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Microsoft focuses on apps in latest Windows, Windows Phone ad

Apps are the focus of Microsoft's latest ad for Windows and Windows Phone as the software giant showcases some of the popular apps for its platforms. One of the long-standing concerns with Microsoft's mobile platforms on tablets and smartphones is the lack of a robust app library, especially when compared against rivals such as Android and iOS, so it's nice to see Microsoft address the situation in this new ad. In addition to highlighting some popular apps, Microsoft also shows off multitasking on its Surface Pro 3.

Be sure to let us know what some of your favorite apps are from the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store.

Chuong Nguyen
Senior Editor

Chuong's passion for gadgets began with the humble PDA. Since then, he has covered a range of consumer and enterprise devices, raning from smartphones to tablets, laptops to desktops and everything in between for publications like Pocketnow, Digital Trends, Wareable, Paste Magazine, and TechRadar in the past before joining the awesome team at Windows Central. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, when not working, he likes exploring the diverse and eclectic food scene, taking short jaunts to wine country, soaking in the sun along California's coast, consuming news, and finding new hiking trails. For news tips or to connect, please message him on the Signal messaging app at +1 (424) 666-7438. 

240 Comments
  • developers...developers...developers....ballmer....
  • -Developers: Not enough users so we make no apps.
    -Users: Not enough apps so we buy no Windows 8 tablets or Windows Phones. True story.
  • Problem is, on iOS and Android you'll have ANY app available... it's not just corporate or bank apps missing, there's plenty more missing... If I want to go surfing, tons of apps on iOS to tell me how the sea is anywhere, none on WP... If I want to see events at the city I travel to, where's my bands in town app?... Where's the game World of Tanks?... How can I convince anyone with an iphone he'll have every app he'll ever need on WP? There's just no way, no matter how you wanna put it... iOS and Android are just unbeatable in this regard and they'll always be and that's why 90% will never switch to WP
  • Not only that. Even the core apps on Windows Phones sucks as compared to the Android / iOS counterparts. Look at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tunein, etc. Even Line on WP is having problem receiving certain kind of message format because it just state that the message format is not supported on Windows Phone. Apps are just so crippled on the WP platform! I switched back to Android with my latest Note 4 and life is so much better than when I was using WP. Facebook on WP has so many loading and loading - tap on a Like, photo, etc is loading non-stop. When Nokia goes full Android, window phone will just go EOL for sure.
  • This is why Microsoft can only address the situation using Windows. When a billion people have the Windows app store then the argument to ignore the platform becomes harder.
    On the bright side, here in the UK we are at about 10% market share, there isn't a single app I'm missing, I'm certainty not missing the malware that comes with Android, and Windows Phone is the only platform with a Disqus app. It's lovely to keep up with the comments boards to articles on the "app gap" and poke the iOS and Droid fanboys in the eye with this fact. %)
  • Not only that Facebook has loading... and loading... over and over again but when you try to share a photo or a video it takes FOREVER to do it, no matter you have a 1mbit connection or a 4G or wifi...it is simply not working ok!
  • can't you get most of that from a website?
  • But the app culture has brainwashed us all unto thinking that well designed websites are somehow inferior to apps.
  • This should be a marketing campaign.... It must change
  • This. I don't like installing any more apps than I have to.  It just means more updates, more apps that need to be updated when I apply an OS update, etc.  When I go to a website I always get the latest version. I know an app can give you more flexibility and features but with the latest web protocols and app development practices most basic apps can be implemented just as well via a mobile website.
  • http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/surfline/39e93cf2-6cd8-435a-95dc-a10212aaeaa8
  • Technically Apps are for dumb phones who do not have a full web browser...WP has full IE11, so you can do anything on your WP browser that you can do on your desktop...neeexxxttt...
  • Are you kidding me? Apps are great for small screens.
  • Very true. No matter how much I love WP but I also do not have a WP app for my website. Reason: not enough users. Although I am planning to do so but its not my priority(second problem with developers and WP users). Thus, I can totally understand why the local apps aren't there.  
