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Microsoft to release Switch to Windows Phone for Android, to help owners find apps in their new store

Microsoft is set to release an app for Android to help consumers on Google's mobile platform to switch to Windows Phone with less hassle. "Switch to Windows Phone" will locate identical apps or valid alternatives for Windows Phone 8 to replace existing Android apps. The plan is to make switching to Microsoft's platform as painless as possible.

The app will then store the list of apps on SkyDrive and when the consumer logs in to their Microsoft Account on the Switch to Windows Phone app for Windows Phone 8, the stored list of apps will be loaded. As noted above, should no exact matches be available, the app will recommend similar apps in the Windows Phone Store. It should make 

The service will be powered by Quixey, an application search firm. The engine utilised makes use of app descriptions, reviews, trouble reports and other metadata gathered from the Windows Phone Store. The system seeks out direct matches (Windows Phone Facebook for Android Facebook, etc.) but will also find apps that perform similar functions.

Microsoft is said to have delayed availability of Switch to Windows Phone and the app is reportedly set to arrive sometime next week.

Source: Network World

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is 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 over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • It's hard to switch when you have apps unavailable, plus you would have to rebuy apps for more than what it cost you on android. I guess the only reason people switch now in days is for the simlicity of the os or the hardware found in devices like the Lumia 920
  • Well, I don't think it's possible for MS to force everyone to lower their prices or give everything for free, it's just impossible to moneyhat everything, so things like this might help, of course, giving everything for free would probably be faster and more efficient but not sue if it'd be financially healthy.
  • Sometimes people switch because they're not happy with what they have. I convinced my almost 60 year old father to ditch his iPhone 4/4s (he didn't know which one it was) for a Lumia 620. He just wanted Skype, internet, calling, texting and email, and he hated his iPhone. He bought it because the store rep had one and pushed him to it. It wasn't the best device for his needs and he also hated the keyboard with a passion. He loved the 620s keyboard for the ease of use and the accuracy of the typing and word prediction. He liked the integrated people hub, too, even though he doesn't social network at all. (he might start now, though, since it's so easy on WP :D)
  • +1
  • Amen
  • I personally switched to Wondows phone after my beloved WebOs could no longer suit my needs, and then HP killed it anyway.
    I would have loved this app when  switched except WebOs had so few apps available anyway. But my mate s thinking about switching because she loves my 920 and is always bugging me to use it... this may push her over the edge.
    I really like this os but I'm a little worried that this app will just show over and over that WP8 does not have a match in many cases... hard to say. Still, I think it's a good idea.
  • Wondows FTW!
  • I switched to Windows Phone 8 because I was bored of Android .
  • Same here. Got tired of rooting to remove bloatware, and having a laggy experience even though they are supposed to be quad-core phones. O_o'
  • +1
  • Does anyone on android really buy apps? I didn't and my friends still don't.... Only ppl who seem to buy apps are on WP and IOS..
  • It's remarkable to me that people are complaining about a few dollars.  Not all apps cost $, by the way. Good grief, some of you people need to quit being so cheap.
  • Ikr, i remember when apps were like 10$ or even 20$-30$ back in the days of PalmOS5... Way to support devs guys...
  • I mean Bing rewards is a great way to get back some.apps too.
  • +1 for Bing Rewards. Especially those "$5 for apps and games"
  • Great idea Microsoft! I know someone personally that was just talking about being skeptical to switch from Android because of app availability. This will definitely help!
  • +1, as long as enoght Android people find out about the app, it should convince a lot more of them to switch to WP.
    They should do sometging similar for iPhone.
  • Android is starting to get bigger than Apple, and Microsoft and Apple are sort of teaming up to tackle the giant in a few different ways. Was so much better when it was just Apple vs. Microsoft.
  • Hey... I actually like it more now! Apple and MS teaming up to defeat a liar and deciever..
  • well, at least windows phone seems to be growing day after day but i don't think we will beat android on this case. Maybe because out there are a lot of people which use Android but still don't know what WP is.. however i hope we will leave android and ios far behind
  • No, there's a lot of people out there that think windows phone is just as bad as windows mobile from back in the day
  • some people find the Metro UI funny and addictive. if microsoft adds more features ( mostly a file manager) , multi touch and customizable windows that'd be great, as a Windows is.
  • Dude WP has had multi touch since its release... Did you mean something else?
  • Freestate you replied to the wrong comment :)
  • no i stay on multi touch, i know it but dont you think there are only a few options for that? ( compared to android, because wp is similar to ios)
  • Quite honestly, there are alot of us regular folks who didn't even know WM existed. So for the average joe, I don't know if that is really one of the causes for the reluctance to giving WP a try. 
