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NBA Game Time discontinues support for Windows Phone but endures on iOS and Android

It seems for every two steps forward Windows Phone takes it takes one step back. Although users see more official apps and even some unique exclusives, some companies just don't see the value in supporting the third largest smartphone. The NBA is the latest in the category, pulling support for their popular NBA Game Time application this week.

Heading to the Windows Phone Store users can find the app with a July 8th update. Nonetheless not only has the app not been updated for summer league, but the NBA left a little note claiming "The NBA GAME TIME APP on Windows Phone is currently no longer supported. Please visit m.NBA.com to learn more."

Looking into the situation more, we discovered that the iOS and Android apps were updated in June for summer league and are still being actively supported. In other words, this is not a general change in mobile strategy, but a purposeful snubbing of Windows Phone.

The NBA has had an app on Windows Phone since 2011, and it had a major update back in October 2013.

Windows Phone is gaining traction, but it is situations like these which keep it from hitting mainstream popularity, especially in the US where market share is low. Of course, we could always wish for a universal Windows/Windows Phone app from the NBA in the future. Hope springs eternal.

Thanks, @WhaHos, for the tip

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Reader comments

NBA Game Time discontinues support for Windows Phone but endures on iOS and Android

213 Comments

That's funny because an AT&T rep at the mall told my sister that Windows Phone sucks. He didn't know she had one untill she told him. What do you do in a situation like that?

You walk out of that store and never go back. Personally I would have a nice long conversation with this rep about "how much it sucks" and then walk away.

Majority of sales reps are idiots. That's one of the problems for WP. I had so many encounters that they gave me information like that. Really they don't know much and have to give advice. It's a disaster.

It's also partly that salespeople hate customers coming back with complaints or issues. I know, I used to work in a Vodafone store before moving to Nokia and actually training the sales reps.

Salespeople sell their preferred platform because they know that users are less likely to come back with issues or questions. And even if they do, the rep can probably answer them easier if they know the platform. They hate it if a customer has an issue or question that they can't answer, because then they look stupid.

What's the solution? Probably the most effective is for the company to force the sales reps to switch phones regularly and use all OSes equally. But in the real world this is quite difficult to enforce.

No. Please do not try to be logical here. You must follow the reassuring belief that all salespersons are stupid and just hate Microsoft. Forget that these people get paid commissions. Commissions that they are more likely to keep if the average user goes home with a platform that friends and family are also using. 

They are also incentivised by manufacturers to sell specific products, usually with free phones and other hardware. Nokia used to do that in their Symbian heyday but stopped when they went into decline.

But I still do believe that many of them are bad salespeople, pushing their own preference rather than selling what the customer wants. There is a great My Nokia Blog article posted below that has an example of this exact scenario.

I would be very okay if they point out discrapancies, if any.  A customer would want to know that.  In reality, the salespoerson job is to give you information (in a perfect world).  But the problem is that they just don't know.  I like this platform, so i follow the news and info.  And when I fo to store, i hear them just say the wrong stuff, information that is just not true.  I had one of them tell me, and i quote "Nokias don't have good cameras".  My 920 still out performs GS5 and iphone 5s.  Let alone the 1020 that i dream of having.  There has been many occasions of me getting the wrong information from them.  I think if they gave honest and informative opinion to customers, WP would be doing much better.

Agreed. I have actually considered mystery shopping many of the stores in my city and blogging about the results. Get the attention of Microsoft and the networks when there are major issues. It's been two years since I was a Nokia rep so I'm sure there are none that would recognize me any more ...

Ignorance is bliss, scratch that, IGNORANCE is EMBARRASSING. Occasionally I use my GF's iPhone 5, UI sucks feels childish with poor performance, and boring look. Doesn't compare to my WP Lumia 1020. I don't know how I ever thought iPhone UI was awesome. Last year I stepped out from the shadow of ignorance and felt the force saw the light WP YEAH!!

I live in a small country called Republic of Macedonia, we have 3 major carriers (T-Mobile, One, VIP). In the past, things like this happened but not since 3 years ago. In matter of fact, all of the 3 carriers employees are NOT entitled to favor one OS over another or one brand over another. They first ask you how much money are you willing to spare for a phone and which contract. Once you determined that, they show you what kind of phones they have in their offer for that amount of money you are willing to pay (this includes WP, Android, iOS or featured phones). If in that cathegory goes phones with WP, iOS and Android, they will continue asking you various questions to narrow the selection so it can be easier for you to choose. So lets say the narrowing comes to 3 phones each of them with different OS (WP, Android and iOS). Then one by one they will explain you the operating system on each of them and how it works without favorizing any of them. Telling you what's the advantages and disadvantages of any of the OS's. Then they ask you few more questions and based on that, they will suggest you what they think is best choice for you, but at the end it all comes down to your personal choice. All shops from all 3 carriers around the country has cameras. If they catch any of the employee favorizing on purpose some OS or Brand over the other, that person is getting his/her ass fired in the next day. That's a rule that all 3 carriers accepted to follow in the name of equal representing of the devices they are offering.

And when you choose your phone, they give you this little brochure with links from web sites where you can learn more about your phone no matter what OS is run on it. Into that brochure they give you, are sites like WP Central, XDA-Developers, Neowin, Android Central, etc. Also some domestic sites too.

Pretty neat huh? :)

Yes very interesting. This is nice and seems like these reps actually care about the customer where as here (US) whichever company pays the most and for advertising they get the most sold handsets. I mean really what does IOS have over WP to be outsold by such a margin? You can only keep changing apps for so long

Well, that is mainly cuz this government make the rule 3 years ago for fair competition among brands, products. etc. So mobile carriers had to follow the rule, and they all agreed that not favorizing one thing over another will give them more sales and more user trust. Which at the end proved them right. People today are much more comfortable to go and get a phone from them, cuz the cariers main rule is "Customer satisfaction first" and they mean it all the way. 

Employees there have a bigger than average salary here, but before one start to work there, it has 3 months of training to learn basics (and more if you like) of any technical stuff about any of the phones they sell along with their OS's. And since you are already there, however new phone arrived in the stores they have to do their home work learning about that device and the new things the new update of that OS is bringing. So, don't be surprise if you enter any of that shops and you see smoking hot girl and she start talking to you tech stuff, LOL. You will be all like "What? Yes, can you repeat that please?" hahaha.

The apps really make a difference I'm sorry..I know shocking! I sell cell phones and guess what people want, the games and apps their friends use and the people I talk to don't want the third party apps at all I tried! I wanna sell windows phone even as an android man myself because I know everyone is different but when they ask for a certain app and I say well they have a third party version aka YouTube they don't care anymore. 41mp or not

This mindset is why little kids that don't wear Adidas or Nike get picked on even though New Balance or Saucony are just as nice if not better! Brand recognition. They don't see the behind the scenes politicking that goes on.

Google makes 1 ago for Windows Phone...Google search. Why not a "neutral" one like YouTube? And the 3rd party aloud are better than the crappy one they actually allow. So messed up.

There's no such country like 'Macedonia' man. You probably refer to FYROM, this little history-thief so-called country, a remnant of the old communist Yugoslavia.
Please, be more specific when referring to stolen historic regions, because Macedonia is Greek.

Oh dear God, here we go again with the Greeks :) Same old story that less and less people in the world believe in. Instead of telling the world lies about how we are stealing "your" history, how about you care more about your economics cuz your country is bancrupt, people losing jobs every day. But on the other side, Macedonian economy is going up every year, more and more jobs are opened every month. BUT, enough of that, if you have a little bit comon sense in your brain, leave the politics out of this, we are here on a tech site, so lets talk about tech. Technology doesn't give a sh*t about who you are, where you from and what color you are. JUST STOP! :)

'Macedonian economy is going up every day'. The joke of the day. Greece is having a difficult situation to go through but it doesn't compare to the Skopje third-world economy, based mostly to the Greek companies expanding there.
Go make more statues believe to your myth and leave the propaganda to the ignorant tourists.
You are just Slava, so building rediculous statues of greek heroes doesn't change anything

Haha, is that what your news tells you? That Macedonian economy is a joke? Come my friend, see for yourself. Look the statements of World Monetary Fund, World Bank, you will be surprised, Investors are avoiding Greece in the last 3-4 years since EU find out that you have been forging your economy statements in the last 30-40 years. You are not having "dificult times to get through" you have real economic problems, you are bancrupt already. And FYI, Greek companies are pulling back in Greece this past 3-4 years because they can't survive anymore cuz of your economy. Greece part in our Macedonian economy was big, no doubt about that, but today is lower than 10%.

