A mobile app store that takes on Apple and Google
Microsoft doesn’t have a mobile operating system after it discontinued Windows Phone in 2019, which technically started in 2010. Microsoft has no plans to create a mobile version of Windows, and the tech giant will instead offer its services on Android.
With the Surface Duo, Microsoft became an Android OEM, and the company even created an internal Android department.
This new section, “Android Microsoft Platform and Experiences”, is under the Panos Panay Windows heading. The mobile division includes the Surface Duo OS team and engineers working on other Android services. It looks like the Android division working with the Xbox team could soon lead to a new mobile store on Android.
Microsoft does not want to give up on mobile and plans to create its own app store to compete with Google and Android. Microsoft’s first mobile app store caters to the needs of gamers, but it can also house the company’s Android apps, such as To Do and Launcher.
In a new interview, Microsoft Xbox chief Phil Spencer suggested that the company wants to create a rival to the Google Play Store, but is focusing on gaming initially.
“We’re definitely getting support from regulators when we talk about opening up mobile devices and being a credible third-party alternative on those devices — and we’re a long way from that today,” Spencer told The Times.
Unfortunately, we don’t know anything about this rival to Microsoft’s Google Play Store and how it might work, but we can safely assume that Microsoft’s app store will be available exclusively for Android phones.
If the Activision Blizzard merger is approved by the government, we may learn more about the secretive Play Store rival service.
Microsoft loves Android
As mentioned at the beginning, Microsoft strongly believes in offering its services on Android for a better mobile experience. A dedicated Android section also brings Android and Windows closer.
There have been a number of internal changes in the team that will result in better and more timely updates to Microsoft’s mobile apps. This confirms that Microsoft is serious about its Android investment and sees the Google-dominated mobile operating system as a new way to bring desktops, consoles and mobile devices closer together.
Windows Latest understands that Microsoft has “big” plans for Android and Windows integration in the future, with the new features coming first to Samsung Galaxy phones.
In addition to software, Microsoft also plans to launch a successor to the Surface Duo 3, a phone with a foldable screen. The Duo 3 could have a built-in 180-degree foldable screen and be similar to other foldable phones on the market.
Microsoft is also hoping to expand its lineup of Android smartphones, but we don’t know if or when that will happen.