The Windows Phone app gap starts with Microsoft

In the past week I have attended the MVP Summit at the Microsoft mothership in Redmond.

During this week we were exposed to a lot of content that can’t be shared due to our Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) however one thing I can disappointingly share is that in the “mobile first” view from Redmond: iOS and Android come before Microsoft’s own Windows Phone.

The business sense is justified: iOS and Android make up the majority of mobile devices in the world so if you want adoption of your technologies then they need to be supported.

I feel sorry for the Windows Phone team. While they continue to grow in developing markets due to low cost phones, their market penetration in most developed markets is in the single digits.

A big reason people don’t adopt the platform is due to the “app gap”. In several sessions at the MVP Summit we were exposed to amazing new mobile functionality coming out – only to find that it would only be available for iOS and Android, with Windows Phone at some point in the near future.

It saddens me when I see a popular application or service with links only to the Apple App Store and Google Play marketplaces. I am often surprised when I see people such as our house removalist truck driver using a Nokia 930 and stating that it was a “beast” and that he’s always used Windows Phone since it was released (only a few years ago).

If Microsoft does not treat its own mobile operating system as an equal – why would others? Microsoft has spent billions on developing the Windows Phone operating system, marketing, purchasing Nokia and then laying off most of its workforce. The technology in the operating system as absolutely amazing. The Universal Apps model is a game changer. Cortana…. well it’s hard not to love her.

Windows Phone has so much going for it. If only Microsoft product groups saw it as an equal 3rd and released apps with the same level of functionality (or even higher) than iOS and Android then maybe other developers might do the same, and maybe Windows Phone would stand a chance.