A few days ago we reported that Microsoft was rebranding Arrow Launcher, the Microsoft Garage Android launcher that the company has been supporting for the last 2 years, to Microsoft Launcher, releasing the app in beta. Now, it seems that Microsoft has decided that the launcher is finally ready for the big leagues, as it's ditching the beta tag and going live on the Google Play store as a flagship Microsoft offering for Android.
Microsoft Launcher provides a great solution for former Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile fans who've abandoned the sinking ship of a platform, but still wish to remain within the Microsoft ecosystem of products and services on Android. It features a number of signature Microsoft elements, such as small hints of the Fluent Design language in the frosted glass effects and color schemes, and all the Microsoft servies you've come to expect on Android; Outlook, the Office suite, Cortana, Edge, Skype and more.
The move out of the beta stage essentially signifies that Microsoft is confident in this launcher and has affirmed that there are no device-bricking bugs embeddded deep within the launcher's code. Aside from the standard affair of Microsoft apps and custom launcher features, Microsoft Launcher features "Continue on PC"; a feature that allows for images, documents and texts to be seamlessly shared cross-platform to a user's other devices (in a similar fashion to Handoff on iOS). It also includes "The Feed", a feed of news, recent activities, important notifications and more, tailored to you via your Microsoft account. This launcher is definitely carving out a cozy little niche in the market for itself, and we think it has a solid chance at doing well.
Microsoft's approach with this launcher seems to be to prrovide a cohesive gateway to their ecosystem on another platform (and what better platform than the one that dominates global markets with 86.2% global market share), and with a launcher like this one we can't say they're doing a bad job. You can get the launcher from the Google Play Store:
What do you guys think? Will you grab this new launcher? Are you excited to see the future of the Microsoft ecosystem on Android. Drop a comment below to tell us what you think, or post over in the forums.