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Microsoft Smooths Path to Windows 10 for Android, iPhone Owners

A new Phone Companion app will help bridge the gap between operating systems, while Cortana is also coming to iOS and Android.

Asa Mathat

The defining characteristic of the Satya Nadella era is Microsoft’s willingness to bring Android and iPhone users into the fold.

With Windows 10, Microsoft wants to make sure PC buyers feel welcome even if their phone runs software from Apple or Google. Microsoft on Tuesday revealed the new operating system will come with a new Phone Companion app for Windows 10 that will connect devices running Android or iOS to the new OS. And it is bringing its Cortana personal assistant to iOS and Android.

This comes after the launch of Office for iPad that preceded a touch-friendly version of Office for Windows.

Microsoft is also trying to elegantly address the fact that those with Windows 10 are living in a mixed world when it comes to music and other media. Windows 10 will let Android or iOS device owners play music stored on Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage. This feature will come through an updated Xbox Music phone app due out in late June or July.

Cortana for Android will come at the end of June and for iPhones “later this year.” Microsoft said the Phone Companion app will arrive in a preview build of Windows 10 that will be available in a few weeks and be part of the final release this summer.

Separately, Microsoft said Tuesday it has struck deals with 20 hardware manufacturers, including LG and Sony, to pre-load Microsoft services on those makers’ Android tablets.

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