Microsoft takes a shine to hot calendar app Sunrise

The popular calendar maker marks Microsoft's second intriguing app acquisition in less than two months.

Nick Statt Former Staff Reporter / News
Nick Statt was a staff reporter for CNET News covering Microsoft, gaming, and technology you sometimes wear. He previously wrote for ReadWrite, was a news associate at the social-news app Flipboard, and his work has appeared in Popular Science and Newsweek. When not complaining about Bay Area bagel quality, he can be found spending a questionable amount of time contemplating his relationship with video games.
Nick Statt

Sunrise's popular cross-platform calendar app was a hit among users thanks to smart design and support for various services. Sunrise

Satya Nadella celebrated his one-year anniversary as head of Microsoft with yet another app acquisition. This time, the software giant has scooped up popular mobile and desktop calendar app Sunrise for more than $100 million, according to a report from TechCrunch.

The purchase comes two months after Microsoft's acquisition of email app Acompli in December for about $200 million. Microsoft rebranded Acompli last week as Outlook, the company's new and modern take on mobile email for Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms.

This is yet another step in Nadella's strategy of offering free, cloud-based apps that work across multiple platforms. The goal is to convince customers to pay the annual subscription fee for Office 365 so they can use the cloud versions of programs like Outlook, Word and PowerPoint on their Macs or PCs. That's become especially attractive as employees shift their activity between corporate and personal devices.

With Sunrise, Microsoft gains one of the top free calendar apps available on both iOS and Android -- but not yet Windows Phone. CNET Reviews called Sunrise "one of the best free calendar apps that's available on multiple platforms."

The startup raised $8.2 million venture capital over the last two years and it had eight employees as of August 2014. Its unclear if Microsoft will rebrand keep Sunrise as it did Acompli.

Microsoft declined to comment, and Sunrise was not immediately available to comment.