Microsoft's Plan To Save Windows Phone: Android And iOS Apps

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chulak

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Maybe you read the article, but I don't think you understood it. Microsoft can't copy anybody's code and/or libraries for obvious reasons. This is about tools for developers to port their own Android/IOS apps to Windows. The dream of any developer is to have their creation be seen and used by as many people as possible. If these tools pan out, it's going to be a huge win for everybody including Microsoft.
 

jimmysmitty

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If you can't beat them ... copy their libraries / code.
If you add this in with Continuum then Microsoft is fixing to beat them. Imagine being able to plug your phone into an screen and carry a foldable keyboard and small mouse to connect via BT and bam. You have your desktop and you can run apps that are normally only on iOS and/or Android.

It is honestly the smartest thing Microsoft has done since NT. Sure 7 was great but NT was a true evolution to the Windows OS and this is fixing to be just as good of a change.
 

BeowulfXX

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One of the things I like in using a Windows phone is that users are actually given the option to install apps (or move the apps) into microSD. Granted that there are a few ones that does not allow to be installed into microSD like Messenger app (which integrates itself into FB), most of the apps I have downloaded allowed the user to install into microSD. This is great considering the user gets to save precious built-in storage space and the reason why even having an 8GB-storage phone such as the recently-released Lumia 640 XL bearable/acceptable. Now imagine using an 8GB phone while using Android. Even if recent KitKat and the new Lollipop build allows the user to install on microSD, it seems a good percentage of apps still need to be installed into built-in storage of phone. This makes considering an 8GB smartphone running android a lost cause.

Another good thing is that Windows phone seem to run smoothly even on lower-spec'd mobile hardware such as Snapdragon 400/1.2 GHz quad-core processors. Now compare that to the CPU hog and/or memory hog apps (and possibly even the Android OS dressed up in various UI versions per mobile manufacturer like Samsung, Huawei etc.), then suddenly a user needs to consider higher spec'd cellphones that obviously will cost more.

If the Windows App store will be populated by Android apps that refuse to be installed in microSD expansion to save remaining built-in storage of Windows phone users, that'll be a big blow to one of the plus-points/advantage of owning a smartphone running on Windows OS.

I'd rather Microsoft considering offering the Windows OS as a downloadable/installable app to Android users so that it can be installed using the current, relatively higher-spec'd phone hardware required by Android apps and android OS. Given how Windows OS is able to run smoothly on lower spec'd, it will be quite a blast to install and use Windows OS on existing more powerful quadcore iterations seen in current and upcoming Android devices/phones.
 

Grandmastersexsay

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Maybe if Microsoft designed a windows phone that wasn't more locked down than an iphone, they might have had a seller. The windows phone business model looks like something out of blackberry's playbook.
 

Ben Liu

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Do what Blackberry did - just get a JVM / Dalvik running on it in real time. M$ can purchase already existing ones out there to speed it up.
 

falchard

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It really depends on implementation and traction. Even though it has always been easier to develop on Windows Phone, developers still preferred not to develop for it. Now this appears to be a 10 minute process in porting an application, but developers still might be apathetic to it. I know it seems dumb to limit your market including a higher percent in Europe because you don't want to spend 10 minutes porting it. But there are devs that this would not even occur to them.
The other issue is how these will translate. There are 2 issues. 1st is that both android apps and iOS apps are horribly optimized, but Windows Phone tends to auto-optimize making them perform better. If they manage to keep the optimization of Windows Phone, that will be good. The other issue is that the most likely response by Google and Apple will be to make some type of arbitrary code that throws errors being run through these projects required on all their apps.
 

Ben Liu

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Firstly, Android and IOS apps are not exactly horribly optimised - just not optimised in the same way as Windows being on totally different ecosystem with its own architecture and limitations. One can argue (subjectively) which ecosystem is "better" but its a pointless debate.
Secondly, SDK's API's and the lot keep changing from version to version and Microsoft in doing what they are doing will forever be playing a catch up game. Google and Apple realistically can make any changes whatsoever at all to their development environments just to throw off Microsoft in this way and they have no commitment to Microsoft for their code to work with their translation engine.
 

lpedraja2002

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Wow if they put the effort to make this work without many problems this might be a huge game changer for Windows Phones. Is this the vision of that new CEO? Because if it is, he's doing a damn good job leading the company.
 

belardo

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Microsoft still grasping at straws. To a degree, when WP7 was new - it should have taken the phone market by storm with its different UI. Windows 8's failure did a lot of damage to their WP8 plans.

As an app developer (Android and iOS) I doubt I will ever bother with this. Why? Its another account / store / platform to support. The market is tiny, the choice of phones are small and there is simply not much reason to bother. The mobile space wants Microsoft to die, IMHO.

