While Microsoft's wide release of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint for tablet users was more than welcome, there were more than a few strings attached. Most notably, it was incompatible with Android 5.0+, making the newest devices unable to use them. The other major hangup was the lack of support for x86 processors, which basically means all Intel SoCs, a popular choice in the midrange tablet market. Microsoft is now working on a semi-private beta that adds support for both of those groups.
Microsoft announced Skype Room Systems last month, and now it has released a companion app for Android. This software is aimed at business-running types looking to use Skype to create virtual meeting spaces.
The system is built around Windows 10, but the Android app does let you control and monitor some functions. These include seeing when you're waiting in the lobby, tweaking your volume settings, turning off your camera, and hanging up on a call.
We've heard Cyanogen Inc. CEO Kirt McMaster express his desire to break away from Google on more than one occasion, and it looks like Microsoft will be helping him do just that. Cyanogen OS will soon come bundled with a suite of Microsoft apps and services including Bing search, Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, and Office.
Wouldn't it be nice if every international tech company was as accommodating to competing platforms as Microsoft? The company's Android support for the last year or so has been nothing short of amazing - it must make all twenty Windows Phone users really pissed off at Google for its lack of reciprocation. The latest Microsoft app to make the jump to Android is Delve, a collaboration tool for Office 365 users.
New to the Play Store is Microsoft's Office Remote for Android, an app whose name almost perfectly describes its function. While your phone may not be the place to present your latest Powerpoint or show off your Excel PivotTables, Office Remote turns your handset into the command center for these sorts of broadcasts. In other words, it allows you to use your Android device like a "clicker" that happens to be loaded with lots of other features.
Google Wallet has existed for almost four years, but everyone suddenly wants to be involved with mobile payments now that Apple Pay is a thing. Samsung Pay is expected later this year, and Microsoft is rumored to be preparing its own NFC payment service called Microsoft Payments. The news comes by way of a regulatory filing in which Microsoft applies to deploy a money transmission service in all 50 states.
Office Lens is an app that lets you capture notes, business cards, reciepts, and any other scrap of paper as a digital file. Microsoft released a version of Office Lens for Windows Phone last year, and now it's coming to Android as a beta. It's free, but you need to do the usual beta program song and dance.
Azure is Microsoft's answer to cloud computing, a back-end platform that powers services with general computer users knowing nothing of its role (or existence). Now the company is taking its offering mobile by announcing the Azure App Service.
This mobile-geared expansion of Microsoft's cloud platform lets developers create web apps using a framework of their choice, including .NET, Java, PHP, and Python. It supports the creation of native apps on mobile platforms, including Android.
It should come as no surprise that Microsoft wants to have a larger footprint in the mobile market. So the company is taking one of its flagship products and having it shipped preloaded on a significantly larger number of phones and tablets. No, silly, not Windows. I'm talking about Office.
Microsoft has announced that it is partnering with a good number of OEMs to have Office shipped out of the box on a plethora of hardware over the next year.