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Microsoft opens up Office 365 cloud with new Android APIs
Microsoft is serious about embracing other platforms. The shift in strategy, initiated by Steve Ballmer and accelerated under Satya Nadella, sees Microsoft developing apps and services for Android, iOS, and even Linux, as well as opening its traditionally closely-held Office platform.
At the TechEd Conference today, Microsoft announced the latest move towards making its services available cross-platform: new and powerful Office 365 APIs and SDKs for Android, iOS, and Windows.
Using these tools, Android developers will be able to access and work with mail, calendars, contacts, and documents across Office 365 cloud services summing over 400 petabytes of data. The new tools make life easier for developers looking to integrate Microsoft’s consumer cloud in their apps, as well as lay the foundation for a thriving Microsoft ecosystem on Android.
Microsoft announced that one partner taking advantage of the new APIs is If This Then That (IFTTT), the popular automation service. IFTTT users will be able to use Office 365 events as triggers – from a Microsoft-supplied example, receiving an email from Satya Nadella could trigger sending a text message to a certain phone number.
As much as we love Google, it’s good to see another strong cloud player earnestly competing on Android – the fact of the matter is, not all Android users want to use Google’s apps, for a variety of reasons, from sheer contrarianism to privacy concerns. Microsoft is one of the select companies that can offer a comparable suite of apps and services: from Outlook.com email, to OneDrive cloud storage, to a full productivity suite. And, with Microsoft opening up Office 365 to app developers, user experience could get richer and better.
In semi-related news, Microsoft announced yesterday that all Office 365 subscribers will now get unlimited online storage.