If you want to run WP8 UI, you can use your typical Android phone and install Launcher 8, which is more flexible and has some really COOL features that WP8 doesn't have that Launcher has been doing since the WP7 era. You would be hard pressed to tell the difference.... and its free.
 

azz156

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Microsoft still grasping at straws. To a degree, when WP7 was new - it should have taken the phone market by storm with its different UI. Windows 8's failure did a lot of damage to their WP8 plans.

As an app developer (Android and iOS) I doubt I will ever bother with this. Why? Its another account / store / platform to support. The market is tiny, the choice of phones are small and there is simply not much reason to bother. The mobile space wants Microsoft to die, IMHO.

If you want to run WP8 UI, you can use your typical Android phone and install Launcher 8, which is more flexible and has some really COOL features that WP8 doesn't have that Launcher has been doing since the WP7 era. You would be hard pressed to tell the difference.... and its free.
yeah android is so much better, I love not getting updated to the latest version of android just because the phone I picked wasn't popular, a problem that you will never get on windows phone.

yes I know you can install custom roms, I have done it myself and hated it since I found it nearly makes the phone unusable in some cases. While with my Lumia 930 its as close as you can get to a iPhone without it actually being a iPhone. until android fixes it fragmentation epidemic i'll stick with windows phone.

But I sincerely hope your wrong and this does propel windows phone past 10% global market share finally (8% here in Australia atm). Though I think google did a lot of damage by refusing to port any of its apps over out of spite, we all know its out of spite since blackberry has a official youtube app. (BB 0.3%, WP 3.8%).
 

belardo

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Yeah, because Win7 phones were soooo up-gradable to WP8 OS. Funny, my Android 4.x phones got upgrades. And the software from 4~5.0 work.. as well as those from 2.x.... so... your point?

And gee... fragmented UI design? Thats a manufacture's option... and gee, the apps all run the same. The dial pad and phone book work the same... even the Calculator's + - and X keys work the same. Good God, you must freak out over a 2 button mouse!
 

belardo

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To add why MS is failing in mobile... is their own doing.
Go way back to the old days... 2007 MS releases Windows Mobile6.0 (I'll use the WP moniker for simplicity) for which there are a few brands. iPhone is new and is killing them, easily. As MS/Ballmer said he iPhone was a toy/fad whatever. By 2008 Google's Android is on the market and quickly starts gaining traction. Over the next two years or so, MS slowly releases updates. But its really nothing much more than a touch-screen feature phone (no app store). In 2009~2010, MS buys Danger Phone company and come out with the MS KIN One and KIN Two phones - why they are well made phone - kind of like a cross between a cheaper BlackBerry and Pre-Metro UI - nobody buys them.
Now, all these products WP6.x are Windows-CE based. KIN's OS is also Windows CE. They are NOT cross compatible and do not have a store for more apps. Less than two months on the market, MS pull KIN out and repackages them as Feature phones without the social-network functions (which were actually well done). The KIN screwup costs MS $1Billion dollars and they didn't get sharks with lazers on their heads!

A few months after the death of KIN (but still being sold/used) in the fall of 2010 is when MS released WP7 devices. WP7 is also based on Windows CE and has no compatibility or relationship to WP6.x or KIN. Roll out was kind of slow... sales were slower. Missing were basic features that were expected and included on Android and iOS. But at least they had a WP Store this time! MS never really gets to 1% marketshare with WP7. All support for WP6 and KIN is dead (SONY and others are not happy)

What didn't help is that Apple ships out the iPad and iPhone4 which totally steals whatever thunder MS had with WindowsPhone7. Apple pretty much sold more iPhones in a day that all WP7 sold combined.

By the time WP 7.1 comes out... we learn that WP8 will be part of Windows 8 and WILL not be compatible with WP 7.x hardware nor will the apps be cross compatible. While this seems trivial for a WP7-8 user (simply download an updated app) - its not so simple for the developer who has to RE-CODE the app for a totally different OS which has a tiny market share as it is! Imagine coding for Windows 95 then re-doing your work for Windows 7 64bit. When MS released WP8, support for WP7 pretty much died overnight.

And as we know, MS did a back-room deal and bought out NOKIA mobile (not the whole company) for $7.2 Billion and killed anything that wasn't Lumia/WP8. Not much incentive for HTC, Samsung or anyone else to make WP8 phones, eh? Not like they sold well with WP7 anyway.
Also, Nokia had the N9 Meego phone, which was dead before it was released (Nokia said it would be the ONLY Meego phone, in favor of WP7). The N9 looks pretty much exactly what the Lumia phones are. The Nokia N9 won awards and rave reviews - but not a recommended buy.

If Windows 8 (desktop OS) was a success that people loved, then sales for the Lumia/WP8 phones might have taken off. That was the plan... and we see how that turned out.