  • Strogonoff.  There was a time when Android was nothing.  It's really about OEMS adapting and pushing their phones.  Honestly it was because of Samsung that Android got where they did.  The amount of hardware these guys were pushing out and the best part is they were getting it to stores everywhere!  I can't find any hardware for windows minus some 2bit phones.  People buy for hardware first then the ecosystem.  If you build a phone that is amazing it could draw quite a lot of people.  Windows 8.1 has been showing developers and companies that Microsoft seems to be taking things seriously.  Windows 10 is really their last chance.  They need to make it the most functional phone out there.  I want to be able to set individual ringtones, volumes, etc per user.  I want to be able to only allow certain users to call without gps on to use Cortana.  There's just a bunch of things they can do.  Every feature someone could possibly need should be in there.  I mean looking at the settings section it is a wreck.  I have no problem locating settings ni Android/ios but man in windows it's not the best experience.  The store is horrible too.    They also need to design hardware that LOOKS GOOD.  Honestly, look at the iphone 6 in black.  It is quite a design feat.  I never was a fan of how these phones looked but that iphone 6 sure is pretty.  People don't want rectangle designs.  They want curves.  Limiting bezel is also a nice feature.  Make the default colours less vibrant such as black/white and then make the actual colours an accessory faceplate that can be swapped.  I was looking at the lumia 830 at the MIcrosoft store and while it is a bit more curvy than its predecessors it's still outdated looking.  Freaking hire Audi to make their phone.  They sure make good looking cars haha. 
  • Ha ha deadlock.
  • Funny fact. If there are no apps on WP8 then maybe developers should take this chance and hit the jackpot. How do you think the guys who made 6Tag(instagram), 6Snap(snapchat), 6Tin(tinder) and the 6vine app got so huge on Windows Phone. Because they made an app which was needed for so long and they hit the jackpot! It's like making flappy bird for Windows Phone. Most easy thing to make and you get rich doing it.   PS. I made a game which looks like flappy bird and I'm making a steady income doing it ;) Developers need to understand that WP8 is one of the biggest opportunities they've got. There's way too much competition on the Android and iOS platform!
  • I want WE HEART IT apps pleaseeee
  • What is that?
  • Need the magic jack app Coolest Man Alive
  • Magic jack for real!!! I'm leaving to Jamaica soon and I will not be able to reap the benefits :(
  • Great ad. Perception is reality. Most people have no clue what "no apps on Windows" means, so they just avoid the platform. The reality is that most people don't download a ton of apps. They use email, text, facebook, take pictures, get directions, etc., the basics, and Windows Phones covers all that stuff and more. The reality is that every platform is missing an app or two, Windows than most, but all of them have plenty of apps for 99% of the people.
  • Except for the major bank apps. That is the reason I do not have a Windows Phone. If the Kindle app is not updated, I may not buy the 8"  tablet that I am hoping that Microsoft will release.
  • What about oz bank links it has all banks in Australia and pin for app, UsA need to develop same app
  • What is the big deal about bank apps? Windows Phone has a Bank of America app and I hate it. It's useless. I can't even make a payment from it. I have to go to the mobile website. Mint.com app replaced my Bank of America app easily. I still have a Wells Fargo app but rarely use it. WF.com is just as functional.
  • You can make payments from bank of America app.....
  • I have the main banking apps on my iPhone. I use a wifi hotspot from my Lumia to use said banking apps. That's about all my iPhone gets used for now days. Probably bought a couple hundred dollars worth if stuff from IOS app store and its pretty much collecting dust. Though i would miss the little timewaster games but nope. Still have a few great gems in the WP store. ( only missing one banks app, but apparently they're working on it).
  • The problem is not always with the popular apps... I find the problem is in the local apps when a company announce apps for android and iOS they don’t even bother to mention WP... (Like bank applications, local stores, at least I am talking about Lebanese market...). While many other drops support or update apps once every billion years... This will always leave WP behind, Microsoft have to reach users in another way (good offers for big companies, nice hardware or show the one ecosystem they try to reach). Once users are interested, the developers will be as well.
  • Lol Lebanon still doesnt even know what WP is, they barely started recognizing it. I was surprised to see Touch with a pretty decent app, the MTV is ok but needs work...none of the banks have an app except for BLF and no other big names have an app. Leb is all about what ppl are talking about, most ppl here just use the phone and whatsapp/viber, so they could easily switch to a WP but they dont because to such ppl here, sadly, these arent phones that make a "statement"... MS/Nokia hasnt done anything to make the phones relevant or cool. At the gym a guy asked if my 930 was the new iPhone, i joked and said yes, the person was like its so nicee and was commenting about how the interface looks much nicer, i couldnt help but stop the idiot and say, do u not see nokia at the top right of the screen? Then the guy was like oh but Nokias arent good. -__-
  • infosage: that's wrong... All my friends with iphones have, use and need at least one app that they won't find on WP, and that's why they'll never switch to WP... They know if there's an app they'll ever need (not talking about the typical app every OS has, like facebook or angry birds), chances are they'll find it on iOS, not WP
  • Strogonoff:  "All my friends with iphones" is anecdotal.  App usage is highly overrated by mobile aficionados and their close friends.   You may be surprise to know that most people in the world really aren't downloading a bunch of apps.  In fact, 65.5% of people rarely download an app.  Or, as this article puts it, "most users don’t download any mobile apps".   http://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-most-smartphone-users-don-163103711.html That's just plain empirical evidence that Windows Phone can meet most users needs.  Again, I would agree that people jumping on the latest messenger craze, local bank users, or people that can't wait for new trends like Lyft or Candy Crush, need to use Android or iOS.  The reality is that the average person isn't like that. On banks, but I guess I just got lucky.  I've used Bank of America for years, and they have an app.   My main credit card is a Southwest card, and that's really Chase and they have an app.   I have Fidelity investments (again an app), but mainly use Mint (which has an app) to track financials.  I've seen estimates of 57 million Bank of America customers, Chase has an estimated 23 million households, etc.  I would assume most of these customers use Android phones, but could move to Windows Phone.   That's my point.      
