Although Microsoft dearly wants its Windows Phone platform to eat away at the audience for the iPhone, the company realizes Apple's hold over the smartphone market. Accordingly, it has released new mobile apps for its SkyDrive cloud storage on Windows Phone and the iPhone.
"In addition to their OneNote notebooks, iPhone customers can now access all of their files in SkyDrive, create folders, delete files, and share links to folders and files directly using the Mail app," Mike Torres, group program manager for SkyDrive Devices and Roaming, wrote in a Dec. 13 posting on The Windows Blog.
Other app features include the ability to browse the entire SkyDrive, share any folder or file with one or more people, and create new folders. Users can also organize their files and folders according to personal preferences.
Microsoft has developed other apps for Apple's mobile products, including Bing and OneNote. Despite their bitter rivalry in mobile operating systems and other categories, Microsoft has diligently continued to build software for the various Apple platforms: a wise move, considering the enduring popularity of the latter.
Rumors have circulated that Microsoft is planning on bringing a tablet-friendly version of Office to the iPad sometime in 2012, at least according to unnamed sources cited recently by The Daily. That publication added that a new version of Office for Mac OS X Lion is also in development for release sometime in 2012. Presumably, Microsoft is also prepping a touch-optimized version of Office for its own upcoming Windows 8 tablets.
Both Apple and Microsoft are battling Android for control of the mobile device space, although Microsoft seems to have made more progress in wounding their mutual opponent. Even as Microsoft's Windows Phone scrambles for traction among smartphone users, the company's legal team has maneuvered a growing list of Google Android device manufacturers into paying royalties for their products. Microsoft argues that Android violates many of its patents.
Android royalties or no, Microsoft will need to face down the growing host of Android tablets-and the iPad-with its Windows 8 tablets. The upcoming operating system's user interface is bifurcated into two separate environments: one filled with colorful tiles linked to applications, supposedly ideal for tablets, alongside a more traditional desktop that should appeal to power PC users. It seems a matter of course that Microsoft will develop apps of its more popular products for its flagship platform.