Methanol as a chemical feedstock is becoming increasingly important as it is derived from natural gas and is a feasible end-product for captured carbon dioxide. Biological conversion of methanol through natural and synthetic methylotrophs increases the chemical repertoire and is an important direction for one carbon (C1) based chemical economy. Advances in the metabolic engineering and synthetic biology enable development of microbial cell factories for converting methanol into various platform chemicals. In this review, the current status of methanol utilizing microbial factory development is summarized. Also the development of synthetic methylotrophy and methanol-augmented bioproductions is discussed.