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Microsoft’s new Arrow Launcher for Android is another Garage side project

The world simply bought its first take a look at Microsoft’s new Arrow Launcher for Android, the newest app to roll out of the corporate’s after-hours “thought manufacturing unit.”

An organization spokesperson wouldn’t touch upon what’s subsequent for the launcher, however she did affirm it was born within the Microsoft Garage, a program that lets staff work on issues they’re interested by however aren’t a part of the formal product roadmap fairly but.

The Arrow Launcher is nonetheless in personal beta, so that you want an invitation to attempt it out — although independent blog Microsoft News does have a model posted for obtain.

The launcher adjustments the default Android house display screen with its personal taste, but it surely’s not drastically totally different from what we’ve seen from different launchers, particularly Yahoo’s Aviate.

It’s simply the latest app to come out of the Garage that’s not constructed for Microsoft’s personal gadgets. The corporate has not too long ago warmed as much as competing platforms, and opened the doorways to its staff who wish to experiment with apps for Android and iOS — and occasionally Windows Phone.

Final week we noticed the “Send” email app for iPhone, and earlier than that the “Tossup” polling app for Android and iPhone.

Many of those side initiatives will die with out ever actually taking off, others will probably be pulled into Microsoft’s formal merchandise.

However much more importantly for Microsoft, it’s another level of contact the corporate could make with cellular customers. It’s personal Home windows Cellphone platform is nonetheless hovering beneath a 3 % market share, so Microsoft has spent a lot of the previous 12 months constructing out a portfolio of apps for Apple and Android gadgets.

As of Tuesday morning, Microsoft had 70 apps within the Google Play store. Some are Garage initiatives, just like the Next Lock Screen, some are fashionable apps the corporate acquired, just like the Sunrise Calendar, and others have been Microsoft’s bread and butter for many years, like Office.

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