Microsoft is surprisingly close to making a decent Android phone

Anytime you see the words Microsoft and Android in the same sentence suggesting a new products, fans will come out of the woodwork to remind everyone of that dark time four years ago when Verizon forced Bing on a bunch of phones. In the minds of these users, the event was followed by a grand angry rebellion that banished Bing to the Netherspire and restored Google to its rightful place at the top of our phones and tablets. The people had spoken, Microsoft had been defeated, and there's no need to consider ever going down that dark road again.

The truth is a little less exciting, with Google inviting manufacturers to participate in legally binding agreements that ensured Google search sat atop everything in exchange for access to the Play Store, but the end result isn't all that different. Microsoft could make its own phone without access to the Google Play Store, but that usually ends poorly for everyone involved. In order to have their apps and services installed on something running Google-powered Android, Microsoft needed to go the long way and offer compelling apps that users would want to install and use instead of the pre-loaded Google counterparts.

You may not be aware of it, but Microsoft is surprisingly close to making this a reality.

Microsoft Next Lockscreen

The key to making an app people will actually consider using in replacement of Google's defaults these days, in many cases, is to go all out and try to replace all of Google's apps at once. Google's integration and cross-app functionality makes it hard to replace a single app with something that doesn't play nice with the rest, even if that one app has features you prefer. Going all in and replacing the whole suite of Google apps isn't easy, but Microsoft has been slowly moving in that direction for years now.

Microsoft as the default on an Android phone starts to look not only feature complete, but downright enjoyable.

Mobile versions of Office apps to replace Drive, Outlook to replace Gmail, OneNote to handle Keep, Skype for messaging and video chat, Groove Music instead of Google Play Music, Nokia Here to replace Maps, and of course OneDrive to connect them all together an offer cloud storage. This handles your basics, and even two years ago might have been enough to help people make the switch, but Google's integration goes a lot deeper than cross-app chatter nowadays.

Microsoft needed Cortana to replace voice search and act as a virtual assistant now that Google Now was baked in to all of the search functions. Between Arrow Launcher and Next Lockscreen for personalized access to apps and features, and half a dozen clever extras like Word Lens and On{X}, Microsoft as the default on an Android phone starts to look not only feature complete, but downright enjoyable.

Microsoft Arrow Launcher

The one big gap in Microsoft's plan for total Google Service replacement at the moment is a browser. While there are dozens of alternatives to Google's Chrome in the Play Store, it'd be nice to eventually see Edge come to Android with some of the features that make it interesting on Windows 10.

Looking at all of these apps installed and used in place of the current Google Apps demonstrates just how close the company is to a complete thought.

Perhaps more important than drawing on a web page in screenshot form and better overall performance is the continued integration efforts. Things like in-app searches like Chrome has, or the ability to quickly export a line from a website to OneNote, or even the ability to save something you're downloading from the web directly to OneDrive. There's a lot of potential there, and Microsoft has clearly demonstrated the potential to make this happen.

If the long-term goal for Microsoft's adoption of Android is to make a phone with this software deeply embedded in the system, either through continued cooperation with Cyanogen or a full on Microsoft-made Android phone with all of this software onboard, looking at all of these apps installed and used in place of the current Google apps demonstrates just how close the company is to a complete thought. It may not be what many Google fans are looking for in a smartphone, but it could absolutely be what Windows 10 users who aren't interested in the current crop of Windows-based phones are looking for, and that group isn't nearly as small as many Android enthusiasts would like to think it is.

