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Windows Phone still isn’t close to solving its biggest problem

Published Jul 3rd, 2014 4:07PM EDT
Windows Phone Missing Apps

Windows Phone is in a real Catch-22: App developers won’t make apps for the platform if Windows Phone doesn’t get more users and Windows Phone won’t get more users until more app developers make apps for the platform. And it’s not enough for Microsoft to just throw cash at developers to get them to bring their apps to the platform long after they’ve become hits — the company needs a way to get developers to put Windows Phone on the radar right from the beginning.

Case in point: WPCentral recently took a look at the top 25 apps on Apple’s App Store and found that only 6 of these apps were also available for Windows Phone. WPCentral says that on the plus side, 13 of these missing apps were games, which often rise and fall so quickly that no one notices when they’re missing. However, WPCentral also concedes that the other six apps that Windows Phone is missing really could be useful to mobile phone users: WatchESPN, YouTube, Snapchat, Google Maps, Univision Deportes and the FIFA Official App.

Things look even worse for Windows Phone when WPCentral expands its “missing apps” list out to the top 100 iOS apps this week because we see that Microsoft’s mobile platform is missing red-hot apps such as Uber and Tinder, as well as perennially popular hits like SoundCloud and Dropbox.

This helps explain why Microsoft is trying to make a common development platform to make it easy for developers to create apps across multiple different form factors, from PCs to smartphones to tablets: It knows that it otherwise will never be able to catch up with developer interest in iOS and Android.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.