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Switch to iPhone: For a better Microsoft experience

We've already covered how iPhone and iOS provide not only a great Apple app experience, but a great Google and Microsoft app experience as well. Because of the iPhone's popularity and uniformity of platform, it's not only easy to develop for iOS, it's hard not to. That may be why a lot of people who prefer Google or Microsoft services also prefer switching to iPhone to use them on Apple's hardware. It's not just Apple enthusiasts who say so either. Longtime Microsoft pundit, Paul Thurrott:

And if you are a Microsoft guy, there are good reasons to choose iPhone over Android … and even over Windows Phone. Microsoft mobile apps generally appear on iPhone before they do so elsewhere, and certain Microsoft mobile apps are only available on iPhone, at least for now. In several cases, you will see finished Microsoft apps appear on iPhone, whereas Android receives a rougher preview release instead. In many ways, iPhone—or iOS more generally—is the place to be if you're interested in Microsoft's mobile solutions.

Paul has a great rundown of all the Microsoft apps and services you can get on your iPhone, often before Android or even Windows Phone, and sometimes even in a more finished, polished, and feature-complete state.

Time to switch!

It should also be noted that if, for some reason, you and your company decides you no longer want to use Microsoft apps or services, you can easily switch to Apple's or Google's, something you can't do on Windows Phone, and something you can only do the latter of on Android.

That's one of the iPhone's biggest strengths — it enjoys first-class support from everyone else — and one of the biggest reasons to switch.

