Skip to main content

Microsoft Needs To Make App Porting Easier To Save Windows Phone

Windows Phone is a great platform, with its elegant live tiles, beautiful hardware and performance that mostly belies even the lowest end internals. Of the three platforms currently available it sports both the most elegant UI and the best hardware. Yet other than for testing purposes I can't remember when I last carried one.

As usual the problem remains the app gap. After years and years of trying Microsoft have singularly failed to fix the problem. Yes, we hear of every single big name arrival as a cry of victory from the Windows Phone cheerleaders, yet the gap between the release of the iOS, Android and Windows Phone versions of these big name apps is usually a reason for concern, not celebration.

It isn't even the big name apps that are the real problem. For every big win Microsoft scores there are one hundred apps that aren't ported and every one of those is a show-stopper for someone transitioning to Windows Phone. In fact by making its apps available so freely on iOS and Android Microsoft has made it incredibly easy to decide to skip Windows Phone entirely.

So what is the solution? Microsoft thinks that it's universal apps, running on all Windows devices at once. Which would be reasonable if the Windows app store wasn't even more barren and crapware-laden than the Windows Phone store.

Realistically Microsoft has two options to save Windows Phone. Application compatibility with Android, allowing Android apps to run seamlessly on Windows Phone; or by making Windows Phone mirror Android's APIs in such a way that porting is completely trivial. 

One of these options needs to become a reality at Build this year. Otherwise I'd say Windows Phone is done, which would make me very sad.


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…