Earlier this month, Microsoft did the unthinkable and announced that Android and iOS apps would be able to run on Windows 10 phones to some extent.
But a new report coming out of REUTERS reveals that Microsoft’s master plan has already encountered the first difficulty: a lot of Android and iOS developers simply aren't interested in Windows 10.
It’s a pretty common occurrence for Windows Phone to be the last mobile platform to get a new game or application, long after it has been launched on iOS and Android.
Developers prefer to be present on the most popular mobile platforms, and only then, if it's considered worth it, they might go ahead and port their products to Windows Phone. That’s quite understandable considering the fact that Windows Phone’s market share is lower than 5% worldwide.
Given the unpopularity of Windows Phone, most developers prefer to keep working with established platforms like Android and iOS. They are also pretty torn about the tools Microsoft said it would be providing for development of Windows-friendly apps. Basically, developers are wondering if these tools will be indeed easy to use or not.
Several concerns have been raised on how the Windows apps will end up using portions of pre-written software dubbed libraries. Apps usually rely on these libraries and developers fear they will eventually end up writing a whole bunch of code.
REUTERS conducted a dozen interviews with important developers in the industry and found that only one was willing to migrate their apps from iOS and Android to Microsoft. We’re talking about King.com, developer of the popular Candy Crush Saga, which, as you might already know, will come pre-installed in Windows 10.
Eight other developers said they wouldn’t be developing for Windows 10 at all, while four others are already involved in the ecosystem and will continue to do so, to maintain a flow of some sort.
For developers to make a final decision, Microsoft needs to roll out the promised tools that will make porting iOS and Android apps to Windows a breeze.
Nevertheless, Microsoft has its batch of local supporters. Walt Disney, Netflix and USA Today have all said they will develop apps for Windows 10. But the Redmond tech giant needs to draw even more allies to the table if it hopes to make Windows 10 a big hit.
Sure, Microsoft’s failure to attract app developers for Windows 10 doesn't necessarily spell doom, since the company is relying more and more on its Office suite, server software and cloud computing services. The real problem is that Microsoft continues to fail at maintaining a position in a world ruled by smartphones.