Cortana on Android

Today's Microsoft is one that is everywhere. Its most popular apps and services, even some of the less so ones, are available across platforms.

Whether you're using OS X, iOS or Android, you can fill your phone, tablet or computer with Microsoft without having to use Windows. Sure, Microsoft would prefer everyone used Windows, but it also recognizes that however hard it tries, that's just not going to happen.

Case in point; Android. Our pal Russell Holly over on Android Central has examined how good an experience you can get by using Microsoft apps and Microsoft services instead of Google. And the results are pretty surprising.

A snippet:

"Between Arrow Launcher and Next Lockscreen for personalized access to apps and features, and half a dozen clever extras like Word Lens and On{X}, Microsoft as the default on an Android phone starts to look not only feature complete, but downright enjoyable."

The piece examines whether or not a Microsoft loaded Android phone would be a good experience. We've had past efforts which included a tie-up with Verizon to pre-load Bing as default search in place of Google, and of course, the Nokia X. Neither were particularly well received.

But as Microsoft readies its latest iteration of its own mobile OS, it has been working hard to produce compelling applications for other platforms. Comments frequent on Windows Central like to begrudge Microsoft's 'priorities' with launching everything on Android and iOS, but the truth is, it's necessary. It's necessary, important, and Microsoft is really good at it. Microsoft is, after all, a software and services company first and foremost.

I've been trying a similar thing these past couple of weeks on an Android phone. Partly because I've moved as much as I can away from Google apps out of personal preference, and partly to see what it's like. Android still needs Google. Amazon proved that forking it just doesn't work that well, but Microsoft has done the next best thing. Outlook can replace Gmail while still pulling in those accounts, Cortana can replace Google Now, Office, Groove, Xbox One Smartglass, the MSN apps, they're all there. And they're fantastic.

We all want a better life for and with Windows 10 Mobile. But as it turns out, Microsoft is making a serious play at not just having its stuff everywhere, but being the best at it, too.

You'll find the full post from Android Central at the link below.