Microsoft is making available an in-mail chat app from its Garage incubator to iPhone users as of today, July 22.
That app, known as "Send," was formerly codenamed "Flow."
Send is available for iPhone in the U.S. and Canada from the iTunes store, and is "coming soon" to Windows Phone and Android phones, company officials said. The app currently is available to those with Outlook and Office 365 business/school email accounts. However, Microsoft execs said they plan to make the app "more broadly available in the coming months."
Microsoft's Outlook for iOS app is a rebranded version of the Acompli email application Microsoft bought at the end of last year. Send is meant to be a complement to Outlook, not a replacement for it.
According to Send's information page, the new app requires iOS 8.0 or later, and is optimized for iPhone 5, 6 and 6 Plus, but also works on iPad, and iPod Touch.
"While tools like text messaging and IM are great for short messages, you often don't have your co-worker's cell phone number or an IM app on your work phone. And we've heard loud and clear from people at work, they want all their communications available in Outlook -- even if they send them from other apps. This is where Send comes in! Send gives you the simple, quick text message-like experience while allowing you to reach all co-workers and have all of your communications in Outlook for reference later.Send lets you quickly and easily send any co-worker a message without a subject line or formal email constructs."
Microsoft's Garage is the company's tech incubator for lightweight consumer-focused apps for iOS, Android and Windows devices. The Garage apps are cross-platform, available in the Apple App Store, Google Play and/or Windows Store, where applicable. The Garage apps are all in the "experimental" phase, and are updated and improved based on user experience and feedback.