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Microsoft developing service transfer Android apps to WP

May 21, 2012
Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform has been released for more than a year and a half, but it has struggled to become a worthy competitor to Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. The small number of devices running WP, as well as the relatively poor ecosystem have led to sales of just 2.7 million Windows Phone gadgets in Q1 2012. The mobile operating system powered only 2.6 percent of the smartphones sold worldwide in the first three months of 2012, which is disappointing for a product developed by a company that is so used to dominating markets.

While the poor sales will probably go on for a while, as far as apps go, Microsoft is currently making efforts to draw in new users and satisfy the existing ones. According to a Pocket-Lint report, Bill Gates’ company has applied for a patent on a service that will allow applications from Android, iOS, and other rival platforms to be transferred to Windows Phone.

Although it sounds like an excellent idea in theory, we have to be realistic and say that it’s almost impossible for Microsoft to launch such a service soon and also it to be as functional as we imagine it. Why is that? Well, it’s very simple! In order for an app or several apps to be migrated from one platform to another, you need the permission from the initial OS and needless to say that we don’t see Android or iOS welcoming such a thing.

In fact, both Android and iOS developers are trying their best to make users “addicted” to their ecosystems by offering as many exclusive apps as possible, so it’s unlikely that Windows will get any of the two to agree sharing apps on a regular basis.

There’s also the money aspect for the regular user, which will likely be required to pay two times for the same app. Most users these days don’t like to pay in the first place and rely mostly on free content, so to think anyone would want to pay twice the value of an app only to be granted the “honor” of having Microsoft’s mobile OS powering their devices is, simply put, a fantasy.

In fact, these two issues are probably the most important things that are getting in the way of the project’s development. Microsoft has applied for the patent of the migration service way back in November 2010 and, considering the fact that we haven’t heard anything official on the matter until now, we can assume that the project is far from being finished.

Be that as it may, the idea is still a pretty enticing one and we would love to see it applied for Android and Apple, for example. There are still a lot of very useful and functional iOS-exclusive apps, so it would be very nice to be able to simply transfer them or have a service suggest similar apps in a matter of seconds.

Do you think that Microsoft’s project could ever see the light of day? And if so, do you think that it will be more than a simple suggestion service? Would you fancy “migrating” from Android to Windows Phone if Microsoft’s platform would have a better ecosystem and support for more apps?