It seems as if there is an app for virtually everything. And according to The Verge, politics is no exception.
As the potential turning point of the Iowa Caucus approaches, Microsoft has partnered with both the Republican and Democratic parties to create apps designed to tabulate election results.
However, Bernie Sanders, the presidential candidate hot on the heels of Hillary Clinton, has questioned Microsoft’s involvement.
Sanders’ campaign has often criticized corporate influence on elections. His campaign is opting to use its own reporting system to double-check results, as is Clinton’s.
There have also been concerns raised by a number of Sanders’ other campaign aides about Microsoft employees donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to Clinton over the years.
“You’d have to ask yourself why they’d want to give something like that away for free,” Pete D’Alessandro, who’s heading Sanders’ Iowa campaign, said in an interview with MSNBC.
Microsoft and their app partner, InterKnowlogy have been developing the app for about a year, which is aimed at making caucus reporting more efficient, accurate, and secure.
Microsoft has since disputed allegations that it had any ulterior motives.
But this isn’t the only strange move Microsoft has made in the app world as of recent.
As Engadget reports, Microsoft Garage, the company’s experimental project group, has released their News Pro app for use on their largest competitor’s device, the iPhone.
“I’m not so sure these are strange moves,” said Tom Ajello, Founder, Makeable. “Microsoft is in the gaming space, the AI space, they’ve partners with Facebook on the Oculus, and the list goes on. They are a technology company that has lost their stronghold with their flagship product. As with any company that thrives on innovation, they are placing bets on the intersection of technology and the world around us.”
By using suggestions from Bing, the app is meant to streamline news searches. However, at first appearance it seems to be a standard news finding app.
The program consists of three main sections: a Home tab that lists popular stories, an Explore tab for choosing new topics, and a Profile tab.
However, News Pro’s shining light is the apps customization. Inside the Explore tab, users can choose from a variety of industries, companies, skills, and products that they can follow.
When considering digital agencies, by far the most prevalent and opposing entities have to be Microsoft and Apple. So the question remains, why offer apps for your competitor?