Fast Forward today... WP8/Lumia phones are barely selling as they are in the back corner of the carrier stores or bottom end pay-as-you-go phones at Walmart for $70... which compete against bottom end Android phones from LG and Samsung.

Add to this mess, early 2014 - MS/Nokia changed the Asha line (a Linux bottom end OS, weak version of MeeGo put into bottom in Lumia-style bodies) to the Nokia X platform (again, Lumia bodies). This was a cheap phone in which they forked a version of Android, ripped out the google services and bolted on their own Nokia Store. Effectivly making a mostly useless Android phone with a UI that is an much uglier messed up version of Metro from WP7! If you manage to get the Google Play Store installed on the phone, it would brick the phone on purpose.

After a few months on the market, MS yanked this bastard off the market... as they simply made a very plain WP8 Lumia for the bottom end users.

What did MS buy for $7Billion? A possible Android competitor. Nokia could have kicked ass with an Android platform. But you see, MS didn't BUY the whole company, nor its software. They bought the development team, the trademarks (temp), production and a building or two. Pretty much ALL of that is gone. They cannot use "nokia" anymore. But they do own the Lumia name. (WOW! $7B) The phones are made in China like everything else... the OS is made in-house... There is pretty much nothing LEFT of the Nokia we once knew. But wait... In 2016, Nokia will be allowed to sell NOKIA branded phones. Now, they won't actually be built by Nokia since they no longer have the phone factories. They'll do what Apple, MS, HP and others do... design the phone, have it built in China. And you can bet they will be Android phones and they will sell.

The Future: Latest Lumia phones 640 & 640XL series now look like Apple iPhone 5C. Really, they do (see above). The model numbers don't make sense and of course "nokia' name is gone. The new models should be more "cool" like "Lumia V2" The "new" model numbers may seem like OLD models next to the OLD 800, 900 and 1000 series... dumb again, Microsoft.

MS has always failed in the Mobile market. They continue to fail in the mobile market.
Steve Ballmer and many major VPs were fired (Xbox, Windows, mobile) in the past two years.

There is reasons why not many companies develop for Microsoft.
We don't need them... and not worth doing business with, even if it takes 10min to recompile Android code. They only make a profit from Windows OS and MS Office, that's it. Every Xbone is sold at a loss... its about twice as big as the PS4 and very ugly. Only a few exclusives and those are microsoft's such as HALO.

How about Windows 10? Its a FREE upgrade. When has MS ever done a FREE OS UPGRADE. They need it to be a success. Their future depends on it. Its primary job is the launcher for MS-Office. But we don't know what they are going to do after the first year... Maybe they'll come out with version 10.1 and kill support for Win10.0 (refer to Win8 vs 8.1 situation) with the demand for the upgrade for the security patches... then eventually go into a subscription model. They say its always free... but would they put that in ink?

Check back here in 6 or 12 months and I bet their mobile sales will be down... unless, they knock it out of the ballpark with Windows 10. (which, IMHO - is just as downright ugly as Windows 8 - give me a Win7 Skin and I'll give it a try)
 

ShutyerLips

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All of the windows launchers for Android are terrible. Just the worst. Anyone who thinks they act anything like a windows phone is not familiar with windows phones. I am all about getting the new windows phone. I've got the HTC one m9, but am planning on either installing windows 10 this summer or trading it in on the HTC accidental replacement plan (if they'll let me!) for a windows version. I probably wouldn't have these plans if Ms hadn't changed so much recently, but with these plans to allow porting and easier dev tools, how could I possibly stay away from such a better OS? Functionality and native apps have just been so much better than my (in-depth) experience with Android and iphones. With what windows 10 is promising, it's a no brainier.
 

hannibal

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Good move to give developers better and easier to use tools!
Does this enrich windows app store, is another question, but this makes it much much easier and so more plausible.
 

azz156

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Yeah, because Win7 phones were soooo up-gradable to WP8 OS. Funny, my Android 4.x phones got upgrades. And the software from 4~5.0 work.. as well as those from 2.x.... so... your point?

And gee... fragmented UI design? Thats a manufacture's option... and gee, the apps all run the same. The dial pad and phone book work the same... even the Calculator's + - and X keys work the same. Good God, you must freak out over a 2 button mouse!
3 of my previous android phones never got a update past 4.1 and my old htc one m7 is still on 4.4.2 while my first windows phone "Lumia 920" will get the win10 update the same time as my 930 and I didn't even need to unlock the boot loader or anything wow...

also I said nothing about ui design, android has a huge version fragmentation problem where 90% + of phones are not on the latest version so developers don't take advantage of newer features since why should they when most of there users are on 4.1.
 

azz156

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@belardo

geez condense that last message. I couldn't be bother reading your little history lesson but that bit about nokia being a serious android competitor is abit of a joke. only samsung is having any success with android.

