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Microsoft Intros Project on{x} Serivce for Android Developers

Just because Microsoft is working on a mobile OS rival, that doesn't mean the company has no plans to take advantage of Google's cash cow, Android. Microsoft launched on Tuesday a new website and Android mobile app called Project on{x}, a developer oriented service that enables developers and technological enthusiasts to easily program mobile devices to dynamically react to a continuously changing environment.

"For each such triggering event, we can easily create reactions," Microsoft writes in a blog. "Instead of limiting the reaction to a simple list of actions, we are offering the full power of JavaScript. That’s right, you can push any arbitrary JavaScript code, remotely, down to your mobile device and hook it up to a continuous signals sensing framework that you only need to download and install once. The possibilities are wide open because you no longer need to worry about the target platform. Even better, Project on{x} is optimized to not drain your battery."

A few examples of Project on{x} include programming a phone to automatically send a reply SMS with a driver's current location after their spouse sends a text asking "where?" or some other statement. Another example is having the phone to automatically show the day's agenda as the user steps into the office, or to show the weather when the user wakes up in the morning.

Project on{x} provides user access to the sensors on a tablet or smartphone -- including cameras, microphone, core apps and more -- to help make the tasks happen. The back-end of the service is also based in the cloud, allowing users to create their functions in a browser and then push them down to the device.

"In typical systems, a phone acts as the eyes and ears – it senses the world and sends the data to a web service in the cloud for analysis," Microsoft reports. "After the real-time or off-line analysis is completed, and the system realizes it has something to tell the user, the phone is engaged again. This is usually in the form of a push-notification message. Now the phone acts as the mouth of the system – talking to the user. This is how many apps and services work, from navigation systems, to simple personal assistants."

Surprisingly, Project on{x} is only available for Android -- so far there's no indication of a Windows Phone release. Interested programmers can tinker with the new toy by grabbing the Google Play app here. A video demonstration is embedded below.