Microsoft Arrow Launcher

Microsoft and Verizon messed up a couple of years ago by trying to force something on everyone, and as it stands right now trying to assemble all of Microsoft's apps into a cohesive thought out of the box is a lot of work, but there's a place somewhere in the middle that could have genuine appeal if done in a way that offers this complete alternative way of doing things in a compelling package. If nothing else, it'd be interesting to see that middle ground come to life.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

198 Comments
  • Androsoft? Microdroid.? I agree it would be interesting and could be a kicker for Amazon to have the Amazon app store on there. The hold up is still the way apps are updated on there not to mention some of the playstore features/Google services we take for granted Check out the new Nexus! https://youtu.be/u3uFOavLo_w, not a Rick roll
  • but then again Fire phone flopped. The reason being it didnt have any google services
  • That was one of numerous reasons. It was also weirdly expensive, full of gimmicky (if kind of cool) features, and locked to one carrier. Not having Google services sure didn't help, but it's hardly a glaring example of lack of Google integration killing a product.
  • Right but with google services, it would have been easier to forgive some of the other crap.
  • Locking it to 1 carrier was the main problem. The Fire phone, as well as the Facebook phone, are not iPhones. There is no benefit for a company to be carrier exclusive anymore. It didn't help that those entries were pretty underwhelming spec-wise, too.
  • Plain FUD. It did not have the Google Services PRE-INSTALLED. But you could install them if you wanted. Same with most Amazon Tablets.
  • Care to guess what percentage of smartphone owners are tech-savvy users? When most people buy tech products, they just want them to work.
  • I mean if we are talking about the firephone, a phone you need to buy from amazon and set up in your account that runs android..probably all of them? I mean if your not tech savvy, get an iphone. if you can't afford one you get a 20$ prepaid LG android shithole. nobody would get a firephone and NOT be able to install a simple APK.
  • Say that to all the mother's out there whose son baught them an android phone, to just download an apk. I have to help people my mother's age to simply restart a phone and you think they can just find an apk and know what to do when they actually find one? Haha People these days have no sense. Posted via the Android Central App
  • This! Posted via the Android Central App on my Galaxy S3 Neo Dual Sim which thankfully doesn't have S-pen and does not have a horrible metal body.
  • AndroSoft sounds like a really confused male enhancement treatment.
  • It's what they give after the 4th hour. Posted
  • Hahah Posted via the Android Central App
  • mmm. Dehancement <?>
  • Not only interesting, but it's not far from how I use my phone. I'm the type of person outlined in the article, only I really liked Windows Phone. But they've ended relationships with Verizon and the new flagships won't be coming out on VZW. So I got a Note 5. I've replaced most of Google's defaults with MS stuff and the experience isn't much different from WP, with the entire Android ecosystem as a bonus. Very smart of MS. And it actually helped Google by making my decision to switch less painful. This is a benefit for everyone.
  • When was it ever announced that they ended relationships with VZW?
  • I am the same. My 1520 started acting wonky, and I took my wife's Galaxy S5 when she upgraded. I replaced Google with MS. The home screen has no Google apps on it except for Chrome. Works like a charm. Will see what the new Lumias look like, but I may pick up the new Huawei Nexus phablet and convert it to Microsoft.
  • I've never used a Windows phone, but being someone who uses his phone for work (note taking, communicating, dealing with documents, etc.)... being able to do everything in a way that is compatible with Microsoft products is a very big deal.
    The recent flush of solid Microsoft Office suite stuff has been a big benefit.
    I do not use their Outlook email system (on the phone) because gmail is pretty good and Android's generic "mail" program manages my outlook.com mail well enough.
    More and more, I can leave my tablet and computer and just do my job with the Note 4 .... amazing to have an office suite in my pocket!
  • Outlook on Windows 10 Mobile was superior to Outlook on Android for the most part. The focused inbox feature is fantastic on Android that is somehow missing on W10M. However, the W10M version has much smaller fonts and looks much more like the desktop counterpart. I really miss that part. And a few others. @gar216 - They announced they are ending partnerships that weren't beneficial to Microsoft and Verizon was pretty high on that list. They didn't do anything for the Lumia line other than lock up the 930 in the US, which was a great phone but it's 18 months old. The 950/950XL won't be on Verizon and I think it's most likely they'll be sold direct by MS off contract. They may support VZW but I'm not going to spend $700+ on the phone I want at this point. My wife would kill me.
