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Why Windows 10 may not fix Windows Phone’s biggest problem

January 20th, 2015 at 7:00 PM
Windows Phone App Store Windows 10

Microsoft this week is going to unveil some crucial new details on Windows 10, reportedly including a single code base that will make it much easier for programmers who write desktop Windows apps to write apps for Windows Phone. While one line of thinking right now is that this will help Microsoft close its “app gap” with iOS and Android, Jan Dawson makes a strong case that it won’t do anything to improve Windows Phone’s comparative dearth of quality apps.

FROM EARLIER: New details emerge on Microsoft’s last-ditch effort to make Windows Phone relevant

The reason for this is pretty simple: Dawson writes that most of the popular mobile apps that Windows Phone is now missing simply don’t have Windows desktop equivalents anyway.

“Among the top 50 free iOS and Android apps, there is not one which is not on Windows Phone but exists as a desktop app on Windows,” Dawson writes. “All of the top 50 free iOS and Android apps for which there is a Windows desktop app already exist as Windows Phone apps today.”

In other words, popular apps that have Windows desktop versions also already have Windows Phone apps, while popular apps that aren’t on Windows Phone do not have desktop versions. And when we look at the app gap between Windows Phone and other platforms, we can see the platform is still missing Snapchat, SoundCloud, Clash of Clans, Pinterest, and more, and none of these apps have Windows desktop equivalents.

Of course, there is another possibility here: Namely, that Windows’ dominance of the desktop will make it more enticing for games such as Clash of Clans to release Windows versions of their games on popular online stores such as Steam to generate even more revenue, which could then lead to them releasing Windows Phone apps as well.

All the same, Dawson is pretty convincing when he says that Microsoft shouldn’t expect this single code base to be a cure-all for Windows Phone’s app problems. Read his whole post at the source link below.

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