Arrow Launcher has officially been rechristened as Microsoft Launcher on Android, giving the Redmond company its own official presence on Google’s mobile OS.
Ever since the unofficial death of Windows Mobile, Microsoft seems have been locked in a ‘will they, won’t they’ cycle in adopting Android as its next platform of choice. Now we may have some clarity through an unlikely means, as today the Redmond company made the interesting decision to rebrand its popular Arrow Launcher as Microsoft Launcher.
The name isn’t just symbolic. Microsoft Launcher expands Arrow from a Microsoft Garage project into a fully fledged endeavour, and the fact that the company has lent its name to the product is supported by a new, ever-present extension that will enable users to pick up their present action on a Windows 10 PC through Pick Up Where I Left Off.
Some other, smaller changes have followed – for example, contacts can now be pinned to the home screen, and users can personalise what in-app gestures they prefer.
The announcement has some fascinating implications. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a partnership with Samsung to deliver the Samsung Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition – and though the phone was laden with Microsoft’s apps and services, it lacked a distinct system launcher.
Now Microsoft has its missing component, and it remains to be seen if we’ll see more Microsoft Edition smartphones in the near future. One potential possibility is that the firm may rekindle its romance with hardware and move into producing its own Android-based smartphones, with the promise of being backed by Google’s ecosystem while leveraging certain Microsoft services.
The ever-present rumour that Microsoft is developing its own Surface Phone only adds fuel to the fire, and we can’t wait to see what the Redmond company develops in the near future.
What are your thoughts? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!
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