Microsoft buys Austin-based XOXCO, a software product design and development studio known for its conversational artificial intelligence and bot development.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Ben Brown and Katie Spence started XOXCO in 2008. The company raised $1.5 million in 2015 from “Bloomberg Beta, True Ventures, a small angel group called Outlier and numerous individual investors,” according to Techcrunch.

“When Katie Spence and I started this company, the idea of chatbots and other talking computers was just beginning to get attention in the tech world,” Brown wrote in a blog post. “We found a developer ecosystem hungry for resources – searching for tools, tutorials, or well-defined best practices. It was like the early days of the web…an exciting wild west of new technology and fresh opportunity.”

In 2015, they released Howdy, a bot add-on for slack, followed by Botkit, an open source set of building blocks for building bots. They also founded Talkabot, a community of bot builders in Austin.

“Today, Botkit is used by hundreds of thousands of developers across GitHub for building chatbots, apps and custom integrations for major messaging platforms,” according to Brown’s post.

“Over the years, we have partnered with XOXCO and have been inspired by this work,” Microsoft wrote in a news release.

“We have shared goals to foster a community of startups and innovators, share best practices and continue to amplify our focus on conversational AI, as well as to develop tools for empowering people to create experiences that do more with speech and language,” according to Microsoft.

The Microsoft Bot Framework supports more than 360,000 developers.