Microsoft is only missing the apps…

Excellent read here by Aulia ::

Bummer it’s on medium…

As I read the article I nod my head and concur that it sounds like a great phone and the camera is amazing. My wife has asked about these phones before cause she wants the best camera but I always warn her that in the end she will hate the phone. Yes HATE it. Why?

That’s very simple. The apps suck.

The Lumia 930 a great mobile device that’s let down by the lack of third party app support in terms of quality if not selection but the popular apps are there and functional and the lack of polish doesn’t seriously affect their usage (except maybe for Path and Flickr, which at this point are just ridiculously bad).

Microsoft will never be able to crank out enough of their own apps to fix this issue. They also seem to be unable to properly prime the pump.

What you see then is a bunch of 3rd rate apps with some of them even being from first rate companies who have been convinced by someone in marketing to build the app (they were promised promotional love by Microsoft). The app is built, probably outsourced, and it works but it doesn’t compare to the same app on iOS or Android. Those apps were written by the core team cause they know that they have to excel – it is where all the competition and customers are.

For this issue we only have Microsoft to blame. They tried to incentivize a lot of devs but they did it the wrong way – they created an open door policy around getting apps built. This didn’t work well cause it was just devs chasing easy money.

What they should have done and still refuse to do is help folks with category leading apps on either iOS or Android to build something for Microsoft.

Let me highlight my own experience with Spuul. Microsoft was willing to help pay for a Spuul windows app but we told them over and over we see no reason to have one – our website works just fine on IE. This flummoxed then because they were focused on pushing windows – we all know now that didn’t go so well.

Then they offered to help coach us with design and said there were even some design resources we could use to outsource the work to but we told them we have our own designer. They seem to think if they help with design that all the apps will look cool but they don’t realize that design is only half of it – you still need to build a great app.

We asked if we could take the design money and use it to outsource the code since we don’t have the expertise on the Microsoft stack. Nope – the money was only available for design.

So we did nothing.

Months later we finally got a phone out of them so we could test our designs some and model app behaviors. Getting this phone was like getting a tooth pulled – it’s funny to me that Microsoft thinks all of us have their phones. They sure seem to hand them out like candy to bloggers. Newsflash – bloggers don’t make apps Microsoft – you need apps more than you need bloggers writing about cool phones that are missing cool apps.

Microsoft is a big company – they could fix this problem. Hand out phones. Design kits and IDE kits. Give every real startup or company with a good app some cash to outsource development to – a starter package of sorts. Offer every certified app a discount on App Store transaction fees and give each app a week of promotion.

Prime the pump in a methodical way.

Otherwise be prepared to keep reading blogs about cool phones that don’t have any cool apps.

Your move Microsoft.

Ps. I will add that even when I approach Microsoft to concur that I will build a Spuul app they still will not put in writing they will promote it. So they offer zero incentives to take a risk. Yes – spending a startups resources to build for Windows Phone is a risk.

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