Microsoft is acquiring Nuance, in an all-cash transaction valued at $19.7 billion. This is Microsoft’s second largest purchase ever, behind LinkedIn. The acquisition is focused on cloud, but more specifically healthcare. Nuance delivers solutions in the AI and clinical intelligence space.
Why do we care?
So, I didn’t cover this first out of the gate, and that was intentional. I wanted to think this one over to answer the question. It rather violates my rule about caring about acquisitions. One easy note is that this buys a lot of Azure users.
I’m super bullish on voice. I have been for a while. Ambient computing is the reason. The ability to talk to systems and have them available anywhere you need them. This technology, focused on helping record and transcribe doctors conversations with patients that go right into notes, is exactly that. A computer that listens as you work, keeps the notes and records for you, and associates them with the appropriate files? Yes please.
The healthcare investment is the obvious growth area, but you can see this technology being used in a lot of areas. We care because it IS an investment in both healthcare and ambient computing. I wanted to give that some thought – and yes, that’s the why.