Since Microsoft changed who has control of the reigns back in 2014, appointing Satya Nadella as CEO, we've seen a shift in the way that Microsoft approaches and treats Android. The company's previous CEO, Steve Ballmer, was famously against what Android and the iPhone represented, but since Nadella has been in charge we've seen the majority of Microsoft's services hit Android and iOS as first class citizens. Where Android is concerned, Microsoft has been using the platform for its more experimental side through "Garage Projects" such as a new type of alarm clock. Now, a new type of experiment is launching on Android an elsewhere, dubbed "Project Madeira".
The whole project seems to be very new, and it seems to be geared as a way of smaller businesses to manage things with a connected project management sort of style. Office 365 appears to be needed and a big focus point of Madeira, but the idea here is to get Madeira on all the different devices that a company might use - including Android smartphones and tablets. Not much is known about Project Madeira just yet, but judging from Microsoft's own tagline asking users to see "how easy it is to connect business processes with familiar Microsoft productivity tools to grow sales, manage finances, and streamline your operations—in the office, or on the go" it seems as if this a way to bring teams together.
The Project heavily relies on Office 365 and confusingly offers an "embedded experience" of Microsoft's already-available business management platform. Regardless, this appears to be a nice mix of everything that Microsoft has to offer, giving teams tools to stay in touch, keep finances up-to-date and visualize data from the whole team nice and neatly. This could perhaps be viewed as a more holistic approach to competing with Google Drive, which - while free - doesn't quite offer this sort of sophistication or glanceable information instead relying on users doing much of the work themselves. Project Madeira - as we can see from the Play Store images below - appears to be a simplified approach to managing overall finances, inventory and keeping a team connected. Those looking to try out the new service can do so at the source link below to enroll in the new preview.