Microsoft recently released and updated several Apps for Apple’s iOS platform. In itself this may not seem like a huge deal, but I find it exciting that Microsoft is embracing the iPhone and iPad even in the face of it’s own mobile platform. I hope that this is a sign of things to come and I welcome the thought of Microsoft publishing more Apps to Apple’s App Store.
Currently Microsoft has approximately thirteen Apps available on the App Store ranging from productivity to gaming, some of which are turning out to be surprisingly useful, such as Skydrive, a free app designed to access Microsoft’s Skydrive cloud service. Similar to iDisk and Dropbox, Skydrive allows you to store and share your videos, photos, and other files and retrieve them from other devices or computers. SkyDrive, which has been available to the Windows platform for several years, offers 25GB of storage for free, giving it a major advantage over both Dropbox, which offers 2GB of storage for free, and iCloud which offers 5GB. It does require that you register a Windows Live account — but no big deal considering the tradeoff.
Additionally, Microsoft updated its popular productivity App for iPhone OneNote, which is now available for the iPad. OneNote is a powerful App for taking notes, collecting ideas, and keeping track of to-dos that can sync information using Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud service. OneNote is free from the App Store.
Beyond productivity Apps, Microsoft has also released My Xbox Live, an App for connecting with friends and Kinectimals, a popular game for Windows Phone and Xbox 360 that takes advantage of Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral. This came as a bit of a surprise considering the notoriety of the title and its potential to convert users to the Windows Phone platform. It shows, however, that Microsoft is no longer testing the iOS waters and that they are looking to engage iOS users with quality software, which again is refreshing and welcome.
What Apps would you like to see come from Microsoft?