  • Same here. I stuck with WP until earlier this month and had a 1520 for the past few years but it came to the point where I just felt WP wasn't going to be what I needed so I switched. I like Android a lot to be honest and the app ecosystem is amazing compared to WP. I've made most of the MS products defaults for me (OneDrive, Office, Outlook, Skype, etc.) and it works just fine. What's funny is that it almost works better than on WP. Plus MS updates their apps all the time so I'm perfectly happy living in an Android world using MS apps. It's to me the best of both worlds.
  • I moved from WP to Android and installed all the MS apps, including Cortana, Here Drive, etc. but there are some things that I consider superior on WP, for instance OneDrive was faster on my Nokia Icon, Cortana was a lot better on WP too, and on Android there's no keyboard that you can download that corrects better than WP Keyboard, and I noticed that to do some things it takes more steps on android, some features like tap to navigate from an email or text messages does not exist in android, etc.
    But overall I'm happy because I have Cortana and Google Now in the same device, Here and Google Maps, MS services and Google Services, etc. etc. both of them in the same device...
  • Can cortana be set up to replace google now? Like always running in the background or whatever and ready to respond to voice command?
  • You can setup Cortana as your default Personal Assistant when you hold the home button but the "Hey Cortana!" doesn't work, so "Ok Google!" will work all the time running in the background even if your default PA is Cortana. Right now Cortana on Android is not better than Google Now, I really think Cortana is better but only on WP.
  • Just be careful. Microsoft is famous for "embrace and extend". In other words, typical Microsoft would co-opt Android, add its own proprietary extensions to the platform, and then make its most popular apps like Office crippled or not work at all on vanilla Android. It would be nice if Microsoft has changed its ways, but IMO the jury is still out.
  • The 3rd E is extinguish. Yet, there is no need for Microsoft to extinguish Android or iOS. Nor should they want to. This is a services play. They want people using Office 365 and their other online services. The genius of their tactics is now they don't HAVE to own the dominant mobile platform. They have a wide suite of apps across all major mobile platforms that tie into their services., meaning any mobile user on Android, iPhone, or WP is potentially a customer. We are in a vastly different world and MSFT is a wildly different company than they were in the 90s. They aren't just an OS and productivity software company anymore. I don't see them trying to kill or co-opt Android or iOS anytime soon. I think the Cyanogen OS thing is an experiment. They probably know Cyanogen isn't even going to reach the levels of WP in marketshare.
  • I agree with you. The new MS is completely different. You hear it at every event they have, every talk both internally (from what I've heard) and to partners. They're about Office, cloud and mobile. Mobile is not WP. It's all the mobile OS', and they're not trying to take over anything. They want to retain their huge Office share, and add support of all of their sys administration tools to Android, iOS, etc., and they want their cloud services, both personal and enterprise, to be ubiquitous. Given how good most of these offerings are, that's not a bad thing for consumers. Competition is great. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The fact they showed up to the Apple event to show off Office on the iPad Pro pretty much sums up their new philosophy. They want us using their software and services no matter what platform we're on. Windows is becoming less and less important to MS. Which is good, because the underlying OS is becoming less and less important to the industry.
  • Widows is a huge part of Microsoft, it's still run on over 90% of PC's worldwide. I think at first Microsoft felt threatened by the onslaught of smartphones and tablets but then realized that it's still retaining PC OS loyalty but losing loyalty to it's services. By making it's best services exclusive to PC's, people were looking to mobile developers for alternate solutions and developers including Google delivered. Microsoft needs to win back those customers before Android becomes a mature PC OS which as mobile devices become more and more powerful it won't be long before Android achieves maturity as an OS. As far as iOS, I don't think it has the flexibility to mature into a OS capable of running on PC's. Posted via the Android Central App on the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
  • It amazes me when people can't grasp this. People on Windows Central b!tch and moan that MS is a trader for supporting other platforms and they might abandon Windows Phone. They just don't get it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Trader??? Or did you mean type "Traitor" ??
  • Lol. Traitor. Thx. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I think Cyanogen is already bigger than WP.
  • There is no official YouTube app on Windows Phone.
  • Not really a problem third party solutions are better anyway...
  • The third party solutions to YouTube on Windows Phone are rubbish. Posted via the Android Central App via My Nexus 6
  • What's so much better about Android YouTube App vs MyTube or TubeCast or MetroTube? Posted via the Android Central App
  • TubeCast is pretty phenomenal on Win10 & even on WP8.1. Haven't missed not having an official youtube app in a long time. Someone saying they're 'rubbish' hasn't used one lately.
  • The fact that you can browse other YouTube channels without your current video stop playing something that all Windows Phone equivalents of YouTube doesn't have and all the YouTube alternatives on Windows Phone simply sucks including their UI, Google and Android do everything a million times better than Windows Phone. Posted via the Android Central App via My Nexus 6
  • You are wrong, I use Mytube, and Tubecase and this feature to play in background came a long ago. You may need to check out again.
  • if i were you i wouldn say those apps are rubbish. remember we had continuous playback (with closed app) YEARS! before google bothered to give you this. and dont even try to say that "youtube is a video platform why would you close the app"...youtube is also big music platform, and MORE IMPORTANT: NO COMPANY should dictate how a user uses his app. you have to addapt to customers, not forcing them. microsoft learned it. google not yet. maybe they will, after all these anti-trust suits will break their had.
  • tolani05 ; You figured that rubbish statement out by yourself without help on your Nexus 6?... Get help by using windows phone with these third party apps then come back and apologize for your wrong doing.
  • That's actually false. The 3rd party YouTube apps on Windows Phone are stellar. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sorry the third party YouTube apps are lame if you're browsing a YouTube channel on Android and even iOS your current video continues to play with while minimised at the bottom right of the screen with audio playing as well. You can't do that on any of the third party apps on Windows Phone. Google's official YouTube app on Android is superior and the best. Posted via the Android Central App via My Nexus 6
  • @tolani05: you really don't have a clue mate...youtube 3rd party apps on WP are some of the best work on the platform i've seen...consistent and high quality support...
  • All the YouTube alternatives on Windows Phone lack one Important feature continuous playback while browsing other YouTube channels,which Android has and even iOS has. But the Android YouTube app is superior to both Windows Phone crap and iOS anyway. You're the one who doesn't have a clue what a crap platform you're defending on Windows Phone and it's garbage UI called 'live tiles' Posted via the Android Central App via My Nexus 6
  • Yah man! I hate google for that, but I have to submit to google when I choose to change to Samsung... hahaha But I still hate google for being a bitch to WP user.
  • Windows Phone is rubbish I don't blame Google for ignoring Windows Phone as it doesn't have enough of a user base to bother with. Posted via the Android Central App via My Nexus 6
  • nobody blames google for not supporting windows phone. thats stupid. i think the blame should be for not supporting GOOGLE USERS which are on windows phone. and if i were a google fan and i would see how google doesnt give a crap about me, i will never ever look at them twice. in out world, tech has changed since 90s, and it looks like google doesnt see it. microsoft is no longer forcing anyone to anything. while google is fired with anti-trust suits from all corners of the world. tech is now more mainstream than ever, in the smartphone era. and you cannot possibly tell an adult what to do just like that. given that the industry is now mature, you cannot put the users to do what you want, but is you as a company who have to do what users want. and let me tell you something, for me personally i wouldnt notice if google disappears tomorrow, except for youtube. do you think that is a good thing for google? nope. sure, i use chrome and google search too, but only for convenience until competition will mature(looking at you Edge), and is only youtube to which i could not find a replacement (but i assure you that there are people who dont need youtube either). bottom line, i will always use something that allows me to use it(how, when, where i want) instead if it using me. and my friend, if google doesnt change how it does business, it will face what microsoft faced: a massive importance drop in people's lives.
  • That's what Google uses your data for, to improve the experience and cater to your preferences, Cortana can't match Google Now. You could say the Google's priority is the US because that's it's home country. To say that Google doesn't care about its users is at least if you're referring to Android users. And why should Google care about a platform that's already failed and said users are not using Android? Does Apple care about users not using Safari for Windows? Exactly as Safari on Windows was buggy and kept crashing and hadn't been updated since 2012 and Apple no longer supports Windows with Safari anymore. Posted via the Android Central App via My Nexus 6
  • When is the last time you have thoroughly used Windows Phone or Cortana? I ditched Google Now a long time because of what Cortana could do that was useful that Google Now couldn't. Responding to texts via via while driving down the road would be a big one. People got frustrated at work because I wasn't responding on long trips with Google Now. I've got a GS6 and a Oneplus One on the desk waiting for when I get an itch to play again after previous frustrating attempts at getting things done. I spent two solid weeks each on my GS6 and OPO trying to add systems built into my cheap Windows Phone from day 1. I switch back periodically when I want first party apps. I enjoy Android casually but for work it has been frustrating. Google did have 1 up on package tracking but Cortana has that in W10M. I know. I sound confused but I have a love/hate relationship with Android. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sorry but Windows Phone isn't for me. It's also restricted and you can't even have third party keyboards like you can on Android, even iOS has that now. I've used Windows Phone enough to know I will never use it again. Android is just too far ahead of Windows Phone and Windows 10 isn't going to convince me either. The fact is Microsoft apps are better than on their own platform. Sorry but the ship has sailed for Microsoft as they've proven they don't have what it takes to succeed in the mobile OS space. Posted via the Android Central App via My Nexus 6
  • Dude. Release the hate. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Isn't that exactly what Google is doing right now?
  • This conversation is now so old, my comment is irrelevant.
  • I wouldn't be surprised if they did. They're the only ones with a comparable ecosystem to that of Google outside the Play Store app. All MS needs to go is gather enough Android app ports and boom. They have a great alternative to Google Android. Posted via the Android Central App
  • they couldnt get apps to be ported to their platform then how the heck will they port apps to their store?
  • Before it was porting to a windows app....
    WP10 (see Astoria) is java apps running natively little to no changes needed.
    Most of the android apps will run with no changes (a few odd errors-google services mostly) but it shows how close it is ....and that means its just a very simple thing for devs.
    With cyanogen going with more MS services - those versions of the apps may be a good fit for them too?
  • think of it like this: traditionally speaking, when you would have ported an app from ios/android to windows, you would have done something similar to translating a text from a language to another. basically, you would have translated the java android app to c# wp app, for example. but now, with windows 10 mobile, you dont have to do that anymore. all you have to do is to replace the call for android services (maps and so on) with a call for microsoft services, and voila, your app is ready. how? well, putting it in a very basic way, imagine windows 10 mobile having a very good and efficient android emulator, somewhere very deep inside it. see it? now developers, depending on the complexity of their app, will afford to spend just one day or few hours to make their already existent android app available to millions of users who want it on windows. unlike in the past, where a lot of work was needed, and just a few millions of users will not justify the cost of time and other resources.
  • THIS -^..................I fully expect them to have fully working versions of new applications at their 10/6 event, showing this off. Anotherwords - a phone, that is fully compatible, and working in sync with your desktop pc (if its running W10), that now has access to every app under the sun due to all of the hard work that they have done enabling .apk support into W10 Mobile. I used Android for 6 years, only recently switching to WP (little over a year ago) and a Lumia Icon. I switched because of the Lumia Camera app, .dgn raw file support, superior optics, and the stability of the platform - not a stupid chat app. I had a lot of issues with Android, lag, lag, crash, etc.........I know its better now (ive since flashed CY10 on my old Android phone, and enjoy it as a media player in my house). Ive been extremely happy with Windows 10 Mobile technical preview on my Icon, and am looking forward to the new 950/XL launch to see what continiuum is all about. The UI of W10 Mobile is refreshing, its alive, and customizable to your heart's content, yet secure. It strikes a balance - more customizable than IOS and more secure than Android. Don't knock it till you try it, you never know, you may like it. All this being said - I do think MS made a lot of stupid decisions - instead of wasting billions on Nokia acquisition, they should have paid their OEM's to make the flagship phones with Windows Phone OS on them. A Note 5 without Touchwiz, running Windows 10 Mobile with some custom S-Pen apps integrated would be an amazing device.
  • An Android phone without Google services. I'm not interested. Posted.
  • Come on, live a little. Change is nice sometimes. Posted via the Android Central App
  • +1 I hate feeling tied down to one ecosystem. Even though Apple will never be an option for me Posted via the Android Central App
  • This is a tough concept though. In the end, isn't it really about picking one ecosystem and sticking with it? It becomes expensive and cumbersome to switch cloud storage of documents, communication, music, photos, etc every time you feel like switching ecosystems. That's not even mentioning financial investment in apps and media. I guess I stick with Goggle because I feel I have the most flexibly in delivery systems for my content. I would honestly give Apple a try, but I bailed on iTunes in 2003 because the DRM drove me nuts. I can't afford to invest in that ecosystem now. I have been wrapped up in Google Services since 2008. Also At this point, I wouldn't dream of switching everything wholesale to Windows even though I already have substantial non-mobile investment in it. Practically, you lock yourself into an ecosystem.
  • Some would say the wise man wouldn't get "invested" in an ecosystem anyways. Storage is easy. There's plenty of free Cloud storage options that are cross platform. Microsoft throws it at you, if you pay attention to their OneDrive promos. Or maybe your lucky enough to like phones that have SD cards... As for music? Avoid platform locked music like the plague. That should be a given. Same for TV/movie content. Yeah, you might lose some $ on a few Apps or games, but that should make you avoid another platform if you really want the phone. That's also why its nice to have a phone from 1 ecosystem and a tablet from another, if you've already used both. Or all 3 (Windows). Like if you've used Android for years and want to try an iPhone, there's a pretty good chance you'll eventually be back to Android again. You just have to be smart about it. There's really no reason to get heavily invested in one ecosystem. (It shouldn't need to be said, but I'm talking about personal, singular devices. Not a company investment. Cause I'm sure someone will go there... Lol) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Is this wise, though? I'd argue it's wise to have all your tools in one tool box. Case in point. I've got purchased movies all over the place (Vudu, Amazon, Google, Zune/xbox, etc) and I never remember what I have and where. I've purchased the same thing on two different providers before. Organization is a huge positive to using one ecosystem. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well, that's why I don't buy digital downloads. Haha. Rent, sure. Not buy. Buy a disc, do what you want with it. Utilizing UltraViolet wouldn't be a bad idea though, if you're going digital route. Posted via the Android Central App
  • But that's assuming that a hodge-podge of individual, disparate services will offer identical utility as an ecosystem, which often is not the case. People are willing to sacrifice flexibility and become "invested" in ecosystems because the integration leads to greater convenience or improved functionality. This reminds me of free/open source fans who choose products and services that fit their worldview vs. fit their use case. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's just not typical of average consumers. Plus, the device is really a gateway to the apps and services. While enthusiasts might appreciate technology and interface design for its own sake, most want the device that best lets them do the things they want to do, which involves the ecosystem. They don't buy the device based on the interface and then adjust their life based on that choice. It's just like how people buy a video game console based on the games it can play, not how the hardware or UI looks.
  • If Android suffered a Windows Phone style meltdown I'd rather go back to iOS than Windows Phone or Windows 10. Sorry Windows will never be an option for just like Apple will never be an option for you. I'm with Android until the bitter end as I know Android won't end up like Windows Phone or Windows 10. Posted via the Android Central App via My Nexus 6
  • and change to microsoft? how is that change? dominate the desktop space and they used to dominate the mobile space at 42% market share. Android and Google services is the change that consumers have made. More of this needs to happen in order to loosen Microsoft's grip. Why on earth should Microsoft control the entire market?
