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Microsoft cozies up to Android with a dedicated dev team

Microsoft's latest Android development team reorganization may provide a major insight into the company's future plans.
By
April 4, 2022
Microsoft logo angled MWC 2022
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Microsoft is reorganizing its Android development teams.
  • The company wants tighter integration between Android and Windows.
  • Better integration may help Microsoft and Google better challenge Apple.

Microsoft is reorganizing its development teams, creating a dedicated Android Microsoft Platform and Experiences (AMPX) team.

Microsoft has made its products available for the two dominant mobile operating systems for years, but its Android development was grouped together with its iOS efforts. According to Windows Central’s Zac Bowden, the company is splitting the Android development off and creating a dedicated group that will answer to Panos Panay, the company’s Chief Product Officer. The new team will be responsible for the Surface Duo OS, SwiftKey, Microsoft Launcher, Phone Link, and other Android products.

Microsoft confirmed the changes in a statement to Windows Central.

Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis. We recently made an organizational change to accelerate our impact and better serve our customers and partners.

Microsoft and Google join forces to take on Apple

The move will make Android a first-class citizen among Microsoft’s development efforts and reflects a shift in the company’s focus. Sources told Bowden the company “has big ideas in mind for Android and Windows,” far beyond the current level of integration between the two platforms. In fact, Microsoft hopes “to position Android smartphones as an extension to Windows PCs.”

During CES 2022, Google announced a number of new features aimed at improved integration between Android and Windows, including text message sync, file sharing, Bluetooth accessory sharing, and more. Meanwhile, Microsoft has added the ability to run Android apps in Windows 11. It would seem that Microsoft and Google recognize they each have a piece of the puzzle necessary to more effectively compete with Apple’s approach of offering a tightly integrated experience. Microsoft has the desktop component, while Google has the mobile element.

See also: Here are the best Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets

Despite the two companies’ obvious strengths in their respective areas, they have both struggled to develop their own complete ecosystem. Microsoft’s phone attempts never gained serious traction, and Google’s Chrome OS is not nearly as accepted or useful as Windows. However, both companies working to better integrate Android and Windows could be a serious challenge to Apple’s ecosystem.