- Microsoft Windows users are now able to send texts from their iPhones through their desktops, allowing users to essentially operate their phones from their PCs.
- Most Americans use iPhones, and Apple’s PC and phone integration is an advantage that helps explain why its Mac laptops have been taking market share from Windows PCs in recent years.
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
Microsoft announced Monday the latest version of Phone Link for Windows 11 PCs can receive notifications, send texts and answer calls from a user’s paired iPhone.
Most Americans use iPhones, and Apple’s integration of its products has helped its Mac business take market share from Windows PCs in recent years. Apple accounted for about 10% of global PC shipments last year, with the remainder being overwhelmingly Windows machines, according in IDC.
Microsoft’s move could remove a barrier for computer buyers who would otherwise choose a Mac. Phone Link previously only worked on Android phones.
The Phone Link software doesn’t have nearly as many features as Apple’s Messages for Mac. It works via Bluetooth, according to The Vergeand requires the iPhone to install Microsoft’s “Link to Windows” app.
A Phone Link-enabled Windows PC gets notifications from the user’s iPhone and displays the messages in Windows. It does not support group texts via iMessage nor does it allow users to send photos or videos. Phone Link can only display messages it sends or receives, so a user who has sent some texts on their phone won’t see that part of their message history in the Windows app.
“The messaging feature is limited by iOS,” the company said in Monday’s announcement. An Apple representative did not respond to a request for comment.