  • the power is in our hands. look, i might be confused with a microsoft fan(although i try not to be a fan for anything and anyone because i love to use my brain...) but even so, i never dream about a world where microsoft is the only entity in the tech world. i wont have any benefit from that. i only want to have 3 competitors. maybe even 4. that way we consumers have only gains. a monopoly is no good, except for that company. not even a duopoly. because the 2 companies will move only in one direction and their fight will only be who gets further faster. a third mind is very welcomed to the game. and i repeat, even a 4th mind should have its place.(too bad blackberry is almost extinct)
  • Google services are not the end all. Microsoft Office for example is easily superior to Google Docs on Andorid. I have both. Posted via the Android Central App
  • By Google services I mean Play services which also include Play store. Office apps are not even available in my country anyway. I use Samsung apps that came preloaded on my phone so I wouldn't mind any. Android is truly open source, but Material Design is Google's vision of it. Posted.
  • Material design is just window dressing that can and more than likely will change within 2 versions. I cannot even remember... Oh yeah... Holo... Damn Jerry and his #yoloholo tag brings back nightmares +++ Insert witty signature, watch as others not get it, profit +++
  • wait, you mean that you cannot use office in english or what? i see you using english quite good.
  • OpenSource? yes but not everything. how do they make money? hahaha
  • That's not a good comparison. Office is Microsoft's cash cow and it's a service that users pay for. The platform is also firmly entrenched in business and enterprise. Clearly its far superior to Google docs. You should compare MS's free services to Google's
  • Exactly, apples to apples. Also some of us don't feel "tied down" just because we don't flit from flavor of the month to flavor of the month. Some of us enjoy the Google Android ecosystem and enjoy supporting it. To each their own. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Even the free version of MS Office is far superior to Google's apps though. Give them a try they are pretty good on Android, and much better than on Windows Phones. You need the individual apps for Android though, ie Word, Excel and PowerPoint, not the combined Office app. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I never said it wasn't. Ya I know, I use word, excel, PPT, outlook, and onenote on Android. Far less than I do on my PC but they're decent on android
  • Hi!
    I seem to have a different experience.
    My backup phone is a cheap windows phone and it does MS Word fairly well (although fonts are not so hot or flexible.
    For my Galaxy S4, on the other hand, I also loaded MS Office for Android with mixed results: MS Outlook was OK, but not as full-featured or flexible as even the native mail app, but it works. However MS Office Word and Excel in Android are not so reliable. I have tried to edit many MS Word files on my phone –and for the most part, the basic, easy edits are not an issue –in most cases.
    However, advanced formatting is not so good. I was surprised several times to discover that files I created in MS Word on my Surface Pro 3, would not even open in word! Even after logging into my Office 365 subscription --very annoying. Also, working MS Excel spreadsheets in MS Excel for Android is clunky, and using anything beyond basic functions is difficult and sometimes unworkable. I have used Office Suite Pro for years on my Android phones and even now find myself ignoring MS Office and relying on Office Suite Pro (with added font package & dictionary) when I need to do some serious work on MS Word/Excel files on my phone. Office Suite Pro seems more reliable to me, and --one very important point-- Office Suite Pro also lets me save to more places –and to get files from more places, than the Android version of MS Office. allows. since I use MS Office on my Surface Pro and even on my MAC, I keep trying to get the MS Office implementation on Android to work well, but so far it is not polished or sophisticated enough for real use ;-( (This makes me wonder about all the posts where folks say that they are using MS Office on Android without issue! That has made me reinstall MS Office for Android several times –I was thinking that I missed something, but invariably MS Office has not matured yet). I hope Microsoft will improve the Android implementation --and while the old Nokia windows phone I have as a backup works well enough, the MS hardware and software don't seem competitive (at every price point) with the Android options. ...
  • There are some things that Microsoft does right and some things it doesn't do so right - Idk about anyboby else, but I was cool with just downloading whatever Microsoft apps I wanted. Microsoft would need to bring the great hardware to back all this up.
