Microsoft's focus on Android and iOS is proving to be the right call

Outlook on Android
Outlook on Android (Image credit: Windows Central)

When Microsoft decided to kill Windows Phone in favor of adopting Android and iOS as first class citizens for its mobile experiences, many Windows fans were quick to assume that this plan would backfire and see Microsoft fall out of the mobile space altogether. But in 2019, that couldn't be further from the truth, as Microsoft's mobile apps are proving to be incredibly popular and some of the best on iOS and Android right now.

This strategy has proven particularly successful on Android, where Microsoft's apps are among on the top download charts on Google Play. In the last few days, Your Phone reached number one in the top free apps charts on the Google Play Store. It has over 10 million downloads, as does Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Launcher. Outlook has crossed 100 million downloads, with Skype and Office rocking one billion downloads. That's a huge number!

Microsoft's 'Your Phone Companion' tops Android Google Play rankings

Microsoft also owns SwiftKey, which is many people's keyboard of choice on Android. It's fair to say that all of Microsoft's apps on Android have been a huge success for the company, and now Microsoft is integrating Android into the Windows ecosystem as a first class citizen with Your Phone integration, and is even using Android on the Surface Duo which should further cement the experience between Windows and Android.

I frequently see people in my Twitter DMs claiming that Microsoft's efforts on Android and iOS are wasted, since both platforms aren't Windows. It turns out, however, that it doesn't matter what the platform is underneath. If Microsoft is able to provide quality apps and services on those platforms, users will come. Microsoft's mobile experiences are the best they've ever been in 2019, and it's all thanks to Microsoft quitting out on Windows Phone.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to live in a world where Windows was a third option for smartphones, but we don't live in that world. As such, I'm more than happy with Microsoft focusing entirely on Android and iOS for its mobile efforts, because it means my Microsoft ecosystem experience is better as a result. My Android phone compliments my Windows PC more than a Windows Phone ever did.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads