Mobile // Mobile Devices
Commentary
4/2/2012
11:04 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Windows Phone's Big Problem: Google Ignores It

Google prefers Android and iOS when it comes to developing mobile apps and services. For Windows Phone, this is a big liability.

As far as Google is concerned, Microsoft's Windows Phone platform doesn't really exist. For people who've invested in Google's online services, Google's lack of support for the Windows Platform is a real problem--one that Microsoft should be tackling head on.

Microsoft would prefer, naturally, that users of its Windows Phone smartphones also use its online services for email, messaging, social networking, and so on. It's no surprise that Windows Phone comes with support for Microsoft Office, SkyDrive, Bing, Xbox, and other core Microsoft services. As a major platform provider, Microsoft wants its customers to be fully invested in Microsoft across the board.

The same is true of Apple and Google with iOS and Android, respectively. Both smartphone platform progenitors offer goods and services that are only available to their respective smartphones--and that's the way it should be. Take iTunes in the cloud, for example. iTunes is Apple's cash cow, so why would it want to make that available to Google? Same goes for Google.

Google, however, acknowledges that iOS exists. It may give preference to Android when it comes to releasing new mobile applications or services, but it quickly follows with iOS support--if it doesn't support it from the get go. Look at Google+. Google first made a dedicated Google+ application available to the Android platform, but followed about a week later with a Google+ app for iOS.

[ Will Nokia's Lumia 900 open minds and wallets to Microsoft's mobile platform? See Nokia's Flagship Windows Phone Ships April 8. ]

The net result is that someone such as me, who is fully invested in Google's services, can use all of them on an iOS device and not miss a beat. I have access to every Google service I need, whether via a dedicated iOS app or an HTML5 Web app. Google supports iOS, even though Google and Apple are competitors.

The same is not true for Windows Phone.

Google has developed shockingly few applications for Windows Phone. It offers a basic Google search app, but the app is clearly an afterthought, and falls flat compared to Bing Search on Windows Phone. You're better off navigating to Google.com within Internet Explorer on Windows Phone. The Windows Phone email client does support Gmail, Google Contacts, and Calendar. Those services are all available, but ancillary ones are not.

A few examples: Google+, Google Docs, Google Music, Google Voice, Google Groups, Google Maps, and on and on.

Some individual developers have tackled these Google Services, but the results are not nearly as good as what Google could put together. There's a Google+ application available in the Marketplace for Mobile, for example. However, it's not a real application. Instead, it is the Google+ Web page repackaged in an app wrapper. It offers a modicum of functionality, but the experience pales in comparison to what a native application could provide. Microsoft has taken it upon itself to fill in some of the blanks. For example, it has its own version of YouTube for Windows Phone. It's awful. HTC trumped Microsoft by developing a far superior YouTube app for its Windows Phone devices. Where's the Google-made version of YouTube for Windows Phone? MIA.

Many say Microsoft doesn't have a good app store for Windows Phone. With 70,000 apps in the market, I'd say that's only partially true. Microsoft has plenty of apps available to Windows Phones, but they're not the right apps.

If Microsoft really wants to convince Android and iOS device users to change platforms, it needs to scare up some support for Google's apps and services and prove that devs won't be missing anything if they make the jump. If Microsoft wants to develop the apps itself, fine, but it would be better if Google did. Microsoft's current share of the U.S. smartphone market is somewhere under 4%, though, which doesn't give Google any motivation when it comes to setting aside resources to support use of a competing platform.

Put another way, how many iOS device users do you think Apple would retain if suddenly the majority of Google's mobile apps/services weren't available to the iPhone or iPad?

iPhones, iPads, and Android devices are opening a new gateway for malware that old security tools can't completely close. Security pros must combine education, policy development, and the use of existing tools and new mobile device management systems to effectively balance mobile device risk with productivity rewards. Find out more in our Stop Mobile Device-Borne Malware report. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
speculatrix
50%
50%
speculatrix,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/26/2012 | 8:10:36 PM
re: Windows Phone's Big Problem: Google Ignores It
actually, Apple don't really make that much money from itunes, their real money comes from hardware sales, so there's no benefit to them in developing itunes desktop software to allow you to buy and store music on your android phone or windows phone.

I'm sure there are a small number of people who use itunes to manage their music even though they don't have an ipod/phone/pad, and I feel sorry for them!
kappadon
50%
50%
kappadon,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/3/2012 | 5:00:32 PM
re: Windows Phone's Big Problem: Google Ignores It
The Killer App that Microsoft has used for years is no longer effective, Stealing intellectually property, renaming it and Bullying the Market to accept it is History, Karma is a biatch.
gfinale
50%
50%
gfinale,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/6/2012 | 5:01:49 PM
re: Windows Phone's Big Problem: Google Ignores It
Does anyone really think hotmail is even 1/10 as good as gmail? Does hotmail have even 1/4 the functionality of gmail? What has M$ done to improve hotmail in the last 5 years by the way?!

Most M$ products are inferior. M$ is about ads, propaganda, bullying and breaking the law.
AustinIT
50%
50%
AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/4/2012 | 7:01:45 PM
re: Windows Phone's Big Problem: Google Ignores It
Totally agree with you there.

