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Microsoft and Android (Google)?

March 4, 2010

Today Microsoft released its first app for Google’s Android mobile operating platform.  The app, Tag, turns your device into a bar code reader (similar to effort already in existence by Google) that has basically limitless possibilities and applications.  However, the reason this is so strange is because Microsoft is in direct competition with Google and releasing an app for the system is counterintuitive.  However, I think its a good move.

The more good technology Microsoft releases the better. It’s easy to get caught up in the branding and lose sight of what actually matters: the technology.  As long as Microsoft is putting innovative and useful technology into the hand of users, the company will keep a hold of the market.  To some degree, it doesn’t matter what platform the consumer uses the app on, all that matters is that the app is being used.

Many Android consumers are also Microsoft users. The big three operating systems are Microsoft, Apple and Linux, so chances are that Android users ARE using Microsoft products, versus iPhone users.  It could be away to help recapture those users with the release of the Windows phone.  They are more likely to be willing to adapt Microsoft products and remain and more malleable group.

In reality, Android should be blocking the app.  Microsoft is acting rationally and appropriately by releasing apps for Android and iPhone (in December 2008) in order to reach larger audiences and stay relevant.  Not sure if the app will actually catch on, but I would like to see similar releases in the future.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2010 5:38 pm

    However, the reason this is so strange is because Microsoft is in direct competition with Google and releasing an app for the system is counterintuitive.

    Not really. Microsoft does develop some hardware, but it is primarily a software company. That is why it releases Microsoft Office for Mac (and used to also release Internet Explorer for Mac). Anything it can do to get people back into the Microsoft ecosystem it will. It’s about brand-name recognition and loyalty. If people like this Microsoft app on Android, maybe they’ll like other Microsoft apps… maybe that’ll lead to them getting a Windows Mobile phone next time instead of an Android phone. Same deal with Apple making iTunes for Windows.

    In reality, Android should be blocking the app.

    Google doesn’t play that game, and that’s one of the reasons I like Google. There’s a lot to dislike about Google, but the one thing I do admire about them is they play nice. They don’t try to lock you into Google products. If you want to leave, you can leave. They try to comply with open standards. You can autoforward your GMail to another account if you want to switch. You can check GMail with IMAP. Try doing either of those things with Hotmail some time. Apple has a pretty slick product with the iPhone, but the arbitrary removal of apps from the iTunes App Store is annoying.

    Don’t fight dirty. Let the market decide. If people use your app, it should be because it’s a good app, not because you blocked the better app.

  2. April 15, 2011 1:00 am

    That’s way more clever than I was expcentig. Thanks!

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