MICROSOFT'S ONGOING plot to take over Android and iOS from within (known around these parts as the John Hurt Project) has taken a step closer with the latest preview build of Windows 10.
Version 16251, released to Insiders on Wednesday, includes a facility to link directly to an Android phone, via a dedicated "Microsoft Apps" app for Android.
And what wonders does this bring? Well first off, you'll be able to share links between phone and computer. Eventually, that will stretch on to contents, by way of a full-on universal clipboard.
Yeah. And that's it.
Which is all a bit meh really, though it represents the groundwork for much more.
Now, if you've got any hint of "power user" in you, you'll already be familiar with apps that do this and a whole load more - Join is our particular favourite - so for now at least, there's nothing here to really get excited about.
Then, of course, all instances of Chrome in any version on any machine will sync together - sometimes to a fault of overwhelming you with extensions when you first boot - so that's got that covered already. Do better Microsoft.
But it does lay foundations, and it does show intentions. It's hugely unlikely that Windows Mobile is ever going to claw its way back to the levels to compete with iOS and Android, so it is important that as it approaches its second birthday, Windows-as-a-Service is approachable from other mobile operating systems.
Additionally, Microsoft's commitment to mobile apps, including personal assistant Cortana, gives the company leverage in the choices that users make when choosing a desktop, so expect to see more of it.
Whether this is the genesis of something bigger coming in the Fall Creators' Update, remains to be seen, but the lack of iOS support alone shows how far from a state or readiness all this is right now. µ
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