Office365 and Windows Phone together ARE the killer combo. Office365 (with Exchange) alone is light years better than Google... et al... suffering with IMAP for email and all the other rinky dink ways of trying to sync your calendar, contacts, tasks, etc. to all your devices.

Office365 has all the pieces in play now - Exchange, Lync, Sharepoint, Skydrive, Office Web Apps along with integration to the native installed Office apps. You literally have your entire office suite available when on the go.

Microsoft and Nokia are executing well and will sonn be a force to be reckoned with.
cxf
50%
50%
cxf,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/4/2012 | 5:05:06 PM
re: Windows Phone's Big Problem: Google Ignores It
The iPhone and Android are largely personal devices. For those on Office 365, WP is completely Enterprise Ready. There's a killer app for you.
EVVJSK
50%
50%
EVVJSK,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/4/2012 | 3:45:41 PM
re: Windows Phone's Big Problem: Google Ignores It
Agreed. The killer app is not XBox Live either. It will likely be something new and innovative. Assuming Microsoft can still innovate (not sure I consider Tiles to be innovative). When everyone has a Killer App on their platform (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc...) it is not an advantage (I know Microsoft likes to tout that user don't have to add those apps on Windows Phone, but most users can (or get someone else to help) figure out how to get those killer apps installed. Unfortunately, Microsoft can't even buy the killer app (at least it hasn't lately). Nokia maps is probably the one thing that differentiates Nokia Windows Phone from other Windows Phone and Platforms (the fact that it comes installed AND it can cache maps). I believe Google has this in some form, but not sure how widely available it is. Innovation is the key to winning the game.
Andrew Hornback
50%
50%
Andrew Hornback,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/4/2012 | 1:36:45 AM
re: Windows Phone's Big Problem: Google Ignores It
One of the things that you're seeing in this competition (rather not call it a fight) is that Microsoft is competing with Apple and Google on so many different fronts at this point that it seems as though the Windows Mobile platform is an afterthought so that Microsoft can say that it plays in the mobile space.

What needs to happen, to make the Windows Mobile platform more appealing is for Microsoft to create a "killer app" (to bring back a rather old phrase). Apple's "killer app" started off as iTunes and the platform mushroomed from there. Google's "killer app" is the fact that it touches nearly every aspect of an Internet user's life in some way or another. Even Blackberry had a "killer app" with its messaging superiority.

Microsoft needs to create an identity for itself in this space, or it will always be an also ran - I wouldn't necessarily say that they need to be able to support every facet of Google's service portfolio, but there needs to be something out there that people can point to and say "I need to do X, and Windows Mobile does X better than anyone else does."

Andrew Hornback
InformationWeek Contributor
dbgman1122
50%
50%
dbgman1122,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/3/2012 | 3:52:44 PM
re: Windows Phone's Big Problem: Google Ignores It
I guess the publisher did not verify his data before posting. Google just updated their search app for windows phone and I got to say it is pretty good.

I use an app that does google maps. It works pretty good.

As for the other google stuff(google+, google music,etc) I am not interested. I have others that I use and do not need another social site to worry about.

I do agree with the apps. When they have all the apps like ios and android, the ios/android fanboys will not have any excuses to why they are still hanging on to their crappy phones.
Bob_Joe666
50%
50%
Bob_Joe666,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/3/2012 | 6:24:11 AM
re: Windows Phone's Big Problem: Google Ignores It
Well I have using Google apps since a long time, of late the concern is while viewing the spreadsheet in 3.5 inch screen. It displays the cell's which are not filled also so viewing the sheet becomes a pain for the eyes, meanwhile heard about this tool called CollateBox http://www.collatebox.com/ which is gaining a lot of traction in online sharing and editing space. I guess you must also have a look at this one..
worleyeoe
50%
50%
worleyeoe,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/3/2012 | 12:01:19 AM
re: Windows Phone's Big Problem: Google Ignores It
Eric, are you kidding us? Is your head stuck that far into the ground? Bro, the #1 reason why WP does not have close to 10% market share is lack of carrier support. AT&T keeps a steady stream of WP(s) available, while VZ and Sprint each have one, nine month old model. T-Mobile has a couple, including the Nokia 710, and MS has no presence in the pre-paid space that is owned by low-end Android smartphones. From there, you can make critical points about MS' marketing efforts, including Kin causing an 18 month delay in WP7. VZ complains three months ago about lack of LTE support. Now, the Nokia 900 and HTC Titan II sport LTE and where is VZ? They're having their usual Android love fest. Please, dude, if you're going to write an article about what's slowing adoption of WP, don't blame it on a lack of attention from Google. That's an absolute joke.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July14, 2014
Our new survey shows growing demand, flat budgets, and CIOs looking to cloud providers -- not to offload services, but to steal ideas.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join InformationWeek’s Lorna Garey and Mike Healey, president of Yeoman Technology Group, an engineering and research firm focused on maximizing technology investments, to discuss the right way to go digital.
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.