  • More apps is a different story. At least the major apps should be good. Instagram still in beta, facebook isn't as good, WhatsApp is the same story, twitter is abysmal. Majority of people use these apps, so development of these apps is the least we can demand.
  • Look up Rudy Hyun in the WP store, what he puts out is better than official apps imo. Also look into Tweetium, best twitter app I've come across on any platform.
  • Our local credit union (a very popular one here) has an iOS and an Android app. These apps bring features a mobile website can't use. Check depositing, alerts, easy activation of cash back offers and a way more rich friendly UI. Is situations like these you have to look at. But even more popular apps lack features out have a poor UX. Either way, Windows 10 is headed in the right direction with a single app store and a UI that make you want to use apps more on the desktop and not avoid it like the plague -- because it offers only a touch experience. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • windows 10 cN change and attext more and better app and hardcore game devs.
  • Now they need to work with developers to improve the apps.
  • Text me needs to get updated Coolest Man Alive
  • And get the Betas to Official status
  • Its true that there's no mainstream app I want that there isn't, apart from grindr and snapchst, but we have alternatives. Nobody disputes that we have the big boys. Its the little ones, like banking apps that we need.
  • Yep. SunTrust is not there
  • This app is the reason I do not have a Windows Phone!
  • Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU lol
  • And therefore they need to concentrate about sale, and grow to 20 %, it´s the most important and the wa to get these apps from banks. It´s the wrong sales strategy from Microsoft who make allproblems.
  • Meet up, 6snap, good feature alternatives I agree
  • This ad is so misleading, there is no Spotify app for the windows store, no instagram, and others. People will think that those apps are available for computers too... :|
  • @cruelvaldez... Are you really talking serious? Do you actually have a WP? . Go somewhere else talking s***t... All those apps are available for WP, and not a third party app, but an official app...
  • He was talking about Windows 8.1 store not Windows Phone store. Please read before comment.
  • What the fuck? You going at him but you didn't even read the comment properly. He meant the Windows store (as in computers and tablets) not Windows Phone store
  • Wow what a legend, can't even read the comment properly. Regardless, instagram is in beta which makes it not an option for many people - it's also missing features that IOS and android users are used to and find essential (video upload, direct messaging, editing, deleting comments/captions, image editing other than preset filters...) I've not used Spotify but given the state of literally every app that has been ported to WP, it probably lacks some features too. Viber app is poor, Skype is poor (when it even opens for many users!), WhatsApp frequently doesn't work as it's intended to...these are just some of the apps. They run like really poor third party apps (missing features, load times, errors...) and it's disappointing. Not only this but windows 8/8.1 lacks a lot of these apps - and more - and they should really be made available for desktop/tablet users.
  • Number of compaints on this site WRT app quality/number is mindblowing. I mean, i use all of those apps and I have no complaints? They just work. Some people are never happy and unfortunately these people drive opinions.  I keep going back to the article where Dan talked about Windows Phone needing more loyal fanbase. For everything MSFT does, I see only compliants, complaints and more complaints. 
  • You see only complaints because the problems with the apps are too many compared to the ones that are indeed working and have all the features users need or were used to on other platforms...if for some there are alternatives in the store, for many of them there aren't :(. For example, when I had my Lumia 920, still had it not too long ago although it is an old device, I was not missing the flipboard from ios. I simply got weave news reader and indeed it was great, but for other apps things are not the same unfortunately..
  • That feeling when a selected few app icons appear repeatedly throughout the video...
  • I was actually happy to see frozen free fall repeatedly, that games has me hooked on since i installed and still gets updated with new gameplay and levels, also today I've been listening to the soundtrack non-stop omg, help me, i can't let it go.
  • It's not the popular big ones, more the niche, quick fad games like Flappy Bird and corporate apps from banks, supermarkets, retailers, airlines etc.
