Microsoft: Nicely entrenched in mobile

No matter what mobile device or platform you use, odds are you are productive due to Microsoft's efforts in the mobile space.


When you think of mobile, you don't usually think of Microsoft. That's due to the company's small line of devices, basically the Surface tablets, and gadgets are what come to mind when thinking of mobile. That's unfair, as Microsoft has done a remarkable job of spreading its software around the mobile space, in some cases for many years.

Even those using non-Microsoft platforms, and I am in that camp as I use them all, are likely using Microsoft apps and services every day. This extends beyond the Microsoft Office offerings, which are being used by many on mobile devices.

Office is a big seller on the Windows platform, of course, and it's become a popular offering on iOS in the short time it's been available. You can bet that once it appears on Android, expected to happen soon, it will be a huge hit.

Excel for iPhone

In fact, once the Office for Android suite is released to the general population, it will make Microsoft an even bigger player in mobile. I predict Office will have a bigger installed base in mobile than anything else, and by a wide margin.

While technically part of Office, OneNote stands by itself and is a solid mobile app. It is well executed on iOS and Android.

Office aside, Microsoft is doing everything right to break into mobile. The acquisition of Acompli this week clearly demonstrates this. Speculation has it that Acompli will become Microsoft's email client for mobile, and -- if true --- that will be a great move.

Acompli has become my major email app since I discovered it on iOS a while back. The technology that smartly determines what email messages are important, the focused inbox, is magnificent. That's why Acompli has become my email app on both iOS and Android. It makes sense for Microsoft to integrate it into its own platforms.

These are only the most visible entries into the mobile space by Microsoft, and it has long been there in services. Some folks may be surprised to hear that ActiveSync, Microsoft's synchronization technology that keeps mobile devices up-to-date with the office Exchange server, is still widely in use today.

Fire OS promo

Chances are if your mobile platform offers Exchange syncing, it's using ActiveSync to do so. Amazon not only uses it for Fire OS, it lists it as a selling point (see image above). That's because ActiveSync is so good, and the de facto standard for mobile synchronization of Exchange email, calendar, contacts, and tasks.

These are just a few examples of how Microsoft is already big in mobile, and poised to be even bigger. Having the Surface line of mobile devices is certainly a big deal to Microsoft, but the fact is the company is pushing ahead in many ways beyond that. Whether its devices ultimately gain traction or not, Microsoft is already a big deal in mobile and based on its actions will permeate the space.

Kudos to the new Microsoft and its employees for addressing this fast-paced mobile space so well. They say you can't turn a giant cruise ship quickly, but Microsoft is showing you can with enough good people pushing it.