1. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    Over at All About Windows Phone there's an interesting article Why is Microsoft losing the corporate app battle? Though they called this Corporate Apps to me this fits into the category of niche app. It's not an app you would use all the time but would like to have. The truth is that this is very prevalent in the UK as stated in the article. Everywhere I look I see QR codes pointing to iPhone and Android apps and hardly (if ever) a WP app.

    Now the article asks why is WP still being left behind in all this. Even though WP itself is 3 years old WP8 is almost one, WP still seems to get the short end of the stick.

    The issue is a mixture of reasons and it may not be as straightforward as some people may think. Lots of people point to market share in stating why WP is behind, even though WP is growing. WP users really are the 'other' iPhone users, meaning they don't mind paying for an app we still get left out regardless. Though lots of these niche apps are free.

    So what's behind this? My opinion is this:

    Even though 'apps' were around long before Apple even thought of the iPhone (remember they didn't allow apps originally) it was with little doubt that Apple made them popular and their phones are, and continue to be, popular. When I take the train I would say that 80-90% on it will have an Apple device of some sort. If they are late teens and early 20s, even more so.

    When people are in college you see a lot of Apple laptops and iPhones. Most people learn to develop on Apple first and Android second.

    So when a corporation is looking to make an app it's quite obvious that their IT people will suggest Apple first, simply because of the ease of getting it developed and the market share. Second, they'll look at market trends and grudgingly decide to do build another app, this time Android as being a large market.

    The reason why WP isn't considered and neither BB much anymore is mostly due to lack of knowledge of developers, in other words how easy is it to make an app. The segregation between WP8, RT and W8 at the moment means making three apps instead of one if they want to market to the whole Windows ecosystem so it can appear costly. Then of course even though WP continues to grow, the market share is still low by comparison.

    A lot of us would like to see more niche apps (corporate and otherwise) coming to WP as that prove that people are taking the platform seriously. I think the turning point for this will be with WP8.1 with the cross platform ability and making it easier to develop for all three platforms. Whether niche app makers see this opportunity or not is another question but it could be a reason why some devs are holding back.

    Now I know that some people may point to mobile websites instead of apps but I think there is a trend away from mobile specific websites with the increase use of responsive websites which are easier to use on touch devices. As well you typically don't get the same experience on the website as you do on a native app so the comparison is not true.

    So that's my opinion on this what do you make of it?
    07-10-2013 07:49 AM
  2. realwarder's Avatar
    Apps are tricky. Simple as that. People write an app for the largest platforms first - Android/Apple

    The more Windows Phones out there, the more apps that will get written quicker. Catch 22.

    Microsoft are doing what they can:
    - Releasing apps like Halo: Spartan Assault on WP
    - Offering money to companies to write WP versions of apps
    - Making great tools to make writing apps simpler (VS + lowered store fees)

    Nokia is doing similar it would appear with Nokia Exclusives

    The app situation is massively improved and getting better monthly...

    The way to improve things is simply promote WP so more people get it and hammer companies on twitter/support forums until they release WP versions of apps. Point out that WP has a big market share of sales now (>10% in some countries) and therefore they need to get onboard with this as a major platform. Yes, we the consumers can influence companies.
    07-10-2013 08:33 AM

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