The big problem with Windows Phone gets worse: Why there are fewer apps?

Windows 10
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How difficult is talk of potential failure of a platform like Windows Phone. The ambitious project of Microsoft in the ubiquitous segment of smartphones has crashed again and again against great obstacles. In addition, if there is one perennial, that has been the debated quality and quantity of software applications in its catalog.

For advocates of the platform the problem was not particularly serious, but critics have always been clear that this important facet has finished condemning Microsoft’s bet on phones. The launch of Windows 10 and the concept of universal application looked like it might alleviate the problem, but far from it to developers seems to have finished scaring even more what happened yesterday HERE is evident demonstration. In addition, are jumping ship Windows Phone it bleeds.

Universal applications do not help

The approach that Microsoft took to announce the release of Windows 10 was really promising. Not only because of the convergence of the smartphone platform your can now become your PC, as we saw in the first person- but by that unification of platforms that it had as therefore the appearance of universal applications: tools and games that would be compatible with PCs and laptops with Windows 10, but also with smartphones, tablets or Xbox One if the developer took on the (small) required for this action.

The idea seemed to curb the limitations of Microsoft software catalog, but the fact is that these applications have appeared sparingly. Microsoft offered good examples with several of his native tools, but few of the “big” adopted this chameleonic personality and only some proposals – Uber was a good example – were launched with the universal format.

In Microsoft, they have not known or have not been able to convince developers that are committed to their platform. Everything seemed advantages: you programmable once and with slight alterations could distribute your application or game throughout Windows 10. Ecosystem no longer would have to relegate only to the PC, only the console or only the mobile or tablet: the audience you could get was so much larger.

However, that was not enough, and we face a situation where developers do not appreciate that incentive. It does not help that the Windows application store, which has been widely criticized by users, nor the fact that the universal Microsoft project is still in its infancy. There are still many legs put this table, and precisely the most important is still not prepared: where is Windows 10 Mobile?

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The big missing

Many had hoped that Microsoft take the opportunity at Mobile World Congress this year. It was a perfect time to launch the final version of Windows 10 Mobile moment, their platform for smartphones, but there was no news about it and the presence of Redmond was limited the timid launch of Lumia 650.

Meanwhile Windows 10 Mobile still in full swing. Those responsible for the release of this operating system for mobile devices still work very hard- safe – and in this critical part of the universal strategy of Microsoft, but the fact is that preliminary versions keep coming for beta testers and what does not appear the final version is that users are waiting for months.

The state of Windows 10 Mobile also raises questions: in our analysis of the Lumia 950 XL could see how the platform in general was much room for improvement, and in the absence of the final version of this operating system the brake for developers is clear appears: They do not want to bet on an immature platform and market share nimia.

Anyone who gets in your shoes will understand, but Microsoft also planned that problem, and therefore prepared a plan B to stop the bleeding from his catalog software: came the Astoria, Islandwood, Westminster and Centennial projects.

Adapt applications, the other option for Microsoft

Redmond was clear that it was difficult to convince many developers bet on program for Windows 10 from scratch, so they had another peculiar idea: to offer tools that allow them to migrate their development to Windows easily.

This is how born the Islandwood projects (for iOS apps), Astoria (for Android), Westminster (web applications) and Centennial (Windows apps for a lifetime, Win32). All these developments were meant to attract those developers and make the software catalog of Windows 10 in all editions grow.

It is still early to give a verdict, but the success of this strategy has already encountered a first obstacle: Microsoft has decided to leave the Astoria project (officially known as Windows Bridge for Android), and has done so with a little enlightening announcement in who spoke only convince Enough preferences iOS programmers they seemed to say- and not the apparent technical problems in transferring and adapting Android applications to Windows 10 (Mobile).

The status of the remaining projects is also uncertain at this point, although it seems clear that the Windows Bridge for iOS (Islandwood) is the most effort is gathering by Microsoft engineers. Our fellow Mobile just did a review of all these initiatives and told us how much they marched Islandwood as Westminster or Centennial. In addition, the truth is that despite the ambition and good wishes of Microsoft, the interest generated by these solutions do not seem to be particularly high.

You maybe interested to read another article on LifeStyleQA: Windows turns 10: The evolution of the operating system

Every man for himself

The picture is complex for Microsoft, especially when precisely the cornerstone of the success of a platform- the catalog of applications- not to have problems. It is clear that for many current users of Windows Phone that catalog is enough so we have discussed the readers, but so is the problem exists for other users.

There are numerous cases in which popular -punctual or so prolong- not appear tools available in the Windows Store, but also if they do you can do so in decaffeinated versions. Even in Android it occurs (see the case of the recent viral application MSQRD bought by Facebook – so the situation in the case of Windows Phone is even more worrying.

Also gradually, others will, as we began by saying, abandoning ship. The last example was that of HERE and its mapping service and turn navigation, but others have suffered the same fate here put as examples tools as Pinterest or Kabam, which ceased to update their tools makes months- and this spirit is dangerously contagious.

It remains to be seen what happens in this area: Windows 10 Mobile should appear in the final version, must be reinforced also in mobile terminals seems that this will be difficult in 2016 so has Microsoft, but terminals as the Elite x3 HP catalog- reinforce and certainly have to see how the market (universal, native and adapted) applications evolve.

Even with these lurking shadows to this platform, all is said. It is true that the media love to kill technologies, but I trust that Microsoft still have something to say. That you can stop the bleeding and stands up in a segment that is still dangerously focused on iOS and Android.

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