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Microsoft planning iPhone messaging app

Microsoft is reportedly planning another messaging app for the iPhone, this time utilising Outlook contacts without all of the formalities on email.

Spotted by Twitter user @h0x0d, Microsoft has named the app Flow and is preparing to launch it in the coming months. Instead of sending an email with titles and signatures, Flow will allow Outlook contacts to chat like they would on Facebook Messenger or any other messaging platform.

Outlook already has a messaging platform built into the email client, but Microsoft might not be satisfied. The messaging feature is not available on mobile, and auto-connects to connected Skype address, creating a cluttered messaging experience.

Microsoft has over 300 million active Outlook and MSN users, but it is unclear how many are active accounts that speak to friends through the email client. Most have moved onto WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat, meaning Flow will have to offer better messaging features than all those current services.

It would not be the first time Microsoft tests a new feature using an older and established userbase, Skype Qik offers a new type of short video message and allows users to sign in with their Skype or Microsoft account ID.

Microsoft has also been very open to building apps specifically for the iPhone, dropping Windows Phone as its flagship mobile OS. We expect with Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft will add all of these unavailable mobile-focused apps onto its own platform.

Ever since Satya Nadella took over the reigns at Microsoft, it has been all about cloud and mobile. This means Microsoft cannot go on supporting its own platform, and not care about the iPhone and Android devices, taking 90 per cent of the mobile market share.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.