Microsoft Releases New To-Do App to Replace Wunderlist—Days After Its Founder Offered to Buy It Back

September 9, 2019, 10:49 PM UTC

When tech giants, like Microsoft purchase start-ups like Wunderlist, it can be cause for celebration—until the inevitable happens and the purchase is stripped for parts and shut down.

Microsoft unveiled a redesigned To Do app on Monday that will replace Wunderlist, a mobile productivity app it acquired in 2015 for a price that was rumored to be between $100 million and $200 million. Microsoft did not provide any specifics about when the app might be shut down. Two days ago, Wunderlist founder Christian Reber tweeted at Microsoft asking for a chance to buy the app back, amid rumors it would be shutting down.

On Monday, it appeared that wouldn’t be happening as Microsoft unveiled the revamped To Do app, drawing from some of the best design features of Wunderlist, including customizable backgrounds—including the popular Berlin TV tower background in Wunderlist—and smart tasks being shown in a single list.

Wunderlist’s sunsetting is hardly the first time a giant tech company has purchased a smaller company, stripped it for parts, or just decided to simply shut it down.

Facebook purchased tbh, an anonymous feedback app popular among teens, last October. While the founders are now Facebook employees, Facebook said in July it would shut down the app.

Slack bought Astro last September and shut down its email app, which included a built-in smart assistant. Slack has, of course, cemented its position as an email-killing communication platform.

Like Microsoft, there’s a long list of examples to draw from at Apple. The company famously acquired Beats Music and then shut down the streaming service in 2015 as it prepared to launch Apple Music.

While it’s a sad day for Reber, the Wunderlist founder, he tweeted that he has “nothing but gratitude” for Microsoft and called selling to them “definitely the best thing that ever happened to us.”

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