Answer me this, how come before we got separate from Yugoslavia and become our own country again, (i think it was 1992) how come the names Macedonia and Macedonians were forbidden in Greece? If you start talking about that you go to jail. And suddenly after we declare our own country again, you greeks become Macedonia and Macedonians? For Gods sake, make up your mind once and for all, are you Hellens, Greeks or Macedonians. You are confusing the whole world.
And will ask you politelly AGAIN: Can you drop this stupid debate in a tech site or not? I am not debating this anymore, so don't be an idiot, just stop talking about. It's not the place nor the time for that. Truce? :)

Come on. You declare Macedonian since 1992. A political dream of a madman and you caught in his twisted dream. You are just Slava, you have no history, you live in the shithole of Europe. Come to Greece to swim to our magical seas and then return to your little poor country and cry, staring the grotesko statues of Greek heroes.

Oh well, you officially are an idiot :) You believe what you want, i will believe what I want, period!

Ok Stavros Fafanas, Have a nice life :)

Greeks have this complex where instead of helping themselves out of difficult situations they just blame others. To think of all the great things the ancient Greeks brought to the world and then there's this guy with an inferiority complex.

Even tho he started first, i will gladly close it first. I live just 3km from the macedonian-greek border, I know Greeks and i have lots of friends in Greece who i respect them and they respect me as a person, not for what nationality i am.

Mike, don't get me wrong, I respect your opinion, but let's just close this subject, Hope you understand me mate. :) 

And people wonder why us Macedonians cant get along with people like you.

Get over yourself champ. You can think what you want.

FYI, after visiting Macedonia, I went to Greece. I stayed in Athens. The place was a sh!t hole.

I have never seen so many stray dogs. You couldnt take 2 steps in the city without hitting a dog.

What next, your going to tell me Alexander the great is Greek too?

You pick up the phone and hit the rep in the head.if it is a lumia the hit will be very effective LOL

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

It think most of these reps are told to sell a certain brand of phones which does create bias. But I don't think that should be a reason for the sales rep to not know what the phone can do and not do and make a statement that "it sucks" or "nobody buys those". Because then it puts the customer in an awkward position and the customer may assume "Well maybe he is right... Maybe it does suck and maybe nobody buys these. I should look at something else" and just like that, the customer has lost any interest whatsoever on that device and has almost forcefully moved on to something else. Not sure about anyone else, but everytime I walk into a store and someone says something like that about WP or any other device, that is exactly how I feel. I have met a few reps here and there that have told very good unbiased advice to me but it seems those type of sales reps are almost nonexistent or very few, at least here in the US.

Happened to me in india too. I was checking out lumia 1020 and rep came and recommended me galaxys4 coz it had a "better camera". Lol!
I laughed at him and left the store.

Sometimes that just means that they don't have any incentives to push a device.  They aren't interested in "best fit" for the customer as much as they are "best fit" for their own wallet.  Nothing at AT&T seems new enough that they'd Nokia/Microsoft is incentivising a big push.

I had to stop all small talk and extra conversation with the people at the Verizon behind this same junk.. They are oblivious. I'm certain that if some came on and said they had a windows PC, OneDrive, an Xbox one and a surface, wouldn't even know to mention windows phone.

I too have the full MS ecosystem that you mentioned in my house including 2 Xbox 360's. I talk up not only WIndows Phones but have to defend Windows 8 wherever I go. as an IT guy its fairly easy to shed the light. going into a MS store is twofold... Its nice being around like minded folk, but at the same time its not a challenge to try to change minds....

The girl who helped me at my most recent Microsoft Store visit had her iPhone in her pocket and refuses to use the FREE Windows Phone with discounted service that's part of her benefits. She didn't know SQUAT about the devices either. She was proud of her iPhone, expressed that she "loved it" numerous times, and was asking ME why would she switch?

