There are many ways to go after a competitor, and Microsoft isn't storing all of its eggs in one basket. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the company that challenges Android with Windows Phone is investing in Cyanogen Inc.
Yes, we're talking about the same Cyanogen that was built around a custom ROM towards the end of 2013. Microsoft is reportedly a minority investor in a round of equity financing that accumulated roughly $70 million for the startup, during which investors have valued the company in the hundreds of millions. Read More
Microsoft's Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps have been in preview on Android for a few months, first as an invite-only preview then as an open one. Now Redmond appears to be moving forward with the real deal—the preview label is gone, and the final versions are rolling out.
In the dead of night (for those in the US, anyway), Microsoft has released its Outlook Preview app to the Play Store.
Built for Android phones and tablets alike, Microsoft promises that Outlook will help you "get more done from anywhere," handling all your email accounts and attempting to automatically triage your inbox based on what seems most relevant.
For manual triage, the app offers swipe gestures for quickly deleting, archiving, or "scheduling" messages (essentially like snoozing in Google's Inbox). Read More
Microsoft started a closed beta for Office on Android tablets back in November, but today it's opening things up. Just mosey over to the Play Store, and you can download Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for free, no beta invite required. These are still preview apps, but they seem ready for prime time.
Microsoft Lync is instant messaging for people wearing suits and ties. The service, which you generally won't see outside of corporate environments, supports typing, talking, or staring at each other's faces through an Android device. Now Microsoft has rolled out an update that adds new features and brings more feature parity with the Windows Phone and iOS versions of the software.
For starters, the Lync Android app can now handle Anonymous Join, which lets users join a Lync meeting without an account. Read More
Microsoft has acquired HockeyApp, a service that helps developers test their apps and get feedback from users. The company plans to use the platform, akin to Apple's TestFlight (purchased early this year), to attract app creators to its development tools. The folks at Redmond intend to integrate HockeyApp with the Application Insights service in Visual Studio Online to improve support for Android and iOS.
HockeyApp offers developers integrated crash reporting, information on beta distribution, and a built-in user feedback system. Read More
Microsoft has been surprisingly generous when it comes to apps for Android, a platform it's technically still competing against. (Sort of.) Today the company launched an entire suite of Android apps to support its MSN/Bing web platform. All six of them tie directly into existing services: MSN Food & Drink, MSN Health & Fitness, MSN Money, MSN News, MSN Sports, and MSN Weather. They're all free to download in the Play Store right now. Read More
In a move that shows Microsoft's interest in improving its products for rival platforms, the company has acquired Accompli, a developer whose email client is available for both Android and iOS.
Accompli, as the app is also called, triages your inbox, giving priority to the messages that may be the most important. It combines this with filters and other features geared towards giving you control of your mail.
Accompli currently sits in the Play Store with somewhere between 10,000 - 50,000 installs, but the number of users impacted by this acquisition will be much higher. Read More
The Office mobile app just got an update, and for once it's bringing something you might care about. The latest update adds the Dropbox integration that was announced early this month. You can now open, edit, and save documents in Dropbox using the Office app.
A lot has happened in the world of Minecraft since the last big update came around. For starters, Microsoft purchased developer Mojang for $2.5 billion. That sums it up pretty well, actually. But don't fret, Minecraft Pocket Edition is still alive and kicking on Google Play.
The folks at Mojang have been hard at work, and they're now pushing out version 0.10. The changelog for this one is going to blow your mind. Read More