REDMOND, WA- Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) Microsoft seems to be after Google’s Android app makers for quite some time now.
In this case, the company quietly bought Double Labs, the creators of the Echo Notification Lockscreen, an Android app that allows the user to personalize what appears on his phone or tablet when it’s on the lock screen.
In other words, this app makes it easier for the user to prioritize the most important notifications and only wake their phone for high-priority messages.
And on top of that, a user can also choose to postpone a notification for a certain time or place. This works like a charm if you want to wait until you get home to read your emails, for example.
But while the app is intriguing, it is not nearly as much as the fact that this is actually not the first time that Microsoft penetrates Google’s developers network. In fact, Echo is the second Android lockscreen replacement Microsoft owns.
The first one was purchased last year, when Garage research division launched the popular Microsoft Next lockscreen for Android, an app that claimed to provide improved control over the lockscreen, so that the user wouldn’t have to unlock the phone as much.
Now it seems weird, doesn’t it? Why would Microsoft own not one, but two lockscreen apps for Google’s Android, especially given that it already has its own operating system well and running? Ok, maybe it’s not as popular as the Android but what kind of strategy is that?
On the other hand, Microsoft Chief Experience Officer, Julie Larson Green, may have given a satisfying answer, saying that:
“It’s all in the name of taking productivity to the next level and keeping you in the moment. It’s a list of what apps want you to know, not necessarily what’s important to you.”
Another explanation lies in the side of Satya Nadella’s leadership, who urged the company to create more personal computing experience. So the acquisition of two lockscreen apps that were developed by Google’s Android makers, could be a step towards that strategy.
The second explanation is more accepted among those who want an answer to this question, given that Microsoft also owns a variety of other Android utilities, including an app launcher currently in private beta, a voice search tool for Bing and an app that provides information about air quality to users in China.
So it seems more like a strategy to infiltrate into all kinds of services, even the ones that the company does not directly own.