Don't worry about that I live in Portugal and if u go to Vodafone, our other brand they say the same. It's stupid. For me WP is the best.

Shame on Vodafone....btw I'll go to get a new phone for my mum from Vodafone and it will be funny when I'll start avoiding all the Lagdroid phones the rep will show us....

If you can video recording that somehow and publish on youtube, that would be awesome, haha, the ultimate mock up about the non-informed and ignorant reps :)

Holy crap, only 9 reviews!!!

Don't tell NHL or we will never get an app!!!

Maybe the new clippers owner can put in a good word for WP

I would imagine the download total was pathetic. I love this platform, but if it wasn't for Microsoft's deep pockets, it would be dead.

It's kinda hard to get people to download it when it's not available in the US, where people care about the NBA the most... Also, they probably would never mention WP in the ads, just like most companies don't do even if they have apps it seems.

No problem for me since I don't keep up with the NBA, but I feel bad for those who actively use it. I hope they change their mind in the future.

 We die hard 'Bball fans wanted it desperately in the U.S. because if you subscribe to NBA League Pass then you can watch all of the games live via the NBA Gametime app.  Whomever decided not to release it in the U.S. should find a new job as a circus clown!

No apps, no customers. No customers, no apps. It's this cycle WP is stuck in. WP needs to hit critical mass in US soon or the honeymoon will be over soon.

This is what annoys me. Just make the apps, issue an announcement about them and let the Internet do the rest. The old adage "build it and they will come" immediately springs to mind.

Or perhaps Microsoft should wake up and start putting the money and the investment on WP for things OUTSIDE the US, where people actually buy Windows Phones.

All the money they waste on WP in the US just because it's the US, could and should be used to bring more apps and increase the services in places like Europe and India instead. You know...where the WP users are.

No? Here in Norway I haven't seen ONE SINGLE commercial for any Windows Phone the last year. While Samsung using money like a drunken sailor in a whorehouse...
There's Galaxy-ads everywhere, on buses, walls, newspapers, tv, radio, magazines.... can't move without being brainwashed by ads for the crap... But WP? Not ONE, wonder why they get so little attention here...

Maybe you don't realize, but this is what US gets and we - in countries in which people actually like and buy WP - do not:

 

-Cortana

-Pandora

-Bing with useful search results

-Bing rewards

-Quiet Hours

 

I could probably extend the list if I had more time. But this is from the top of my head.

Whyyyyyyyy! Ok I have been using Basketball pro, but still! I hope Basketball pro will stick with us :)

EXACTLY! I never understood why this wasn't available in the US where the league is based!!!!! Maybe once the Sterlings get out of the picture, we can get Ballmer to strongarm the league :P

@SamSabi @DanielRubino You guys failed to point out in the article that this app was NEVER available in the US region.

For all we know this app might have be contracted to a start-up company in the UK and they forgot to set the region to US.

now they are dropping support for an app that never got to its targeted audience.

You guys should get to the bottom of this

The Android app appears to be available in the US, so I guess it's not a licensing thing.  Somebody just fat-fingered the buttons when submitting it to the store?  Bizarre.

This app was only available in the UK region for windows phone. I had to change the region on my phone from US to UK to install it. Make it available in the US and you'll get more downloads. Also, advertise it on TV, currently it just mentions it for iOS and Android.

Exactly. Most companies just announce their iOS and Android apps even when they have good Windows Phone apps available. It's a tough time to be Windows Phone these days. Really tough.

Even I know the "N" in NBA means national, and refers to the US. This makes about as much sense as Barclays Bank UK making their app available only in France.

At the same time, Microsoft also placed an end to the Red Stripe Deals.

Edit: Everything back to normal. The RSD sections disappeared from Microsoft's website and from the store in the early hours of Thursday but they're now back.

Eh?  It's a Thursday so anytime soon they are going to announce this week's deals.  I bet it's Halo: Spartan Assault.  It's on sale now at $1.99 for BOTH Windows 8 and Windows Phone.  Good thing it's a universal app, buy one, take one.  :)  I pity those who bought it a few weeks ago, it was on sale on Windows 8 only (not Red Stripe Deal) at a higher price ($3.49).