I remember reading this last year, the top 5 manufactures

1 Apple
2 Samsung
3 Nokia/Microsoft 5.8%
4 HTC 1.8%
5 Sony 1.2%

I cant remember what Samsung and apple percentage was but the point is sony is number 5 in the world and is now considering abandoning its android phones all together since it isn't profitable for them.

still what is so wrong having a 3rd OS choice in the mobile OS area? android is at 82% market share now, do you really want android to be the new windows in the mobile os world. competition is good. though if winpho does bit the dust i'll be going back to the iPhone. android is too junky for me.
 

aldaia

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@belardo
I remember reading this last year, the top 5 manufactures

1 Apple
2 Samsung
3 Nokia/Microsoft 5.8%
4 HTC 1.8%
5 Sony 1.2%
Smartphone is a fast changing market. Except for Samsung & Apple that seem to be well established players, the other players change very fast. This is data from Q4 2014:
1 Samsung 20%
2 Apple 19.7%
3 Lenovo/Motorola 6.5%
4 Huawei 6.3%
5 Xiomi 4.4%
 

SkyBill40

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As much as I love my Note 3, I've always liked the idea of WP despite Verizon not getting the particular phones that have caught my interest on AT&T. If this were to happen and make WP more viable than it is now (to me, at least), I'd be all over jumping from Android.

I suppose all we can do is wait and see as to how well this pans out or if it comes to fruition at all.
 

gorfmaster1

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I think it is too little too late, in the war between phones, windows is not usually considered very often as a competitor. I would love to see them succeed, but I am not very hopeful.
 

azz156

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@belardo
I remember reading this last year, the top 5 manufactures

1 Apple
2 Samsung
3 Nokia/Microsoft 5.8%
4 HTC 1.8%
5 Sony 1.2%
Smartphone is a fast changing market. Except for Samsung & Apple that seem to be well established players, the other players change very fast. This is data from Q4 2014:
1 Samsung 20%
2 Apple 19.7%
3 Lenovo/Motorola 6.5%
4 Huawei 6.3%
5 Xiomi 4.4%
wow times have changed 3 Chinese manufactures in the top 5 & now Samsung over taking Apple. so just a guess Microsoft have been bumped down to 6th or 7th. I think the last time I heard it was at 3.8%.
 

azz156

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@belardo
I remember reading this last year, the top 5 manufactures

1 Apple
2 Samsung
3 Nokia/Microsoft 5.8%
4 HTC 1.8%
5 Sony 1.2%
Smartphone is a fast changing market. Except for Samsung & Apple that seem to be well established players, the other players change very fast. This is data from Q4 2014:
1 Samsung 20%
2 Apple 19.7%
3 Lenovo/Motorola 6.5%
4 Huawei 6.3%
5 Xiomi 4.4%
I just checked and we all forgot the dumb phone market. so with that in mind.

1. Samsung 396.5 million sold 2014
2. Microsoft 385.6 million sold 2014
3. Apple 135.8 million sold 2014
4. ZTE 75.5 million sold 2014
5. LG 55.9 million sold 2014

we are talking about mobile phones sold so there's the complete picture, I guess smart phones are not for everyone.
 

jimmysmitty

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Can't really compare a Windows ecosystem to Android/iOS. Windows 10 will actually make it even harder to compare considering that WP10 will essentially be the same as what is on a desktop with Continuum.

That said, I am sure Apple and Google will try to screw it up for Microsoft. Did you know that there is not an official YouTube app for Windows Phone? Well there was one that worked really good done by Microsoft, it acted much like the Android app. Google killed it though by not allowing it to access the videos properly.

Apple and Google wont play nice with Microsoft. The reason is they feel threatened. Most people who I have met who have ever used a Windows Phone like the UI and the OS. They just hate that the apps are not as accessible as with iOS/Android. This will help that as any major developer will develop for Windows too.



Android is a ok OS. Honestly it is just ok. My S4 was getting slow and clunky. Just like my previous Android phones, even the newer versions of Android that are supposed to be faster, they get bogged down after about a year on most phones. MY wife has a HTC One M8 with Windows Phone 8 and has had it just about as long as I had my S4 (recently traded it in for a S6) and it is still running as fast as the first day.

I would have gone for a Windows Phone but I didn't see any with specs I liked and the ones that did have them were not Verizon compatible.

Either way, Windows 10 is going to shake things up. I am willing to bet that Apple and Google are both going to scramble to copy this idea, Continuum and even Hololense.
 

azz156

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I don't think Microsoft will be playing catch up with apple and google for ever. The problem with with windows phone is this endless feed back loop, people wont buy the phone because their apps are not there and developers won't support the platform since it has a tiny user base.

So I think if this tactic pays off and windows mobile 10 manages to get 15% or more market share then the devs will start to do native apps and slowly ween off using there old ios/android code.
 
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