  • There is also a missing element for the intermediate apps like quickbooks online and iris (lowes home managment system). The smaller tier apps get even less traction, like apps made by electronics companies to manage their hardware (i.e. audio receivers). All that being said, I am still willing to make the switch from ios when a decent option ever hits sprint.
  • This would be nice if they actually had popular first-party apps like Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, Candy Crush, Pinterest and a few others...
  • Pinterest app is there
  • As is Instagram
  • And 6tin is a Tinder client.
  • Why officials when the third-party ones are superior?
  • How can you say they are superior? When you have no official ones to compare with. And no they are not superior alot of times features are missing or half baked. As well it shows the lack of support for the OS and leads to consumer disinterest.
  • 6tag and 6apps-by-Rudy Huyn says hello ;)
  • 6tag don't edit captions.
    Don't send videos from Camera Roll.
  • It's pretty easy to compare apps between OSs
  • Since I'm using an iPhone 5S and an LG G2 aside from my Lumia 930. Rudy Huyn's apps are amazing. I have no Facebook account npr dobI use Twitter.
  • This is very true. I've been a WP user since the release of the L920( now on L1520), try telling a potential WP user about third-party apps. They lose interest real quick. I can't believe the official Instagram app is still in beta. What's the hold up? It's stuff like that hurting WP.
  • Only if they showed how most of their own apps are crappy on WP! But reality isn't ad.
  • Apps run smarter on Windows!* *unless the app is made by Microsoft. Then go to iOS or Android for the best experience
  • KO
  • Would you consider Outlook, OneDrive and the Office-programs to work better on Android and iOS?
  • Is that a trick question?
  • I've used them on both, and they definitely run buttery smooth and superior on Windows.
  • So, how do you change de collors to blue on Word? How do you create sections on OneNote? How do you sync contacts (like WhatsApp) on Skype?
  • As is Instagram
  • Now we could just work on more apps and better quality
  • I forced royal bank with relentless emails, facebook messages and etc.
  • candy crush saga and clash of clans
  • Amen brutha. Need Clash of Clans
  • By the time we have clash of clans there will be a new hit on ios/android...
  • Pastry Paradise by Gameloft and age of empires: Castle siege absolutely smashes candy crush and clash of clans. And aoe is not available on ios and Android.
  • I just want a good Facebook app, that's all
  • The Facebook Beta app isn't enough for you?
  • It really is lacking. I can't name them off the top of my head. But using my wife's iPhone and Facebook, there is a difference. Might not be a big deal for light users
  • The fact you can't name things off the top of your head shows that all the key features are already there.  You're just whinning.
  • Really? Facebook Beta is one of the few apps where I see that we're quite parallel to their iOS and Android apps. Now we just need Groups.
  • @wtrmlnjuc... Groups are already in messenger app...
  • Foccusing on apps that aren't updated in months...
  • You mean they are focusing on the constant lack of apps, features, and app updates???
  • The same beta apps that never get updates??
  • Way to go Microsoft, I still hear people saying "There's no apps on WP!" which is everyday more wrong.
  • Still lacking majorly in some categories.
  • For those unaware... Use "WebApps" to fill most of the app-gaps easily. Good for websites that have mobile-pages. You can even create your own easily. All my banking apps are made this way. Actually works better than the website alone. It's been out a long time but even I forgot about it till now and realize its importance. One of the best apps
  • It's still a compromise that we deal with. I still love the platform, but have to resort to an old iPhone,iPod, or my kids iPad or android tablet to access these services proper. Port android apps=problem solved
  • Wasn't Intel trying to do this year's ago. I remember an article about it. Kind of too late for that.
  • Great idea. I read recently that a Microsoft employee at a Microsoft Store was showing how to make companies mobile web site a tile. Even have the logo. Sometimes their own web site is better than an app. Okay, let's get to work!
  • Web apps almost always suck.
  • WebApps actually makes them work better. Menus and stuff that usually work crappy work flawless when packaged with this app. Also... It's better than NO OPTION AT ALL lol. Jeez people. Learn to live with what you have.
  • Yeah, getting tired of living with a second-class smart phone experience when the first-class experience can be had for roughly the same price.
  • I can see this promotion of the Store as a two edged sword. It's good that it shows that those apps are available on the Windows Store...on the other hand, once users realise that they're either eternal Betas or just really crappy, it'll generate bad word of mouth and unsatisfied customers... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I agree.
  • Agreed. The eternal betas, poor updates and lack of features make for a galling experience, irrespective of how it is presented. That's the reality. And the fact that bank apps are not present, or that apps are actually being taken off the store, and devs are deciding to not support msft... Doesn't look good. That needs addressing. Fast.