I did notice that the sale Bejeweled Live for Windows Phone ended a day earlier.  Even though it still had a red box around its tile, it was priced at it's original $4.99.

What a coincidence ! Not long after hearing of android apps on WP......we get this! And of course there still supporting IOS and androids! Someone needs to send ms these memos of all these devs dropping support for there own mobile platform and rub it in there faces to see how on earth their continuing to allow this to happen! What on earth are ms plans to beat this?

Well sad to say that the leaders at Microsoft are living in the past.

Satya looks like a candy ass and its getting proven again and again.

 

What MS needs is mofo like Patton.

Too many sissies been running the show at MS since Bill left.

Yes Ballmer that includes you fatass

Yea no shit! Like wTf, this app was never available in the US, instead they make it available in the UK where absolutely no one watches basketball? R u f**king kidding me? Now they pulling the plug. F**k those guys! I'm so pissed, they had TV ads on TV all season and they never advertised it was on windows phone. This is ridiculous

Let me guess: It was lacking in features compared to the iOS and Android counterparts, thus had few users, that's why they pulled support? That's how it usually seems to be at least...

Another MS fail.

 

They really don't seem to have a clue about the phone game whatsoever.

Google and Apple must be rolling on the floor and laughing their asses off at MS and its incompetence.

They are laughing because MS do such a poor job marketing.

Major sports should be on the app hit list but I guess Microsoft is made up of non proactive people like yourselves.

 

Hey Sam77 - insults aren't great arguments, but maybe that's all you have to cling to.  You DO realize that Microsoft doesn't MAKE the app, right? They also can't force the NBA to make or keep it.  People are so judgmental when they have no idea what they're talking about.

No but they can work with the NBA and other major sports organisations to deliver quality apps. Thats called being pro active

Enjoy being clueless and lazy.

They have piss poor market share in the US and this will only add to the pain

I mean cmon if you were at Google would you not you be laughing at how MS keeps losing.

I'm certainly laughing at you and your thin skin.

 

 

So you have inside knowledge that they just ignored the NBA and other major sports leagues?  You can approach them all you want and they can still say "no".  It's still the decision of the NBA to make the app in the first place and then it was their decision to pull it.  We don't even know WHY they puled it.  Maybe there's a flaw that they need to fix.  Maybe they noticed low ratings and are reworking the app to coincide with the wider WP8.1 launch.  I'm sure you know, because you know all about their lack of proactive activity and are quick to put all the blame on Microsoft. 

Trust me, I couldn't care less what a insult slinging person thinks about me.  My skin is plenty thick, but I'll still point out when someone lacks a valid argument and can only resort to insults. I'm glad that you are at least laughing. It seems like you live a bitter life. You're welcome for the laugh.

When was it available for WP again. I remember them launching the app, then taking it down. I've been look for this app in the market since I had the 920

msft's fault. what else?
with WP at a measly 3% mrktshare... would that even make a dent?! perhaps there was less demand that's why they pulled out support. can't blame them. but hey, i can only guess....
but reading this sad news... ugh! frustrating

THIS IS YOUR FAULT, MICROSOFT!

Market share is a lazy reason to make a decision.  Millions of users are still millions of users.  That's also millions of users with fewer options meaning that a developer, especially one with name recognition (like the NBA) could crack a significantly higher number of the WP user base, than on the other platforms. 

Very likely their clueless developers forgot to include the US when they were publishing their app to the market and later probably thought that 0 people in US downloaded it and claimed a very low adoption rate.

It doesn't matter to me.... Hardly anyone follow NBA in India..... Can't predict the future Can't predict the future of WP with shit apps like this...

Did you ever use it? Regardless your comment is irrelevant BC first you probably never used it and second you aren't in the market for an app like this. Keep your useless comments to yourself.

What a stupid comment!  Hardly anyone follows cricket in the US, but I wouldn't go to an article about a Cricket app and make a STUPID comment like that. Grow up.

Not better, you can watch all the games live on the NBA Gametime app (if you are an NBA League pass subscriber).