  • If I want a fully functional MS phone, I would buy a W10 mobile phone. I would love, however, if MS made their OS a bootable ROM, but that would require OEM cooperation. Posted via the Android Central App
  • There are few tablets that can boot W10 or Android. I guess they could do the same with Android/W10 mobile.
  • That's not the same though. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nah, MS would be the best possible alternative to Google services as long as the playstore is still still available. Just about everything Microsoft does is top notch
  • Have you been in a coma for the last 10 years? You do know Ballmer is no longer CEO...right?
  • WTF are you smoking?
  • "Just about everything Microsoft does is top notch" WTF have you been smoking? Let's compare examples. You can go first since it's your claim.
  • Hmmm well lets see. First of all their enterprise platform is the industry standard along with MS server. They have far and away the best office suite available today, their mobile ecosystem of cross platform apps are all high quality, Windows 7 and now windows 10 are widely considered to be the 2 best desktop OS's ever built. Now you can go ahead and bitch about WP and windows 8, by ball means And WTF does Ballmer leaving have to do with them remaining shitty? Because that's what your original statement implied. And don't be stupid enough to believe that Balmer had any significant effect on the quality of Microsoft's products during his reign
  • lol, windows 7 and windows 10 are the best? what a laugh. They're decent but slooooow.
  • I don't think you have any idea what you're talking about
  • "by ball means" If this was on purpose, it is brilliant. If it was by accident, it is very Zen.
  • It was an accident, but that's hilarious!!!!!! I must've done it subconsciously
  • I'll just wait for the first Nokia Android phones - they'll have all the good from Microsoft without all the... Well, Microsoft, I'd imagine.
  • No, they wouldn't. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm trying to figure out what exactly is "all the good from Microsoft". Do you mean "all the good from Lumias without the Microsoft"? In which case I'm assuming you're referring to camera tech and build quality.
  • Pretty much that, yeah. Lumina's price point, Cameras and build quality where always extremely top-notch - especially on their mid-class devices. They could be serious competition for Motorola or even Samsung if they ran Android.
  • Well, it's too soon to tell, but I think you can expect Nokia phones to use Nokia technology. So the imaging tech will almost certainly be there and the build quality too. And yes, it will run Android. As for the prices though, I am not so sure. Remember, Nokia will be leaving the manufacturing to a third party and that third party has to profit. So I wouldn't expect them to make phones at a loss which is what happens with most mid-range phones and all low-end phones.
    I believe Nokia's future offerings will be focusing on showcasing Nokia tech more than trying to take over the market. As such, I would expect (and hope) Nokia to focus on very premium high-end devices only.
  • Their high end phones were still $600-700 and that was when they manufactured them. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nokia already made some android phones, look up Nokia X, X2 and XL
  • Nokia Here isn't from Microsoft. It was from Nokia that is now sold to a German auto consortium
  • That is partially correct. Nokia HERE isn't Microsoft's true. But Microsoft acquired a license to use HERE as their maps provider. That's why Russell said it. Microsoft offerings in the map department are powered by Nokia HERE. (Also, Nokia hasn't sold the mapping division yet. The deal is still going through the regulator approvals etc and is only expected to close in 2016. Until it closes, Nokia is still in charge).
  • MS will be in good position with Cyanogen OS if thing continue to fruit from this partnership. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nothing good has ever come from cm +++ Insert witty signature, watch as others not get it, profit +++
  • MS can't really lose, though. If CyanogenOS flops, they are exactly where they started. If it does OK, Microsoft gains a bunch of new software users. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Maybe they should have used all this effort to produce Windows-based phones that are competitive.
  • I don't see a point of an Adroid phone without Google apps and using MS services. If so, what's the point of Windows mobile?
  • It is not about Google, the company. Let's start with Bing. Is it a reliable search engine? I've tried using it multiple times before I ditched the app angrily. They never did it right. How about app stores? If there was no Play Store and services integration (Play Games, Drive and whatever entails), what is the point of getting an Android smartphone? Same goes to Amazon store as above. If it was good enough to replace Google's, BlackBerry, fo