Remember when Microsoft angered legions of fans by announcing that the Xbox One would require an Internet connection to use? The company reversed that decision, but thus far, the Xbox Music Android app has functioned in much the same way. Fortunately for it, streaming music is already an established thing, so there won't be nearly as many people excited to find out that the newest version of the app now supports playing playlists offline.
Microsoft isn't really known for designing great apps for Android, but whoever is in charge of the OneNote app is going above and beyond. The UI has been cleaned up dramatically recently and the newest update includes some solid feature additions. This could be – dare I say it – a good Microsoft app on Android.
Despite it being the holiday season, there is little jolliness in Google's legal department. Google has just filed a lawsuit against Rockstar. No, not the game maker of GTA fame. This legal attack is aimed at the Rockstar patent holding company owned jointly by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Sony, and Ericsson. Rockstar has been going after Google and various Android OEMs for patent infringement and Mountain View has apparently had enough.
Rockstar's patents come mostly from the purchase of the Nortel portfolio a few years ago, but Rockstar itself is merely a litigator of patents – it doesn't make anything.
Microsoft's Remote Desktop app for connecting to and controlling Windows machines is just a couple of months old, and so far it's been pretty well-received. It had two updates already - not bad for a major company developing on a competing platform - and today's 8.0.3 adds perhaps the most important new feature: NetBIOS name resolution.
"Hooray! NetBIOS name resolution! That's my favorite remote desktop feature ever!" I hear you cry.
Microsoft Office isn't what it used to be. Now instead of plopping down a sizable upfront payment for software you could use indefinitely, customers commit to paying a monthly fee. Yet either way, every company needs at least one person who knows how to get the software running and whose job it is to ensure that things stay that way. Microsoft's latest Android app, Office 365 Admin, is for them.
This app comes to Android only a month after the launch of the Windows Phone version, and it looks largely the same.
When Microsoft initiated a purchase of Nokia back in September, a lot of Android fans let out a defeated sigh: there was no way the company would ever release Android-powered hardware. Well hold on to your dreams, true believers, because multiple leaks indicate that a new Nokia phone will indeed run Google's open-source OS.
The phone is codenamed "Normandy," though that is almost certain to change to "Lumia Four-Digit Number" if it's released.
Well, this is certainly the nail in Twitter's coffin – Microsoft's Socl has it's own Android app now. What? You've never heard of Socl? It's a social network based around sharing statuses, picture collages, and videos. There's also a strong Bing social search element. But seriously, it's not very popular.
The odds are against most people in the Android world having heard of TouchDevelop by Microsoft. From the start, it was designed to be used with a small touchscreen interface by hobbyists and intended to ease people into programming. Things haven't changed too much in that department, but the project has grown from its humble beginnings on Windows Phone to supporting iOS, Windows, Mac, and now Android.
The app actually doesn't do very much, it only handles push notifications and acts as a shortcut to the website.
Say what you will about Microsoft, but they've never let a little thing like a platform war get in the way of profits. The Bing search app for Android has been around for years, long enough for it to accrue more than a million downloads, and today it gets an update to bring it in line with the fancy pants brand re-launch - note the swanky logo.
On Android Bing isn't really a search app, it's more like a beachhead for a handful of Microsoft web properties.
Stop me if you've heard this one before. Reuters reports that the Rockstar consortium, a joint effort between Apple, Microsoft, Sony, and Blackberry, has sued Google and Android manufacturers Samsung, HTC, LG, ASUStek, Huawei, ZTE, and Pantech over patents formerly held by the now-defunct Nortel Networks. Rockstar won the patents in an auction in 2011 that topped out at $4.5 billion - Google lost the same auction with a $4.4 billion bid.