  • I used Windows Mobile a lot since WM2003SE and I loved all the options and customisation you could do with the system. So not everyone thought it was bad, it was just less consumer friedly for those that did not have the tech knowledge to set it up and customise it properly. I still use one of my old Pocket PCs solely for the audio recorder app I have on there as nothing in the WP store has matched it so far in quality and diversity of formats you can save in. Further issue with such an app on WP is that you dont have a proper file system/file explorer on the device that would enable easy save to a hot swapable microSD card.
  • exactly what i meant except the windows mobile was not a success on the market, as the nokia n-gage was a fail
  • The Microsoft reign just won't let up
  • Why arey you here?
  • LMAO
  • Incomplete sentence in the sentence paragraph. "It should make..." what?
  • It should make_______
    Pigs Fly?
    Rainbows Dance?
  • "It should make...." incomplete sentence.
  • "It should a sandwich lol
  • Lol!! You retarded... Lol!
  • wrong, you commented after i did. TROLLLOOOLOOOLOL
  • What?? Lol!!
  • Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!! +1
  • I could go for a sandwich lol
  • :up:
  • I'm an android to wp8 convert and finding apps that match the functionality of some on android is a pain. I'm actually running 2 phones (Sensation and L920) just so I don't miss my favourite apps. Needless to say, I'm excited for this app!
  • Can you list which apps you are missing. Just curious
  • I second that .
  • List them and we can help you fund replacements! :-)
  • Can you help me fund my kids' college tuitions too? :)
  • LOL Let the ranting about the absence of Instagram (for the moment) start...
  • Oh yeah baby!!........... Where's Instagram? I need Instagram! Why don't we have Instagram? I can't live without Instagram!!!!!!! Lol!!
  • wow! so gay! haha!
  • You're gay!!.. Lol! Just joking.
  • Its coming very soon!
  • I know. Nokia told me it's already in bet testing. I was just being sarcastic lol
  • +1
  • I've got Instacam on my L710 but it would be nice to have Instagram in order to post my photos to that site. It would also be nice to have Vine.
  • +1 for Vine
  • Vine hasn't even started on Android yet..
    Probably because of lagmentation
  • Ugh you had to go there ! Lol ;)
  •  It should make...toast! :)
  • The ironic thing is that Microsoft is using APIs on Android that aren't available on Windows Phone.  You can't make this same app to switch to iOS or Android, the APIs are Windows Phone simply don't allow it.
  • MS would never make that app even if the APIs were there... Google would have to make it, and as we all know, they DON'T make WP apps. ;)
  • Right!!
  • Great idea. They should release it for switching from an Android tab to a Win8 tab, which is what I'm planning on doing.
  • Planning to switch, seriously, switch back to android from my 920. Not easy to find someone to sell the phone.
  • Nice try trollhat. But 920s sell like hot cakes on ebay. If you don't like it its fine, just leave. But to say the 920 isn't wanted hardware is just incorrect.
  • How much ? Maybe we can have a deal.
  • Thanks, its black, retail one and recently updated to 1308. But I'm from UAE and not worth to ship out side the country.
  • What color L920? I might be interested also what carrier?
  • I would love a 920! Unlocked portico?
  • really? normally because ur 920 is lacking of letter ''L'' maybe thats why haha! get ur shit out of here dude haha!
  • It's funny that you say it's hard to sell that phone bc as soon as you did you got 3 offers...did you even try to sell it or did you leave it on your desk without any attempt and claimed you couldn't sell it
  • Maybe he doesn't have one.
  • I'm here in UAE, we don't have eBay. I'm going to list it on But the price s of the existing listing of 920 (even the brand new once) are pathetic.
    Sorry I'm not trying to troll but my frustration.
  • This is what happens when you don't really manage your app marketplace. Competitors make apps that help your userbase switch. This should be pretty useful as long as the apps people use are available on WP. I have all the apps I need on my L900, I just wish we had some better and more exciting games.
  • Lmao sooooo true haha its like when you go to that website that demoed a windows phone on IOS haha great tactics Microsoft!
  • Get off the 900 and get a 920, the game selection for 8 is better. WAY better.
  • So it scans your phone, shows what you have installed. Cool. I wonder if it shows how often you've opened an app and just says pssh you dont need, blank blank blank...
  • +1
  • +1
  • This app is 2 years too late
  • Its never to late man. Rome wasn't built in a day (cheesy but true)
  • It was when I played civ
  • lmao!
  • IM leaving windows asap. IM so bored and unhappy with the lack of apps\games on the marketplace its a joke. Ohh ill download this app.. Oh wait still cant.. Going back to android. Its gonna take far to long to even get close to androids standard.