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

36 Comments
  • I don't understand Microsoft strategy... They should priorize Windows Phone but they don't seem to do that. I was a Windows Phone user and switched to iPhone because I noticed everything was better on iPhone, even the Microsoft suit apps....
  • That's because Windows Phone has zero market share, why prioritise a inferior market when you can capture millions on iPhone. The apps on iPhone also run so much better than Android too.
  • Take a look at what Craig Barnes explained below. Those are my feelings... Since when Windows Phone came out, I was a very hard user and supporter... I had Lumia 800, Lumia 900, Lumia 1520 and Lumia 930, I really like the platform design and fluidity but once not even Microsoft is supporting their own platform, why should I? I hope Windows 10 changes this situation but for now, I'm more happy with iPhone than WP.
  • If they only support their own platform, which has significantly less users than other platforms, they risk losing companies that offer services on the other, more popular platforms. It sucks for Windows Phone users (I was one), but great for iOS/Android users, and I'm sure Microsoft is getting more people using their services because of decisions like this. This strategy shouldn't be too surprising though. Satye has said he wants to offer Microsoft services to as many people as possible, where as Ballmer was focused on offering their services exclusively on their own platforms.
  • It's their platform. If they want to grow it, they need to support it with their own apps. Otherwise, no one else will invest their efforts and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure.
  • Thats true about marketshare but Microsoft should at least keep it on par with iOS.
  • iOS has 500 mil. users... WindowsPhone has ??? Also, I think Microsoft is very worried about Google... So in order to blunt the rise of Google's services (especially in the entreprise/institutional sector), MS knows it has little choice but prioritize iOS, or its users will turn to other services/solutions.
  • That was a Baller thing. Satya seems to understand Microsoft customers don't want to only use their products. I think he understands that for Windows Phone to be more competitive it needs to change and that's where Windows 10 comes in. Particularly becoming more developer friendly and easing developing for the entire Windows ecosystem. Of course only time will tell if it pans out but it looks like their new strategy is more borax reaching and inclusive, including Windows Phone without hurting Apple fans who like Microsoft too. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • That's why I switched too!
  • This is exactly why I switched. I had an android since smart phones were available. As soon as Windows phone came out I supported the platform and waved their flag until a few months ago. My girlfriend upgraded her iPhone, and frustrated that I still could not get some of the games I was interested in on Windows phone, I thought I would try a week on an iPhone 5. In about 3 days I decided I would end my contract for my Lumia 1520, and get the iPhone 6 plus.
    My main decision was I could get everything I wanted on iPhone, everything I was using on Windows phone on iPhone, and I became extremely annoyed when I tried microsofts apps on iPhone, and they were FAR better than on Windows phone!
    That was the point I decided if they are not supporting their own platform, why should I anymore. I could have a much better experience on iPhone. And I love it! I wish I had picked iPhone to begin with, then I wouldn't have to buy all the apps I want a second time... Sent from the iMore App
  • I wish I could just get away from Microsoft completely. However, that cannot happen anytime soon.
  • They must of done you really wrong. Sent from the iMore App
  • I think they are a good company but they are causing lots of change and has unexplainable to the public actions. Posted via iMore App
  • I use all he MS apps on my iPhone and love them Sent from the iMore App
  • I tried using Outlook for my work email on my iPhone 6 and found it so glitchy I had to uninstall it and go back to getting my work email via Exchange. I also didn't like the way the calender was set-up. You have to go into the settings and call out the calendar. Talk about a hassle. I personally need to have my calender as a separate icon or widget. But the main problem was with the email. It would stop working all the time; I had to reset the App or uninstall it and re-install it. Microsoft support sent me a whole list of workaround solutions, but if you have to do that it isn't worth the trouble. In my personal opinion a lot of this isn't ready for prime time.
  • Had the same experience and went back to Exchange through the stock email app. I do keep outlook running though as the notifications to my watch are not restricted by corporate email polices in Outlook as they are in Exchange driven email apps. Allows me to read more of the email through the watch instead of the header only. Posted via s6Edge
  • Outlook is an app that I am not using yet but have on my phone. I do that so I can see the updates and the progress they are making, and they usually have another update every 2 weeks. I wont change to an windows phone, but I secretly wish that there were some IOS Microsoft apps that would incorporate the tile design so that I can use services like outlook.com in their native environment.
  • I used it before Microsoft bought them out and they were glitchy then. Maybe Microsoft will improve on that over time. One can hope anyway as it makes it easier to work with my email cross platform using the same app for all. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • To be honest, unless they have some special features that makes it worth using, there is no reason to load up yet another app on your phone just to access Outlook.com or Exchange Email. The Phone handles that stuff natively. That is, of course, unless you're OCD about having things mixed together in the same app/database.
  • The email on the iOS Outlook app is flawless. Always works. I have Fantastical as my calendar so I don't use the calendar in Outlook. Outlook for Android is still beta so it's no surprise it doesn't work properly.
  • I don't think Office on 'phones' is a deal maker or breaker for anyone, with the possible exception of Outlook. The editing/productivity capacity just isn't there on tiny screens. For the iPad, it makes total sense. Keyboard cases galore for productivity on the go - win. OneNote with searchable handwriting on a device designed to replace paper - win.
  • It makes sense for 100% complete file compatibility. Being able to view files the way they were written, and being able to edit files without the save messing things up. This is something you don't get round tripping to iWork, Google Docs, and a number of 3rd party Office editors. But you get it with Microsoft Office on Mobile. That's why it's a deal maker for a lot of people. I like iWork because I think the Apps work well with their Mac counterparts, and the reason why iWork on Mobile is a big deal for Apple's users is for the same reason Office is a big deal for Microsoft's users. Going from Office to iWork can tamper with a document, the same way going from iWork to Office can tamper with a document, and most people prefer to edit documents not go on a mad search for a PDF editor because that's the only universal exchange format guaranteed to display a document the way it was intended...
  • This is a big reason why I use iPhone. You don't have to only use Apple services and most times the other services are better than on their own platforms.
