Microsoft just unleashed Office Delve. The next stop for software along our way to the scary-wonderful Internet of Things–wherein things will all talk to each other and ignore us–is to dominate humans’ attention while we still count. The quaint old calendar app–the virtual datebook–is the next big virtual real estate frontier. Because if Microsoft or Apple or Google is the one you turn to first, the one that has your personal data at the ready, they can lock you in–maybe forever. This emerging generation of calendar apps promises to learn about you as it goes and the bet is you won’t want to trade in all that hard-earned knowledge to start over with some new app to whom you’re a mystery. Think of all the people who stick around in less-than-exhilarating marriages–because at least they’re a known quantity there.
Delve takes Microsoft closer toward CEO Nadella’s stated goal of being a “productivity” company–and the productivity he’s talking about is yours, not theirs. By giving you tools like Delve to counterpunch Apple’s OS X Yosemite and Cortana for Windows phones to battle Siri, Microsoft wants to help you live the life you want just as much as Apple does. Even if their TV commercials aren’t as good at saying so.