  • And which of the 8 flashlight apps is making you switch back? Is it the game where you slice fruit, or a cute bunny runs a maze?
  • Hmmm, I'm not sure it'd be good to have the exactly the same crowd as droid on WP platform. Not trying to judge here, but it's a different ecosystem, I mean I know a few people with droids, and seriously, they usually seem grumpy, whining and entitled when it comes to... virtually everything.
  • Grumpy, whiny, and (especially) entitled are all words I'd use to describe Apple users. From my experience, the vast majority of Android users I know are the technologically illiterate. They don't understand or appreciate technology very much, and they certainly don't appreciate well designed stuff as much either.
  • These people exist on every platform.  Way to generalize.
  • As a former Android user I can tell you that while they do exist on every platform there are far more of them on Android!!!
  • and above all, none of them understand that Google is NOT their friend.
  • It's probably the fart apps...
  • Andorid doesn't have a "standard". It's like a Jackson Pollock painting, thrown together.
  • Android has no standards... its why it is Android, Even Google indirectly admitted their market is out of control when they recently booted 60K apps from the store,
  • Standards on Android are lag, force close, and factory reset.
  • Funny, see ya.
  • goodluck with ur malwaredroid device dude hehe!
  • Quick question you said "Ohh ill download this app.. Oh wait still cant" why would you need to download a switch to windows phone app when you're alrdy on windows would make no sense to make this app available on windows phone
  • I can't see many sane Android users switching once they realize the deficiencies in Windows Phone 8: adjusting your music's volume also change your ringer; unable to use custom SMS tones; have to spend hours reinstalling all your apps if you ever reset or switch phone; unable to do a global search on your phone; unable to properly sync music, album art, etc from your PC over to your phone; no support for Bluetooth 3; no urgency from Microsoft in addressing any issues; sub par support from Microsoft;...
    Android isn't perfect, but so is Windows Phone. The grass isn't really greener on the Windows Phone side, if its even green at all. To Android users: stay with your OS until Microsoft get their crap together.
    Now, I'll just duck before the flinging of the rotten tomatoes begin.
  • I actually agree with you, probably MS won't, but honestly, droid scene is not a place I want to be, it's way too hippie and anarchic, last thing I want is WP/W8 to be infected (probably too harsh wording) by that "lifestyle".
  • Don't know why your music doesn't sync properly: lie
    No urgency from Microsoft: lie
    Subpar support: definitely a lie Just because you're not liking windows phone doesn't mean you're the poster child for everyone.
  • I can't seem to find that post where I said I didn't like Windows Phone. I actually like it, but I do hate the deficiencies that are carried from one version to the next, and yes, I abhor Microsoft's laid-back support and their almost disdainful attitude towards needed improvements.
    I guess that I and all the many others having problems with music synching between Windows 7 and Windows Phone 8 are just haters, in your opinion.
    Yes, I do wish with all my heart that criticizing Microsoft, rightly so, would spur them to action. Its a pipe dream, I know, but at least I'm not burying my head in the sand and pretending that the platform, and Microsoft's support of it, is rosy.
  • I completely agree!
  • You don't have to redownload the apps on WP8. The back up system works awesome. Sadly, the rest of your accusations are spot on, just as many of the ones WP and IOS fanboys throw at Android are. Fact is, there isn't one platform that's perfect for everybody. Even WebOS (which was amazing) had its detractors...
  • Lets add losing your saved game information and most of your app data if you switch phones to that list.
  • Only if you switch from Windows Phone 7 or another platform to Windows Phone 8.
  • Your critique of Windows Phone nails it. I was shocked that I had to leave the phone powered on all night in order to use its alarm too. I refuse to buy a lot of Windows Phone apps, I've spent a grand total of $5 in the past 8 months so that I can switch to another platform if necessary. But I like the uniform experience in WP, the Hub, and the fact that included Word, Excel and OneNote mobile apps.
  • Well all true, no update since portico. That is a joke. So many deficiencies, Nokia taking too long to roll out updates. Restore only really works over 3G, can only restore after a reset. Miss my Symbian phone sometimes..
  • I just confirmed my iPhone 5 requires the phone to be on for the iOS alarm to work. This feature has been missing from many phones as far as I am concerned. Can any Android phones wake themselves at the alarm? I know my HTC HD7 and my L920 could not.
  • Look guys. Windows phone is clearly not where it should be right now. So many issues. Of course there Are some good things. But far more cons than pros. I thought id give windows phone a try. IM not happy but everyone is different. Bickering isn't going to solve anything. IM not even gonna bother moaning about it anymore, massive\huge changes need to happen. And its not going well so far. I mean Jesus .. Notifications still don't work properly..
