microsoft in the takeover.

To explain how Genee works, Microsoft invented an example scenario:

Say you want to meet a potential customer, Diana, for coffee. Simply send an email to Diana and copy Genee, like you would a personal assistant. Genee understands that you want to "Find a time to meet with Diana for coffee next week" and will streamline the process by emailing her directly with appropriate options that work with your calendar and preferences. Genee will even send out the meeting invite on your behalf - freeing up your time.

The deal was announced by Microsoft's vice president of Outlook and Office 365, Rajesh Jha.