  • Why isn't gunstringer on WP?
  • An official snapchat app or 3rd party support for 6snap
  • Still missing good fitness apps like jawbone, garmin connect or all set of runtastic apps... But definitely now is way better than a year ago
  • Re : Diego Vega,
    Geez, there are runtastic apps from runtastic! This conversation is harder when the facts are wrong or exaggerated.
  • What is the football app at 8 seconds?
  • Microsoft is about productivity. Except Xbox. And Windows Phone. And Windows Store. No, I don't mind that there is a place for games. I do mind that there is almost no place for serious apps.
  • I need more medical apps..skyscape, medscape,netter, sobbota...
  • There are 2 medscape apps on WP. At least search the store before commenting.
  • he wrote "MORE"
    I also need MORE medical apps
    and Iäm from Finland, Espoo, where you can find the company headquarters of
    Nokia & Microsoft Mobile oy - Also Jolla is from Finland
    but
    The companies making those apps are not forced to do apps to Windows Phone
    not are they lured, bribed or anyway seduced by Microsoft
    Yet they use Desktop Windows
  • Things are bad when companies like ESPN abandons its app (Windows 8/RT) or Rottentomatoes (Windows 8/RT and Windows Phone). Ugh.
  • "Don't get us wrong, we love apps! But current smartphones make you use them one at a time. In and out. And onto the next app. Then the next, then the next. Rarely working together..." http://youtu.be/GGJJ46fYhEE
  • Exactly... where the fuck are all my hubs you sold us on?
  • Disingenuous to have an ad touting apps.
  • Banking apps, banking apps, banking apps...stop changing dev environments. Also banking apps and release the w10 SDK BEFORE you release W10. Did I mention banking apps, like for all the major banks?
  • +830
  • In Finalnd ALL the banks seem to have BOTH banking app 
    AND they also have their m.banking.pages Your banks don't have mobile pages?
    really?...REALLY?
  • Shopping applications down under?
  • New Netflix icon is a lie. Stop it.
  • The app on the Windows 8.1 Store has the new logo, just not the Windows Phone one.
  • The app on Windows 8 is the best Netflix app out of all Netflix apps. That makes the horrible Windows Phone version appear worse than it already is.
  • What are you talking about?  My Netflix tile shows that on both my PC and phone.
  • The new logo? Doesn't matter, there still isn't profile support, high-quality video, and/or an actually decent way to browse.
  • Yeah, most of the major apps are there. Problem is that a lot of them, frankly, suck. I'm jumping ship next month, at least on the mobile end. My patience is at an end with Microsoft. 
  • I fully agree with you sir. I am kinda tired of defending WP. My patience and love for this OS can only go so far.
  • I agree, been down with them forever but it seems kik its not getting better. Now another refresh on windows 10. This should have been their thought process in the first place
  • I dont blame u. I was going to switch to the not 4 but keep my windows tablet. I feel MS tablets are superior to the other platforms
  • Just a little more patience sir. If you've been patient thus far, I'd really recommend waiting till Windows 10 arrives. Hopefully the app situation fixes itself till then. I know how you feel, but windows 10 might change the game. :)
  • If you've waited this long, don't go in 2015. They said 2015 will be the year of WP. They said 2015 will be 10% market share. They will be right with Windows 10. They are spot on with their schedule. The merged store apps, merged market share will bounce!
  • Banking Apps, Restaurant apps, and Super Market Apps
  • +1530
  • Meanwhile they pull the NBA app and the old one (and the desktop site) redirects you to the mobile NBA site which doesn't work on windows phone! C'mon Ballmer, you're an owner now, have a word in the right ear ...
  • Yeah, most apps are available except all my local banks. They have apps on the other platforms but windows.
  • they don'y have mobile web pages at all???
    REALLY???
  • We got apps.... That haven't been updated in a decade.
  • Your hours late lol. i watched this after 5 minutes of it being put on to youtube.
  • You are, you're.
  • It's not that we lack apps, it's the quality and features of those apps that are missing :( MS is about to kill MixRadio, yet I still cannot use Spotify on my WP because it freezes and looses connection pretty much all the time. This is only one example... I won't even mention MS own apps... Those are just. Not as good, to make it short.  Eh... I'll keep on hoping for the best, I guess. 
  • Oh, it is definitely both - lack of apps and lack of app quality.
  • A instagram out of beta would be nice. And if ESPN actually tried with their apps. Tumblr & Netflix hasn't been updated in forever. Official Snapchat and clash of clans would be nice too
  • Yea the apps suck. Developers give us half baked apps. Nobo