After Windows phones failed to make a dent in the smartphone market, Microsoft had no choice but to embrace the iOS and Android competition. The latter has now pretty much become the mobile OS of choice for the company, as seen with the Microsoft Launcher or the new Your Phone app that syncs data from an Android smartphone to a Windows 10 PC.
As a matter of fact, Microsoft has become one of the most important Android developers in recent years, and the company has just shared some hard data proving it on the new [email protected] blog (via Daniel Rubino).
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— Cesar Valiente (@CesarValiente) June 12, 2019
"Microsoft is one of the leading publishers in the Google Play Store, producing many apps that are used by people across the world, from all backgrounds, every day to help them achieve more," wrote Cesar Valiente, Senior Software engineer at Microsoft. Here are some interesting facts about Microsoft's Android apps on the Google Play Store:
- There are more than 150 Microsoft apps in total on Google Play, with "around 70 in active development receiving frequent updates."
- 9 of these apps have been downloaded more than 100M times, with 5 of them having more than 500M downloads (To our knowledge, Skype remains the only Microsoft app in the 1 billion downloads club).
- The average rating for Microsoft apps is 4.2 stars, and it goes up to 4.33 stars for apps with more than 1M downloads
- Overall, Microsoft has 15 different Android teams across the US, Canada, Germany, England, Norway, Czech Republic, Israel, India, and China.
In the long blog post, Valiente goes on to explain that all of these teams are free to use the programming languages they want, including Java, Kotlin, C++, Xamarin, or React Native. "We stay on top of industry trends and take into account the great views and experiences of developers within the Android community, and try to experiment as well, whilst still taking into account our different business needs," the software engineer wrote.
It would be interesting to have similar information about Microsoft's iOS apps. Apple's App Store doesn't disclose download numbers on store listings, though Outlook, LinkedIn, Word and Skype are among the most popular third-party apps on the iOS App Store.