Microsoft is rebuilding its development team by creating a dedicated Android Microsoft Platform and Experience (AMPX) team.
Microsoft has made its products available for two influential mobile operating systems over the years, but its Android development was combined with its iOS efforts. According to Of Windows Central Jack Bowden, the company is shutting down Android development and creating a dedicated group that will answer Panos Panay, the company’s chief product officer. The new team will be responsible for Surface Duo OS, SwiftKey, Microsoft Launcher, Phone Link and other Android products.
Microsoft confirmed the change in a statement Windows Central.
Like all companies, we regularly evaluate our business. We recently made an organizational change to accelerate our impact and better serve our customers and partners.
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The move would make Android a first-class citizen in Microsoft’s development efforts and reflect a shift in the company’s focus. Sources told Bowden that the company has “big ideas for Android and Windows”, beyond the current level of integration between the two platforms. In fact, Microsoft “expects Android smartphones to be an extension of Windows PCs.”
During CES 2022, Google announced a number of new features aimed at enhanced integration between Android and Windows, including text message sync, file sharing, Bluetooth accessory sharing, and more. In the meantime, Microsoft has added the ability to run Android apps on Windows 11. It seems that Microsoft and Google each have a piece of the puzzle that is needed to more effectively compete with Apple’s approach to providing a tightly integrated experience. Microsoft has the desktop component, while Google has the mobile component.
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Despite the apparent strength of the two companies in their respective areas, they have both struggled to develop their own complete ecosystem. Microsoft’s phone efforts have never received serious traction, and Google’s Chrome OS is not nearly as acceptable or useful as Windows. However, both companies working to better integrate Android and Windows could pose a serious challenge to Apple’s ecosystem.