Android in a Microsoft World

Business lives in a Microsoft world, so if you want your phone to work for you, you'll need to figure out ways to get your phone to work with Microsoft. The Android OS is based on Linux, but that doesn't mean it's totally shut off from Microsoft. Microsoft has belatedly embraced cloud computing and cross-platform compatibility in recent years. Microsoft even released a bar code scanning app for Android in March 2010: Tag Reader. As I'm writing this, there are also rumors that Microsoft will develop an Android version of Silverlight. Silverlight is a competitor to Flash, and Microsoft has always intended it to run on multiple platforms.

That doesn't mean you'll ever have seamless support for Microsoft when using any platform other than Microsoft's. For example, the Mac version of Word doesn't support the same features as the Windows version. If you use a lot of advanced features, you're going to find bugs and files that just won't display correctly. That said, you can use Android in a Microsoft world and still get your work done.

In this chapter, I'll review some ways to connect your phone to Microsoft Exchange servers, I'll talk about SharePoint and other Microsoft technologies, including Office 2010 and Office 2010 web apps. I'll also discuss some alternatives to Microsoft you can use in a pinch.

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