  • Apple is in it to sell devices... They provide a "good" enough software/service solution in most cases and let the free market operate itself for the rest (within their set of rules of course).
  • The "problem" is that Microsoft has EXTREMELY talented IOS and OSX developer teams. IMO, their "PC" developers just can't match their level of expertise, which is why their Apple platform developers seem to always lead them in production releases and feature sets. I can kind of relate. I've been a MS software developer since VB v1.0. I considered myself a pretty competent developer. But when I forced myself to learn Objective-C, the side-effect was that it took my .NET development skills to a whole new level! There's just something about adapting your brain to the Apple Human Interface Guidelines mindset that makes you a better developer.
  • That's because you forced your brain to learn to adapt which is what any developer worth their weight should do. I've run into many developers that get stuck on one platform until the end and fight all the way. Welcome to better job security. :-) You have just made house more valuable by adapting. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Even though I have a apple phone I still go back to my windows phone for the office app in the first place. Sent from the iMore App
  • This was one of the reasons that contributed to my decision to move from Windows Phone to an iPhone (though I still use my 1520 for taking pictures and video). Smart thinking in the sense that they offer their services to a wider range of people, but unfortunate in that it makes Windows Phone less unique. Will not lie though, I miss Cortana.
  • On the phone I'll pass. on the iPad, 100% agree. You don't really need an iPhone for the excellent experience just a nice iPad Air 2 :)
  • Same here... Nokia Lumia 1520 + iPad Air 2 = the best of both worlds!
  • I own Lumia 1520. But as many said above, I am frustrated due to lack of support by Microsoft for their own product. Even after replacing the handset, my Wi-Fi and touch problems are not resolved and nobody is bothered. My previous handset was in Nokia Care and Nokia Factory more than with me. So anytime I am going to switch to IOS.
  • I have used Windows Phone since 2012 and I can say that Microsoft's services are much more better and stable on Windows Phone (like OneNote and OneDrive). I'm using WP as my "work phone" and iPhone for daily driver. OneDrive sucks on iOS. Sent from the iMore App
  • Winodws is the best platform for consuming Microsoft services. Everything is baked in. I feel like while Microsoft's apps for iOS are great, the iPhone feels a bit disconnected if you try to use it as a Microsoft Phone. Some of the apps for iOS, like Xbox Music, are pretty terrible as well compared to the integration in Windows Phone and Windows Desktop. Additionally, if you also use a PC then Windows integrates super poorly with an iPhone and the Windows apps are so superior to the OS X apps (i.e. Office) that it isn't even funny. If you use both Windows and Mac on a daily basis for more than just switching over to play games, then Microsoft's services are a good in-between, but I don't really think this iOS superiority for their services will last as long as some people think they will. The Windows 10 Universal apps will pass up the cross platform versions, and will likely stay ahead due to their inevitable connection to Windows' Desktop and Tablet Strategy.
  • First, let me say I'm a dedicated iOS user. Saying that, it is true that many Microsoft apps are released first on iOS. However, Exchange runs much better on Windows Phone. I am constantly having calendar exchange issues on my iPhone. My brothers windows phone is always seemless. Continuous source of frustration. So if exchange is the most important and common Microsoft tool you use, you need to consider carefully switching to iOS. As for the comments above, I have had no problems with onenote or one drive on my iPhone or iPad. Actually OneNote is better. Xbox music works really well, except for the fact you can't download music to your device. And that's not microfts fault. That's all Apple baby!
  • According to an MS insider, their dev priorities are as follows:
    1) Android 2) iOS 3) Windows Phone But they hope that in 5 years, Windows Phone will be have the same priority as the others.....although I find that very optimistic. MS is a software company. Certainly it makes sense to prioritize the platform(s) with most users.
  • I'm currently on my 4th smartphone (I had a ton of dumb phones before them). This current one is an Android (Galaxy Note 3). My 3rd one was an iPhone5, and my first two were both Androids. So I've gone from Android to Apple...and back. I'm due for my next phone in July 2016. Another Apple for my 5th phone is definitely not out of the question. I like them well enough, and the argument put forth in this article is perhaps the very most compelling case I've heard yet for going back. My wife (currently on a Galaxy S4) is also planning on going back, and so there is something compelling about being on the same platform she is. That said, for as much as I genuinely like iOS (and I do), it is also by a significant margin my least loved of the three. Compared to Android's Lollipop, and especially Windows 8.1 (which based on the current tech preview, I'm only gonna like even better when it's Windows 10), I find iOS insular, and stale, and boring. The iPhone 6/6 plus are rock solid builds and reasonably attractive, and the 6 plus, at 5.5" meets my self-imposed "minimum requirement" for screen size...with a margin to spare of precisely 0.0000000". I also love my Mac, and I love the idea of doing Handoff with it. But 5.5" really is my ABSOLUTE minimum. I'd be much happier with a 6", or heck, even the 5.7" that I currently enjoy on my Note 3. Both of the other platforms afford me bigger screen options. Also, the build quality on both Android and Windows phones seem to be improving, and at an absolute bare minimum, there are several phones from Windows, and especially Android that are not only possessing more unique, diverse, avant garde features, but are just a damn sight prettier in the hands then the very austere Apple (including Nexus 6, Lumia 1520, and even my current Note 3). Yes, Apple has handoff, and yes it really is really cool! But if Continuum works anything at all as advertised, and if "one windows 10" universal apps work as advertised, then not only are they cool enough to far outgun handoff for me, but handoff like features are almost a given as we go forward. This is especially salient considering that if the final iteration of 10 desktop turns out anywhere near the way its shaping up in the tech preview, I would very seriously consider ditching my beloved MacOS for it. Yes, I know that's a very bold statement, but I'm planning on getting a Windows 10 gaming PC either way, so the only question will be whether it makes sense to also keep Mac and go "dual platform", or save some money and just go "Windows-only". In either case, my days of being "Mac-only" are definitely nearing their end. But even if I don't go with Windows Phone, even Android has a lot of pairing options with Chrome, and a Chromebook is something I've been eyeballing a bit. So, with 100% sincerity, to this article, I say "very excellent point, very excellent selling point, very expertly and pursuadingly presented, and you're by no means out of the running." But my next phone is most likely going to be either July 2016's nearest equivalent to the Nexus 6...or the Lumia 1520, and between those two phones it will most likely all come down to whether Windows phone app support is able to come up to at least a respectable third by then rather than its currently abysmal distant 3rd. If yes, I'll probably go Windows. If not, I'll probably stay with Android. Posted via the iMore App for Android