Microsoft’s ‘Perfect Partner’ For Mobile Is Apple – Forbes

Launched on the desktop over a year ago for Office 365 users, Microsoft Planner has made its debut on mobile devices and smartphones… and it should not come as a surprise that Redmond has decided to start with a version for the iPhone.

Microsoft Planner allows teams to work together to plan workflow through the management of tasks, sharing files, and communicating within a team. It’s a formula that many planning applications employ so there’s no amazing new ground being broken. By rolling this into the Office 365 package, Microsoft increases the value of the subscription package, builds up another layer of soft lock-in to the cloud, and signals once more that Microsoft’s mobile ambitions are not primarily focused on pushing Windows 10 Mobile.

It has taken a bit less than twelve months for Microsoft Planner to make its debut on a mobile device, and you’ll need to head to Apple’s App Store to grab the client for your iPhone or iPad. Microsoft has said that a version for Android will be available in the future as will a Windows Universal App. For the moment the mobile action is all focused on Cupertino’s devices.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addresses IT professionals and business leaders during a summit in Mumbai (Photo: Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images)

Microsoft already has its key apps from the Office 365 suite available for iOS and Android and will have substantial usage data to show who is using these applications. Given Microsoft declined the option to launch the mobile version of Planner on Android or Windows 10 Mobile first (or at the same time), the strategy of ‘cloud first mobile first’ is focused on the mobile platform that delivers… which appears to belong to Apple.

The Microsoft of old would not have debuted a product on a competitor’s platform, it would have used its software packages to further sales of its own operating system and it would have ring-fenced Microsoft’s world forcing you to decide to be working in that world or stuck outside looking in.

That’s not the case under CEO Satya Nadella. There is still a sense of bringing people in and giving them reasons to stay – that’s why all of these services need you to be using a Microsoft account – but as the world moves towards a more mobile future, it looks like the correct mobile choice to participate in Microsoft’s world… is an iPhone.

Now read more about Microsoft’s mobile plans for iOS and Android…

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