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Microsoft expands reach, partners with Android manufacturers

We’re seeing a lot of good movement from Microsoft these days, and this says a lot of good things about the new boss, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. We’ve seen how great the upcoming Windows 10 OS looks like, and we’re bracing for what Windows Phone will bring us this year or the next. In the meantime, the Redmond-based software giant is extending its reach as it looks to partner with Android manufacturers and place their software on devices.

Xiaomi and Microsoft: acquaintances, not partners

Among the Windobws 10 related announcements that Microsoft made this week, perhaps the one that caused some flurry the most is its bombshell in China. Redmond announced, almost in passing, that it will be hooking up with some Xiaomi Mi 4 powers users to let them test Windows 10 on their devices, leading to some amount of rumor around Microsoft's and Xiaomi's seemingly new friendship. In response, ex-Googler and now Xiaomi exec Hugo Barra is clarifying some points, partly to appease some concerns from the Android community.

Microsoft Outlook update: better people and calendar features

The Microsoft Outlook Preview app for Android has surprised a lot of people by being actually pretty great and holding its own against well-established email apps like Gmail, Inbox, Mail, etc. A new update to the app brings even more improvements not just to the mail experience but even to the calendar and people (contacts) that are integrated with it.

Microsoft is cooking up a Windows 10 ROM for Xiaomi Mi 4

Microsoft just announced its stronger initiative to push its business further in China, by pushing Windows 10 harder, with a little help from Chinese companies. Among those namedropped was Xiaomi, where Microsoft explicitly mentioned that select Xiaomi Mi 4 power users will be able to test Windows 10 on their devices. This effectively meant that Microsoft is developing a ROM for the smartphone that will practically overwrite Android. Given how Xiaomi has been a strong Android player so far, it is unsurprising to see a few feathers ruffled and a few eyebrows raised.

Microsoft to reportedly make digital assistant available in Android

Having a digital assistant that can anticipate your needs, remind you of important information, and perform the tasks you ask them to, is the ultimate dream for technophiles. While Apple has Siri and Android has, well, OK Google, they have their limitations, as well as not being able to cross over to other platforms. If these rumors are correct, Microsoft might just be able to bridge that gap and make your smartphone even smarter.

Microsoft not riding on Cyanogen’s next $110 million funding round

Software giants Microsoft were reported to be interested in Cyanogen’s efforts of creating a non-Google Android system, an alternative to the versions available right now that need Google core apps to work properly. In January, it was reported that Microsoft was willing to splurge as much as USD$70 million in the effort. But in the last few days, with Cyanogen passing the hat again to generate at least $110 million in a latest funding round, it seems that Microsoft is not too excited to pony up the cash.

Microsoft sues Kyocera for patent infringement

Lawsuits within the tech industry is not an uncommon thing, and the past few years we've seen legal battles among and between such big companies like Google, Apple, Samsung, etc. The latest one to join the circus is Microsoft, no stranger to this lawsuit issue of course, and this time, they're going after Japanese OEM Kyocera. They claim that the smartphone maker has infringed on some of their patents and is seeking financial damages but at the same time, hoping to find an amicable solution to the issue.

New version of Microsoft portable keyboard can be “broken in half”

Portable keyboards are for tablet or smartphone owning individuals who want to turn their device into a mobile workstation (and don't want to lug around their netbooks or laptops). Sometimes though, the keyboard becomes another heavy addition to our already full to the brim bag, with all the chargers, extended batteries, wires, etc. So if you need to buy an extended keyboard, you'd want something lighter and more portable yes? That's where the new version of the Microsoft portable keyboard comes in.

Microsoft Garage Team rolls out Keyboard for Excel app for Android

Microsoft seems to be busy working on apps that would not only benefit Windows Phone users but also fans of Android. Through the Microsoft Garage Project, the tech giant is proving once again why it's still the top software developer company. Conceptualized only in late 2014, Microsoft opened the Garage for employees to work and improve on Android apps. I used to wonder why Redmond just won't focus on Windows Phone but Microsoft making Android apps means better programs for the mobile platform.

Microsoft Health updated with MapMyFitness, HealthVault integration

Microsoft's very own Health app is available not only on Windows Phone but also for iOS and Android. The software giant prefers to work on this app that helps people track data and statistics on health and fitness. The app works well with the Microsoft Band, another wearable device that aims to get you and me to start thinking about fitness. It's actually a $200 wrist band from Microsoft that works with a smartphone to track your workout and health progress.
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