Microsoft’s new love for Android is no betrayal


The news that Microsoft will sell in its U.S. stores came as a surprise to many. Shouldn’t Microsoft be concentrating on keeping its going, while we wait for the ? It’s a move that’s made many Windows Mobile fans unhappy.

But pull back the curtains a little, and it turns out that Microsoft has slowly been making inroads on the Android ecosystem, co-opting Google’s platform and absorbing it into its overall enterprise software strategy. Starting with Office 365, Microsoft has been slowly bending Android to its own image, even providing its own lock screen and launchers to give it that distinctly Microsoft feel.

Making a Microsoft Android

It’s an approach I’ve become very familiar with over the last year, when I stopped using one of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile-based Lumia smartphones and started carrying an Android-based Samsung Galaxy Note 5. What began as an experiment became my everyday smartphone, and I later upgraded to the newer Galaxy S7 Edge. It turned out that everything I could do with my Lumia’s Windows Mobile I could do on my Galaxy’s Android—and quite a bit more, besides.

Much of that is down to Microsoft’s mobile Office 365 apps. The mobile versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint have very similar capabilities across Windows Mobile, iOS, and Android. With your files stored on OneDrive, you also have access to the data you want wherever you are. In my case, that can even be on an underground train, thanks to Wi-Fi’s availability in London’s Tube.