Microsoft launches developer services for calls, chats and SMS

Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp.

Grant Hindsley | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Microsoft on Tuesday announced developer tools for enhancing applications with calling and texting capabilities at its Ignite conference for IT workers.

The launch demonstrates one of the ways Microsoft is trying to grow its cloud business by entering smaller individual markets. The company might persuade existing customers to try these tools instead of forming relationships with smaller software companies.

The collection of Azure Communication Services from Microsoft includes application programming interfaces that make it possible for third-party applications to make voice and video calls, exchange chat messages, send text messages, and create phone numbers for inbound and outbound calls.

Companies such as 8×8, RingCentral and Twilio already offer some of these capabilities. Amazon Web Services (AWS), the largest cloud infrastructure provider, offers developer services for embedding text messaging and video calling into customers’ applications.

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