This overview article is devoted to the study of a trend which is growing rapidly in popularity in the IT industry - chatbots, and the role of Microsoft in their development process. The article will cover the history of chatbots, peculiar properties of bots, the main, and also some unexpected spheres of their application, perspectives and technology limits. We have deliberately chosen Microsoft as the main platform for comparative research. The company does a lot of work in the field of promotion and development of intelligent bots. One of the main steps in this direction is a framework for creation of custom bots Microsoft Bot Framework platform - independent and open source; Microsoft presented it at the Build 2016 exhibition.