Wunderlist's founder wants to buy the app back from Microsoft

Wunderlist on Windows Phone
Wunderlist on Windows Phone (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Wunderlist's founder wants to purchase the app back from Microsoft.
  • Microsoft acquired Wunderlist and has progressively rolled its features into Microsoft To Do.
  • Wunderlist will eventually be shut down once Microsoft ports all of its features to Microsoft To Do.

Wunderlist's founder, Christian Reber, wants to purchase Wunderlist back from Microsoft before the app is shut down (via The Verge). Reber tweeted his hope to buy the app back over the weekend and mentioned both Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Microsoft General Manager for Tasks Marcus Ash. Microsoft acquired Wunderlist in 2015 and the app is set to be shut down once its features are ported to Microsoft To Do. Reber wants to keep Wunderlist running and expressed his sadness that the app is being shut down.

Wunderlist was reportedly purchased for between $100 to $200 million in 2015 and Microsoft has gradually ported its features over to Microsoft To Do. The process has taken years as Wunderlist's APIs are powered by Amazon Web Services. Microsoft chose to rewrite code and move everything over to its own cloud, Azure.

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Wunderlist is still a highly-rated productivity app, and some users prefer it over Microsoft To Do. Microsoft has improved Microsoft To Do significantly since its launch, but it still falls behind Wunderlist in some categories.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

  • Once all the features are ported to To-Do, why keep Wunderlist? I used to use Wunderlist, but I've since moved to To-Do. There will always be users holding onto old tech like Windows XP.
  • I never understood why they bought Wunderlist in the first place. Seems like they paid a lot for a well known brand in the space, only to kill off that brand and spend *years* trying to re-create what already was created, all under a different brand. It didn't really make much sense to me, especially as creating to-do lists was already possible in a variety of Microsoft applications (Outlook, OneNote, Cortana, etc.). Seemed very redundant.
  • Part of it could be removing a competitor. They not only get the source code, but they have less competition.
  • The acquisition included several talented developers joining Microsoft I think. I'm sure it's been a hassle to rewrite the code and move it over to Azure, but the tasks team and team running Microsoft To-Do have done a good job and I think some of them are carryovers from the Wunderlist team.
  • If you look at to do now you'll see they have combined those disparate task apps into a single platform which is what I think they were going for.
  • Acquiring Wunderlist got them all of those users, and presumably providing a migration path to To-Do will be part of shutting down Wunderlist. If they sell it back to the founder, that almost certainly means fewer users on To-Do, which would be against MS' interests, unless his offer price is high enough to justify that long-term hit to user growth on its Azure services.
  • Was good when he got the money :). Now that they will most likely shut it down he wants it back. Maybe he can buy it for 200M $, I wonder if he will pay for it.