Microsoft releases update that allows iPhone users to text from Windows

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Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
Source: Microsoft

Microsoft announced on Monday that 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 across 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 to IDC.

Microsoft’s move could remove a barrier for computer buyers who otherwise would have picked a Mac. Phone Link previously only worked with Android phones.

The Phone Link software doesn’t have nearly as many features as Apple’s Messages for Mac. It works through Bluetooth, according to The Verge, and requires the iPhone to have Microsoft’s “Link to Windows” app installed.

A Phone Link-enabled Windows PC gets notifications from the user’s iPhone and shows the messages in Windows. It doesn’t support group texts through iMessage, and doesn’t allow users to send photos or videos, either. Phone Link can only display messages that it sends or receives, so a user who sent some texts on their phone won’t see that part of their message history in the Windows app.

“Messaging feature is limited by iOS,” the company said in Monday’s announcement. An Apple rep didn’t respond to a request for comment.