Redmond-based software giant Microsoft made an announcement that it is planning to release a “Universal” set of mobile Office apps by the end of this month designed for Windows 10 Mobile.
The news, which broke on industry site TechCrunch, revealed that the venerable company has a two-pronged productivity strategy going forward for its new Windows 10 operating system coming this year: its new Office 2016 productivity suite for desktops, and for touchscreen devices such as tablets and Windows Phones running Windows 10, a new series of “Office Universal” mobile apps.
Understood to be adaptable in nature, these Universal apps will provide dynamic design flexibility to provide better functionality for users no matter what type of mobile device they’re using or what size screen their device has. This is likely to be highly useful in mobile handsets with smaller-sized screens, especially since productivity software on small-screen mobile devices has a reputation of being cumbersome and ill-conceived when it comes to the usage of limited screen real estate.
So far, Microsoft has been silent on whether the Office Universal app environment will be ported to other devices running rival operating systems like Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android. However, a recent announcement from both Microsoft and Cyanogen revealed an alliance between the two; the open-source Android-based Cyanogen operating system, which can be installed on rooted Android devices instead of Google’s software, will have the full support of Microsoft going forward when it comes to mobile app compatibility.
Experts say that this tactic on the part of the Redmond company likely reflects Microsoft’s desire to break into the Android platform in its own way without having to navigate Google corporate infrastructure. Cyanogen has been growing quickly as a company, securing more than $80 million in capital from its latest round of investment fundraising and blossoming into a fully-fledged corporation just a few years after the firm was founded by programmer Steve Kondik in 2013. The open source OS was created originally to provide additional functionality not present in Google’s stock Android experience and has since captured the imagination of DIY mobile device programmers.