Microsoft's new app will be a lifesaver for shift workers

Project Sonoma is billed as the ultimate 'one-stop app for deskless workers'

Microsoft has pushed out a new productivity app which aims to help shift workers better organise themselves, with the preview version now out for both Android and iOS.

Project Sonoma (which probably won't be the final name) is aimed at those working shifts in the likes of factories or restaurants, and is billed as the "one-stop app for deskless workers". It allows employees to see when they're working and who's on what particular shift, make requests for shift swaps, and chat amongst themselves in groups or via direct messages.

So it sounds pretty handy indeed for the intended target audience.

As mentioned, the app is still in the private preview stage, but there is an official Sonoma website and if you head over there you can sign up to be notified of when the app is ready (and perhaps if you manage to make it into the beta testing program).

Not acquired

TechCrunch, which spotted this development, speculated that the app might be the result of a minor acquisition by Microsoft, but Redmond clarified that this wasn't the case, and the software was built from scratch by its own engineers.

The firm's statement read: "We're always building and incubating new solutions to help people get more done, and we don't have any availability timelines or details to share at this time. We can confirm that Project Sonoma has been developed internally by Microsoft from the ground up and is not based on an acquisition."

To use the Android version of the app, you'll need Android 4.2 or better, and on the iPhone side, you must be running iOS 8 or 9 – but as mentioned, you'll need to be accepted for the preview program first. Only a limited amount of firms are currently involved.