  • I moved to iOS in January. Very much miss the People Hub and the Exchange integration/calendaring (reminders in iOS are useless). The iOS static icons are a not helpful, and I miss the customizability of the live tile sizes. I do like the iOS notification center.
  • Its a matter if time. IOS and android did not get to where they are NOW in a matter of months. People undermine what MS is doing and they are doing ALOT to catch things up but even then it will take time to catch up...
  • It's basically trying to sway people that's on the edge and needs a little push. Users that are using Android because their brainwashed and think that nothing else exists are just going to laugh.
  • You have a good point. When I first got my WP 7.x phone, I actually had my mind set on android. But I was smart and looked at all my options at a TMO store. My little brother was like "Dude check this out!" Saw the radar, saw it had Xbox live integration, Office, and it was different from the bland look of android and I was sold!! Have been a happy WP user since...
  • This is a great idea. It's all about getting over hurdles... One of which is that apps are not available for WP when in fact, most popular apps are available (not all... Most!). I'm a big Nokia/WP fan. Like everyone else, I want success right now but that's not how this thing works. iOS/Android have many years on MS in terms of developing/fine-tuning their ecosystems. I remember how excited I was when my iPhone could finally send pics via text. It's a marathon and progress is being made even if we wish it would happen more quickly.
  • BA-ZING!! You have hit the nail squarely on the head. Like you, I remember the first iPhone release and the list of complaints and deficiencies was long and distinguished. People were railing against Apple. "How could you leave this out, or leave that out, or - WHATEVER..." ad nauseum. Also, let NO Android fan come here and say Android was perfect right out of the box. How many updates and counting??? I get EXTREMELY tired of listening to you whiney candy asses bitching about how WP won't wipe your ass or tie your shoes. If you aren't willing to have the patience to see this incredible OS take form over time then don't let the door knob hit you in the ass on the way out. In fact, let me help you pack. Now, GTFO and don't come back.
  • LMAO!
  • Thank you!
  • Thing is it bothers me way more if WP lost its identity to please anarchic droid mentality, or stale conservative approach to design and tech like Apple, than loosing my Burn the Rope game save, which is actually fun, am playing right now, before a RE6 late night session.
  • Ok, so how is MS going to market this app to Android users? Google Play home page as recommended app? They need to push this at the point of sale: signage at carrier stores, carrier websites, include in WP tv commercials.
  • Idea is genius, please don't let the lack of switch apps ruin this.
  • I have a friend who was looking at my Lumia 920 and was about ready to buy one until he asked "Does it have the Iheart Radio and MLB (Major League Baseball App) like my Galaxy S2 android?" I said maybe and someday when pigs fly.
    Its good to see more major apps showing up almost daily but for many having the right app's will make their buy decision.
  • There's no iheartradio app. But there is tune in radio, also slacker radio (Verizon) and for MLB,, ESPN sport center. Also ESPN hub (Nokia only). We also have Pandora. There are alternatives.
  • Most people don't want alternatives ,they might not work like there used to an will just begin to hate it
  • I have found many alternatives to be better developed and supported than even some of the "official" apps. So while you do have a point I think it all comes down to the user and their willingness to try other apps. I have friends on both android/ios using alternatives versus some of the official apps.
  • I searched Instagram on  my android and didnt match anything. Is there instagram on windows phone? 
  • Not yet, but coming up soon. There are alternatives for now.
  • Photoplay
  • Not with all those ads! AND forced to buy another app to check in! I paid £2.29 for handyscam by this same dev and support has been minimal or none whenever I needed it!
  • I'm missing wells Fargo app fiance banks with suncoast credit union and does most banking from her iPhone examples, deposit checks etc the "mobile version" of theses sites are ok but nothin' like the app and she will not switch with out her bank app and her instagram and I'm wondering how many apps android has exactly and how wp8 can match the app when we have alot less apps than them .some of us might deal with an alternative but most wont if all we have is 130000 apps how can we match up 400000 apps chance are wp might not find a matching app from android market
  • You have a good point. It took time for Android/ios to have the number of apps they currently have. I think MS is doing everything they can to increase this number but even then it will still take time for developers to develop interest and then spend time/resources to create/move apps into the store. Blackberry was sort of smart in having an android emulator but that does not always equal to a unique user experience and sort of just mirrors what android is doing. I do miss many apps that others use on android/ios but the user experience is definitely unique compared to other platforms and that's what motivated me to get a WP phone. :)
  • Hymn for users switching:
  • We don't have apps we have alternatives its should be called "windows phone alternative store"
    "apps coming soon to a phone near you"!