If you're familiar with the various mobile app ecosystems, you may know that Microsoft apps are very well represented on both Google Android and Apple iOS, but not at all on Amazon's Android-based Fire OS platform. Maybe that's going to change, though: Microsoft announced today that it is bringing its popular Skype app to the Amazon Fire Phone.
Is this a big deal?
Actually, no. As it turns out, Skype is one of only a handful of apps that are already available on Amazon's FireOS-based Kindle Fire and Fire HDX tablets. So this is a minor port at best. The issue here isn't Skype, it's that so few Microsoft apps are on FireOS. I see Xbox 360 SmartGlass, Xbox One SmartGlass, OneDrive, Wordament and Bing Search. That's it.
But all they're announcing today is Skype for Fire Phone. So let's take a quick look at that.
"We're delighted to announce that Skype will be available on Fire phone when it becomes available later this month," Microsoft writes in a post to the Skype Garage & Updates blog. "We have enhanced our Skype for Android application to bring a more intuitive user experience that is consistent with the Fire phone look and feel. Through a widget that is visible from Fire’s Carousel, users can easily see their chats and notifications at a glance, without having to launch the Skype app and open chats with a one-click action. Finally, the customized Skype 3D icon and notification badge show Skype’s use of Fire phone’s innovative Dynamic Perspective technology."
Actually, Skype won't just be available on Fire Phone, it will be preinstalled on Fire Phone. And that gives me some hope that we'll see more Microsoft on Amazon's platform in the weeks and months ahead. We're certainly not going to see the favor reversed: Amazon's ignoring of Windows Phone and Windows 8.x is absolutely inexcusable and I see no end in sight.