Microsoft’s Office 365 suite just got smarter by freeing Genee from its bottle

Outlook.com Office 365
Microsoft’s Rajesh Jha, Corporate Vice President of Outlook and Office 365, said on Monday that the company has acquired scheduling service Genee. Powered by artificial intelligence, this service is expected to make Office 365 more streamlined and intelligent when it comes to scheduling and rescheduling meetings. This is due to Genee’s algorithms that are fine-tuned for decision-making and natural language processing.

Co-founders Ben Cheung and Charles Lee launched Genee in 2014. The service allows users to simply describe what kind of meeting they want, when it should take place, and who should attend. Genee “does the rest,” generating the best time and place to have the meeting, and then inform everyone who is involved. If there’s a conflict with the schedule, Genee will provide a “seamless and simple” way to reschedule a meeting.

Prior to Microsoft’s acquisition, the service supported scheduling through Facebook, Twitter, Skype, email, and messaging chatbots via SMS. For instance, the user may want to schedule a 90-minute lunch with a friend or co-worker next week in his/her office. This individual would issue an overall command to “schedule” the lunch date. This command would also use the “lunch” meeting type as well as a 90-minute “duration,” a “timing” of next week, and a “location” described as the individual’s office.

As the example shows, Genee understands five basic descriptors. If setting up the lunch date through email, the user would load up his email client, add the recipient on the “To” field, and send a carbon copy to Genee. The email would provide the recipient with the user’s intention to set up a lunch meeting next week along with the actual command statement to Genee. In this case, the message to Genee would be “Genee, schedule lunch for 90 minutes with Charles at my office next week.”

Once the email is sent, the recipient will get an email from Genee with options for setting up the ideal time and day for the proposed meeting. All of this can even be set up if the individual is replying to a previous email: he/she can simply add a command in the message body and place Genee’s email address in the carbon copy field.

“With today’s news, I’m excited to welcome the Genee team to Microsoft. As we continue to build new Office 365 productivity capabilities and services our customers value, I’m confident the Genee team will help us further our ambition to bring intelligence into every digital experience,” Jha said on Monday.

Genee’s Charles Lee added that after two and a half years, the Genee servers will be shut down on September 1, 2016. Because of this, users will no longer receive “useful reminders and agendas” from Genee. However, all existing entries created with the Genee calendar will remain intact.

“We thank all of you who participated in Genee’s private and public betas,” Lee said in a recent blog post. “The Genee team will take the valuable experiences and lessons that you taught us to Microsoft, where we’ll continue to build amazing next generation intelligent experiences.”

According to Jha, the entire Genee team is now a part of Microsoft. The scheduling service will be incorporated into Office 365, Microsoft’s subscription-based version of this popular Office suite. A timeline regarding as  to when the acquired scheduling technology will roll out to customers is unknown right now.

Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Computing

Change your Outlook password quickly and easily by following these steps

Keeping your digital accounts locked up with strong, unique passwords is important, so learning how to change your Outlook password quickly and easily is one of the best ways to stay safe online.
Mobile

Verizon begins RCS messaging rollout with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

What is RCS messaging? It's the successor to today's text messaging. It offers features like real-time audio, read receipts, and encryption, but adoption so far has been slow. Here's everything you need to know.
Computing

Is your PC slow? Here's how to restore Windows 10 to factory settings

Computers rarely work as well after they accumulate files and misconfigure settings. Thankfully, with this guide, you'll be able to restore your PC to its original state by learning how to factory reset Windows.
Computing

The Titan RTX graphics card is nearly here. Here's what you need to know

The Nvidia Titan RTX is arguably the most powerful consumer graphics card ever made, even if it's not really aimed at consumers. It bridges the 2080 Ti and RTX Quadro cards with boat loads of power.
Computing

Leak reveals that Nvidia’s RTX 2060 gaming chipsets will be headed to laptops

The latest leaks of Nvidia's upcoming RTX 2060 have given performance benchmarks and further detail about the future chipset and its capabilities, while a RTX 2060 Max-Q variant has also been discovered for thin and light gaming machines.
Computing

Looking for an Apple MacBook below $900? Woot has you covered

If you're looking for a great deal on an Apple MacBook, then Amazon's Woot may just have what you have been seeking. It has Macbooks available for only $810 with Intel M3 CPUs, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSDs.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

New rumors say the Pixelbook 2 could show up at CES 2019

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.
Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Computing

You could spend $1,000 on an iPhone, or buy one of these awesome laptops instead

Finding a decent laptop is easy, but finding one under $1,000 is a bit tricky. Luckily, we've taken some of the guesswork out of picking out a budget laptop. Here are some of our favorites, the best laptops under $1,000.
Computing

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Computing

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…