For the last two years, the popular x.ai virtual personal assistant has been helping Google Calendar users manage their meetings.
Today, x.ai is finally coming to Microsoft calendars, with support for Office 365 and Outlook.com, as the company moves closer to the release of its paid business edition later this year.
“Microsoft pretty much owns the enterprise, and as we move towards the launch of our professional edition, this could not come at a better time. Getting market share and working with Microsoft somewhat rhymes,” x.ai CEO and founder Dennis R. Mortensen says.
Just copy “firstname.lastname@example.org” to your email, and “Amy Ingram,” your personal AI assistant, will handle the annoying parts of finding a time that works for both parties.
People love Amy Ingram, and not everyone realizes it’s a robot, not a human. Since 2014, Amy (and her “brother,” Andrew), “have scheduled hundreds of thousands of meetings and processed millions of scheduling-related emails,” x.ai says in a press release. The company has raised $34.3 million.
The reason for the delay, Mortensen, was just in getting the core technology right before expanding past Google. It takes time and effort to train the x.ai technology to automatically make a meeting, and with lots of Microsoft customers out there, the startup wanted to make sure all was well with Amy Ingram.
“The question asked most often over the last two years has consistently been when we would support Microsoft calendars. This is a fair question but we’ve stayed focused on the AI challenge itself,” Mortensen says. “As we mature, it is only natural to add support for Microsoft calendars and expand our addressable market.” In fact, Mortensen jokes, the move towards Microsoft was basically inevitable: 67 of x.ai’s 68 employees might use Macbooks, but Mortensen himself is the lone holdout with a Samsung-made Windows PC, and he’s in charge.
Importantly, x.ai doesn’t yet work with corporate Microsoft accounts: The startup promises that support is coming soon, but it requires an integration with the Microsoft Exchange calendar server software that isn’t quite in place yet.
The overall ambition of x.ai is to schedule “every single one” of what it estimates are the 10 billion meetings held every single year. Going to Microsoft Office, where the majority of the business world lives, is an important part of that.