The curious case of Windows Phone continues to pique the interest of tech enthusiasts. Rumors have it that Microsoft has plans of offering the Android apps on the Windows Phone devices. The big question is, is this good or bad?
What Windows Phone lacks?
There is no denying that one of the largest drawbacks of the Windows Phone platform is that it doesn’t have nearly as many apps as Android or iOS does. While most of the important apps are there on the Windows Phone store, there are many that are exclusively available only on Android and iOS.
So, if Microsoft is concerned about the collection of apps on the WP store, that’s a very valid concern. But the question is, how exactly should the company try to resolve this problem? Is making Android apps available on the Windows Phone device a good enough solution? Let’s see.
Naturally, the best thing about making Android apps available on Windows Phone devices will be that WP users will instantly have millions of more apps available on their handsets. They will be able to get apps directly from the Windows Phone store as well as from Google Play store. In fact, with Nokia rumored to launch an Android handset of its own soon, the company can become a bridging entity between Android and Windows Phone.
The very first thing such a decision would do is convey a message to the world that Windows Phone platform is not good enough, which is why Android apps are being made available to Windows Phone users. This will instantly disillusion WP users. Microsoft should know that when people buy a Windows Phone handset, it’s not just because of Nokia’s hardware but also because of the interface and looks of the Windows Phone OS.
Compromise the integrity of Windows Phone OS and the WP market will diminish within days. And making Android apps available on Windows Phone devices is a sure-shot way of doing exactly that. After all, if Microsoft starts hedging on the availability of Android apps to sell Windows Phone devices, why shouldn’t a user simply go out and buy a more affordable, unlocked Android handset directly?
And even if Microsoft decides to go ahead with the decision, this will pose a huge list of additional problems for the company. First, bringing Android apps to an all new platform, with whatever ways, will tar the user experience. Apps tend to go awry and buggy when transported from one platform to another without appropriate adjustments. Since the rumors say that the entire Google Play store will be made available on Windows Phone devices, there’s no way that all of its apps will run smoothly on WP devices.
Not only that, this move will significantly reduce the developers’ interest in native Windows Phone app development. These developers will simply create Android apps, since these would then be available to WP users too. In simpler words, the native developer community for Windows Phone will disintegrate.
A possible solution:
Microsoft has many options and far more issues at hand right now. The company is struggling with the Windows Phone platform and its competitors are rapidly expanding. The one thing that Microsoft must ensure right now is to differentiate its platform and its products in the mobile market.
Nokia has been the key Windows Phone manufacturer so far. And while the company has dished out some brilliant hardware, it is focusing on the wrong parts. Nokia ought to stop pushing out ultra-high-pixel cameras in smartphones. That essentially caters to a very small audience. The company needs to find a way of creating top-end smartphones which are competitive against the likes of iPhone 5S and Samsung Galaxy S4, and at the same time offer them at prices which are not too steep comparatively.
At the same time, Microsoft must ensure that all the top free and paid apps are made available on Windows Phone store at the earliest date. If the company needs to expend some of its huge pile of cash in ensuring this, that’s not a bad bargain. At the end of the day, the key to success in the mobile market is to create an entire ecosystem which contains a full range of devices from top-end to budget handsets, and a list of services and apps that is unending.