Just out of curiosity. Do the developers understand sometimes they just have shitty designed apps and that's why no one uses them? Hate how it feels as a slight to the OS is doing terrible because of it.

Just like my NBA team, the Philadelphia 76ers keep saying and same goes for the WP community: #TogetherWeBuild

Didn't know this app existed. No wonder it's shutting down, they did such a great job of promoting it...oh well, NFL is still king.

MS itself is showing more interest in iOS and Android..... Other peoples are just getting the hint where to put their resources

Well, they have to because they know that most Android and iOS users are easy to fish and won't struggle to stay in the water. ;)

That's fine. Two can play this one.  During the NBA season, I'll find an advertiser during an NBA game and not support their product.

It's a big problem for me. NBA league pass is one of the things I must have on my phone. I hope it will come back till October...

Wow. I despise companies whom see no future for Windows Phone. But mock my words, Windows Phone will prevail!

Aw, this is really bad. For some reason Microsoft is already preparing the Android apps support as a surprise for us all to come sooner or later.

I just hope it doesn't lose the metro identity!

Neither let the developers give up of WP

Could it be any more worthless than your comment? Why are people so arrogant to think that what they like is all that has any worth?  The world is bigger than just you and we all like different things.  You just seem to like your own opinion a bit too much.

My guess is they don't see enough usage to maintain the app year round for WP, but will probably get it going again in time for next year's playoffs. There's not really much you can do, just not enough usage of WP by the general public, and subsequently even less app usage.

It's not really about how it affects individuals using WP already. There are other great alternatives. It's more about luring in new users, which has always been the challenge for WP and so far it doesn't look good. Numbers took a rise after the introduction of Lumia. What happened after that so far? More of the same Lumia designs, and WP8.1 DP available with Cortana and Notification Center taking the spotlight. It took 2 years to go 8.1, and in these 2 years the Lumia designs haven't WOW'ed new users because they all look the same.

And now official apps are retreating. Doesn't affect current WP users but new users will want to weigh in on what they are getting when they switch. Instagram is in beta forever, Skype can't send a damn file and a lot of big name official apps aren't even close to coming.

In these 2 years since the Lumia 920 (where WP8 really kicked off), other than 8.1 the only thing I got from MS was "wait" . 

Sales reps are either incompetent, dishonest or both in ANY industry. Unfortunately most consumers aren't willing to do their own research before making a purchase and need to be told what to buy. The reps are told to push the galaxy and iPhone so if you don't do your own research then that's what you're walking out with. Shame

As a dev I don't blame them. It feels like every year MS change direction, over held off so many times due to, "next year it will be easier because of".
So now I'm waiting on the converged code set. Who wants to keep restarting their dev efforts. And I'm a self confessed WP fan boy

That damn app didn't even come to the US. I had to change my region to Canada in order to even get that app. So don't be saying not enough people used it and now you're unsupporting it didn't even support your national country!!!!

In my class, if the 1st boy is 80% then the 3rd one is ~80%. But here, "the third largest smartphone" 's market share is <5% .....LOL

And they advertise during every single game asking viewers to download it on ios and Droid. Imagine if it says Windows as well. How much free publicity that is but on well not much demand so what can they do

@Daniel: upon what are you basing the claim that this is a "popular" app? I went to the store and saw almost no reviews. Am I missing something? 

I follow the NBA, well...I follow my team closely. Never knew about, or installed this app. 

It's never good to lose an official app like this, but is nothing to fret about. 

Even Microsoft doesn't care much about windows phone; so, how do you expect others to take the platform serious? While Microsoft owns Skype, but they prefer to offer a better app for IOS and Android. Our facebook is far behind that of IOS and Android, for it's still a third party app which doesn't generate the required feeds.....

Your first sentence is proven by this transition to casually include support for Android apps on WP. You know someone at Google has to be smiling.

"especially in the U.S. where market share is low"... Then why the hell do MS insist on targeting that market with every new innovation...

Wow, disaapointed! Use this frequently throughout the season. Not surprised though every other update would break the app. Been with WP since the start but if devs\company's keep dropping out I might jump ship.

I know, I'll get a phone with the android os with my next upgrade, but its a shame WP, such a nice os, can't get any love.

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