Windows Phone boss Joe Belfiore's Reddit "Ask Me Anything" chat included feature news on the forthcoming Windows Phone 8.1 -- and frank talk of mobile struggles.
nowhere near the million-plus in populating the iOS and Android ecosystems. App developers naturally follow users, so given its small share, Microsoft's progress isn't terrible. Even so, the app gap is far from closed -- a point Belfiore discussed during his chat.
"So--sitting in 3rd place," Belfiore wrote, "it's tougher for us to get the apps." He countered that Microsoft has made progress in the last couple years, pointing to not only the addition of high-profile apps such as Instagram, but also outreach efforts with ISVs. The company also recently debuted Universal Apps, which let developers build Windows, Windows Phone and the Xbox apps from mostly the same code.
Microsoft's Joe Belfiore introduced Windows Phone 8.1 at last month's Build conference.
Some chat participants stressed that when popular apps finally come to Windows Phone, they're usually neither as fully featured nor updated as often as their iOS and Android equivalents. "Right now we're MOSTLY focused on continuing to GET the key apps--although lately with more of these present, we've shifted a bit towards improving the current ones," Belfiore wrote. He characterized the development of the Windows Phone ecosystem as a "marathon, not a sprint."
He said Facebook will launch an improved Windows Phone app as soon as June, and promised the update will deliver better performance, full-width photos in the newsfeed, and a revamped UI that displays photos and comments at the same time. Belfiore also said Microsoft will soon release an improved version of Skype, and that the company is "talking" to makers of the popular Snapchat app about a version for Windows Phone.
Belfiore also broached Microsoft's sometimes-icy cross-platform relationship with Google. He noted that Google's apps are "high on our 'want list,'" but qualified, "Unfortunately, the apps are Google's and I can't say when they will act." He added, "You should ping them! (often!)"
Could the growing movement toward open-source hardware rewrite the rules for computer and networking hardware the way Linux, Apache, and Android have for software? Also in the Open Source Hardware issue of InformationWeek: Mark Hurd explains his "once-in-a-career opportunity" at Oracle.
Michael Endler joined InformationWeek as an associate editor in 2012. He previously worked in talent representation in the entertainment industry, as a freelance copywriter and photojournalist, and as a teacher. Michael earned a BA in English from Stanford University in 2005 ... View Full Bio
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