Microsoft has launched a new section to its website, the Microsoft Garage, through which it aims to provide access to pre-release and development-stage software for its fans.
Previously available only internally, Microsoft Garage is described by the company as 'a community of interns, employees, and teams from everywhere in the company who come together to turn our wild ideas into real projects.
' While not all of the projects created by the various 'hackers, makers, artists, tinkerers, musicians, inventors
' which make up the Garage division will become genuine products, its existing creations have proven interesting enough for the company to want to get outside feedback on their viability.
Software available at launch includes Voice Commander, an eight-player top-down shooter for the Xbox One which features heavy integration with the voice recognition facility of the company's now-unbundled Kinect v2 sensor platform, and Torque, a Bing integration app for smartwatches running Google's recently-released Android Wear software platform. Android, in fact, is rather well represented in Garage's output: of the four projects the team has chosen to showcase, one is for Android Wear and two - Next Lock Screen, which provides handy one-tap access to commonly used apps and features, and Journeys & Notes, a prototype social network for commuters - are for Android.
That's not to say Microsoft's Garage team has forgotten which side its bread is buttered: the 16 apps currently available to the public include several for Windows Phone, Microsoft's own smartphone platform. Others support Windows, while one - Snipp3t, a celebrity news app - is available for Apple's iOS platform.
A full list of currently-available Microsoft Garage projects is available from the official website