A week ago, the apps on my home screen were dominated by just about every major tech company except Microsoft.
I had Google for search and email. Yahoo for sports and weather. Facebook for social networking, photo sharing (Instagram), and messaging.
But last week Microsoft relaunched Outlook on iPhone and Android. The app was based on Acompli, an excellent email app Microsoft bought in December 2014 for a reported $US200 million. It was a home run. After five minutes with the app, I knew Outlook was so good that I could delete Gmail.
I’m still in love with it.
On Wednesday, TechCrunch reported that Microsoft was closing a deal to buy the calendar app Sunrise for about $US100 million. (Microsoft declined to comment, but expect an official announcement sooner than later.)
Sunrise happens to be the best calendar app for iPhone, Android, and the desktop. It syncs with all the major services like Google and Exchange, and is much easier to use than the crappy calendar app that comes with your phone.
The Sunrise and Acompli acquisitions are just the latest signs that Microsoft is turning into a very different company after just a year under CEO Satya Nadella.
It’s making software for all platforms and acquiring popular apps that do stuff like email better than its own apps. It finally brought Office to the iPad, iPhone, and Android. It’s rebooting the disaster that’s Windows 8 into Windows 10, which is already very promising.
If you had told me a year ago that Microsoft was on its way to being one the best mobile app developers, I wouldn’t have believed you.
It really feels like a new Microsoft.