Today Microsoft released its first app for Google’s Android mobile operating platform. The app, Tag, turns your device into a bar code reader (similar to effort already in existence by Google) that has basically limitless possibilities and applications. However, the reason this is so strange is because Microsoft is in direct competition with Google and releasing an app for the system is counterintuitive. However, I think its a good move.
The more good technology Microsoft releases the better. It’s easy to get caught up in the branding and lose sight of what actually matters: the technology. As long as Microsoft is putting innovative and useful technology into the hand of users, the company will keep a hold of the market. To some degree, it doesn’t matter what platform the consumer uses the app on, all that matters is that the app is being used.
Many Android consumers are also Microsoft users. The big three operating systems are Microsoft, Apple and Linux, so chances are that Android users ARE using Microsoft products, versus iPhone users. It could be away to help recapture those users with the release of the Windows phone. They are more likely to be willing to adapt Microsoft products and remain and more malleable group.
In reality, Android should be blocking the app. Microsoft is acting rationally and appropriately by releasing apps for Android and iPhone (in December 2008) in order to reach larger audiences and stay relevant. Not sure if the app will actually catch on, but I would like to see similar releases in the future.