Microsoft planning to patent cross-platform app migration service?

Microsoft is developing a cross-platform service that will enable users to migrate from competitor platforms (or Windows Phone) to Windows Phone, according to a patent filed back in 2010. The service will allow apps to be detected on the legacy handset, which will then be listed on the new Windows Phone for convenient downloading, providing users with peace of mind when it comes to installed apps.

According to the filed patent, the company is planning to provide functionality within the service that would analyse installed apps on the legacy handset (eg.: Android). The service would then search for identical or similar apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace. The user would be presented with popular third-party suggestions should official apps not be available.

If there's no third-party app present on the Marketplace, the service will notify the user in the future once a similar app is published. Is that more than enough? Not according to the company. Microsoft is reported to be wanting to take things further with actually creating a complete solution where app data would be stored and transferred across to new Windows Phones or from other platforms, preventing data loss. Of course, little detail is available and we're yet to see how this service could work with the likes of Android and iOS

Another question on mind is if apps will have to be repurchased for Windows Phone when migrating from another platform, or would the software giant subsidize the costs? Microsoft has clearly been serious about Windows Phone since the off, and this reaffirms the company's commitment to take part in the smartphone marathon. How would you like to see such a service implemented?

Source: Unwired View

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • They should figure out a way for its current OS users to migrate to another device with the same OS first.
  • +1
  • You can with you live account, Zune account,etc. Does all of you contacts, etc import into your device? Word, excel, photos, pics. If you have them on the SkyDrive, they will be available when you log in your live account. Only drawback now is you have to view your installed apps through Zune and redownload them; I'm sure this will be fixed with the rebranding of Zune and arrival of Win 8/Apollo
  • How about game saves, app data, SMS & MMS? None of that is saved when you change devices and you lose that and have to start all over again. That is what needs addressing.
  • All gone. Data lose one reason developers need to save to the cloud. The worst is losing all your SMS though. MS really needs to tie that in to SkyDrive.
  • This sound like a great way to migrate to WP.
  • This is news. Yeah I'd absolutely want to see this, how many people don't want to change phones or OSs because of all the apps they already use?
  • My bet is on a lot
  • +1
  • Your looking at it from the wrong way. People buy apps and other content, and after awhile that adds to large ammounts. Me myself have already spent some 100 bucks on apps and games. Im not just gone throw that away easy. And im not alone on that, and the large problem is there are large amounts of iPhone apps, and were suddenly talking large sums.
  • This is about the smartest thing they have invested in since the WP OS.
  • Try reinstaller app for windows to windows phone.
  • This wasn't the smoothest of experiences but it worked well when I moved from my HD7 to my Lumia 800.
  • Ditto. Reinstaller is a great app.
  • I'm more excited about the possibilities of this in regards of Xbox 360 users migrating to the next Xbox console. I'm worried about all the downloads I bought becoming unplayable.
  • They're not stupid, im pretty sure they'll make it all backwards compatible.
  • Well, if rumors are true about making used games useless on the next Xbox then I would have to disagree with that
  • Lol... You guys believe anything...
  • Well, I did point out it was a rumor. However, I'm keeping my eyes and ears open as many developers are actually on board with this idea and many with their online codes and other pay to play features are already planting the seeds for such a thing (if it happens).
  • Yeah with something like this they could then run promos for people switching from iPhone/Android to get paid copies of the same apps they use already on their new WP7. Which would make for sweet story for people who are switching
  • Here you go new WP7 user, migrate everything you want... But don't upgrade to a new WP7 handset cuz you will lose everything. Obviously cynical, but they are probably planning to implement something for current WP7 users too. Just stay tuned.
  • You've got to be a complete idiot if you think that MS isn't planning to do that also
  • I am sure this is just bits and pieces of what MS wants to do.
  • I have serious doubts that developers and Microsoft would foot the bill for a version of their favorite apps on WP7 but strangers things have happened.
  • This is hopefully the dawn of a new ISO standard. Customers shouldnt need to pay twice.