By Jim Hsia, Loqu8 VP Marketing

Loqu8 was founded on an innovative learning paradigm called “augmented learning.” Instead of traditional rote memorization or simulated learning, the company developed an engine to instantly show related information whenever users hovered their mouse over a word.

Two years and 13,000 users later, Loqu8 has built a series of products to help people understand and learn foreign languages. When corporate and university customers asked for flexibility, Loqu8 introduced the first user-customizable instant translation resource. Through a simple menu command, users could add new words and phrases while specifying meanings and usage examples. Today, Loqu8’s iCE Professional, an instant Chinese-English tool ranks among the company’s most popular products.

With prompting from some corporate users at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco last year, Loqu8 started to build a platform for users to find, update and share corporate information throughout their organization. After preliminary evaluations, we concluded that traditional designs relying on extract, transform and load (ETL) manipulations were too static and inflexible. Today’s enterprises demanded real-time, read/write synchronization and security. As a direct result, Loqu8 decided to embrace the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 platform.

By joining Microsoft’s SharePoint 2010 SocialFest, we quickly learned the value of working closely with Microsoft. After a full week of non-stop application development, it’s also hard not to be impressed with the depth and breadth of Microsoft’s commitment to both SharePoint and the BizSpark community of companies. After many late evenings integrating various code modules, we were quite pleased with the way many of our functional challenges were addressed with SharePoint services (Foundation, Server or Workspace). Had we chosen a different integration path, those late evenings would’ve easily turned into several additional months of development.

Loqu8 Prelude scales seamlessly from a personal productivity tool into an organization-wide learning and knowledge management resource. Prelude Enterprise Edition will be available in Spring 2010. For more information, visit www.loqu8.com/products/prelude.

Read & watch video’s about the applications built by the seven startups at Microsoft SharePoint 2010 SocialFest.