Google has 'no plans' to build apps for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8

Google has 'no plans' to build apps for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8

Summary: The search giant cited a lack of users as the main reason why it will not develop Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 applications.

Google currently only has its search app available for Windows 8, but more could be on the way soon if usage share picks up. Credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google will hold off developing for the Windows 8 desktop or Windows Phone 8 mobile platforms, citing a lack of users. However, the search giant did not rule out a move once user numbers start picking up.

Speaking to V3, Google Apps product management director Clay Bavor said the firm has, "no plans to build out Windows 8 apps." Google already has a search application for the Windows 8 platform -- which it released just before the Windows 8 launch in October -- but will retain its focus on the iOS and Android platforms, which are currently leading at the top in the mobile space.

Ruling out the latest Microsoft desktop and mobile platforms, Bavor said:

We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8. If that changes, we would invest there, of course.

Trends change over time and there's no doubt that given a period of a few months, we will see more and more Google services arriving on the latest platforms. Google is likely as much in the dark over Windows 8 and Windows Phone usage figures than the rest of the industry, however the search giant probably has a better indication from back-end analytics provided by its search pages.

There are some figures to suggest that sales of the two platforms are increasing modestly, but before the December holidays, there will likely not be a significant rise until the new year.

Microsoft recently said that Windows Phone sales are up by 300 percent, while there's a slightly more mixed (and confusing) picture for Windows 8. Analytics firm StatCounter said that after one month, Windows 8 Internet usage is trailing behind what Windows 7 accomplished during the first 30 days after launch.

While the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant said that 40 million Windows 8 licenses had been sold during the first month of availability, research firm NPD added context to the figures. However, ZDNet's Ed Bott said the figures release was like a scene out of Groundhog Day, and that it will take "a year or two" for the PC market to adjust after the post-PC evolution of tablets and smartphones. 


Topics: Windows 8, Google, Windows Phone

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  • Big deal

    That's a pretty big deal. I'm sure there are a boatload of developers who will put out decent e-mail apps and calendar apps that interface with Google services (heck, I use "Business Calendar" as my calendaring app of choice on my Android devices) but lack of a dedicated Google maps app is a pretty big deal in terms of deciding whether or not to take a chance on Windows RT. Sure you can just open a web browser and hit Google's maps that way, but the maps website isn't nearly as smooth or satisfying to use as the app. And Google maps is, for my money, one of the most compelling reasons for getting a large screen, multi-touch capable tablet computing device.

    I think everyone who looked at the way Microsoft settled its patent dispute with Barnes & Noble (by giving them $300,000,000) pretty much agrees that the underlying motivation of the settlement was to ensure that Windows 8 had a decent content provider committed to supporting the platform. Perhaps it would behoove Microsoft to commission an official Google maps app.
    • No more spying of Win8 users , cheers.

      The days that their privacy are stolen and sent to CIA are gone for now. I think MSFT should step up the game to ban Google software forever.
      • please say you forgot the tags

        do you really think google is selling your information to the cia? do you really think the cia gives a rats ass that you ate brunch at panera this morning. get over yourself. conspiracy theorists think they are so important that the government gives a damn about you individually. they dont.
        • True, that. The government is only interested in

          bossing you around collectively. Until, of course, you get uppity. Then they are all about you as an individual.
          • Governments are interested...

   spying on individuals they think are dangerous. I suspect that you would be too if you were in charge.
            John L. Ries
        • Google is an advertising company

          I don't trust my private info to Google, since they get revenue from selling ads, I prefer a company like Microsoft for my computers and cell phones since they don't collect my private info and sell it to other parties (corporations, government, etc)
          Gabriel Hernandez
    • I prefer Bing maps anyway

      But there are a lot of people who like google. I'm not surprised on the phone front, but I'd be shocked if they didn't come out with Windows 8 maps sooner than later.
      • Even without an app

        You can still get Google Maps through the browser...
        • but

          But there's no pinch to zoom, no two finger spin. The browser version is but a shadow.
          • Not quite correct

            There IS pinch-to-zoom on Bing maps through the browse (at least on my Surface RT). There is no 2-finger spin.
          • there is pinch to zoom in google maps, but

            it is very choppy and imprecise - the location jumps all over the map if you are not very careful. There is no 45 degree view for Manhattan, or any other place I looked for that matter, so I couldn't try if it spins.

            I checked bing maps in the browser and boy what a difference - the moves are smooth, touch to zoom just works (no sudden jumps whatsoever), and it even does the 2-finger spin in the birds eye view.

            To be fair though, I think that panning and zooming in the native google maps app on the first gen iPad is still smoother than that in bing maps app or web site on surface. and google maps web site on bing seems a bit faster at loading tiles as they come into view or as zoom level changes.

            The most surprising finding of this little experiment is that it is possible to build HTML 5 web sites that feel as nimble as native apps, if bing maps app is a native app that is.
          • edit:

            and google maps web site on surface, not on bing
    • It's official--Google sees Windows 8 as a threat...

      This is a dumb move on Google's part, and smacks of arrogance... and fear. Google leaders try to diss Microsoft all the time, but the reality is that Microsoft is a bigger threat to Google than Apple is.

      Apple is big in the states, but its influence in the rest of the world is shrinking. Android is nearly a monopoly in smartphones, with a worldwide market share of 70%. And, obviously, Microsoft still rules the desktop & enterprise, and is trying to leverage that into a force in tablets and phones.

      Since Apple products will always be a bit out of reach for the majority of consumers, the big battle, I believe, will be between Google & Microsoft.
      • I don't see why..

        Google is not willing to make an app for Windows 8. Windows Phone 8 will take time to prove itself, but whether people like Windows 8 and the changes or not, there's certainly going to be a lot of users running it.

        And wouldn't it be great to have a Windows 8 app then port it over to WP8 when they feel the time is right, which will be easy enough thanks to the compatibility between the desktop and phone OS? Or was that just for games?

        People have been unable to get a good YouTube experience on WP7 from what I hear, and it seems poor Google services will continue on the OS for some time.
      • It's official--Microsoft sees GNU/Linux as a threat...

        Where's Microsoft Office for GNU/Linux?

        This is a dumb move on Microsoft's part, and smacks of arrogance... and fear. Microsoft leaders try to diss GNU/Linux all the time, but the reality is that GNU/Linux is a bigger threat to Microsoft than Apple OS X is.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
        • Was that ever in doubt?

          Of course Microsoft sees Linux as a threat, they even said it is a bigger threat than OSX.

          Michael Alan Goff
          • Nope, not for anyone that pays attention

            It just needed to be repeated as the shoe is now on the other foot, so to speak.
            Rabid Howler Monkey
          • That's their problem

            But I have always thought the biggest desktop competitor for Windows has been Linux.
            Michael Alan Goff
        • Microsoft Is Not Blocking GMail...Google Is

          What are you talking about? Google is making a move to make Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 appear uncompetitive by refusing to provide Gmail for the two platforms.
          • Using popular apps in platform wars is nothing new

            Microsoft is well-known for wielding this weapon (I provided a single example in my initial post).

            And web-based apps/services are not immune from being used in plaform wars. However, it can be more difficult to enforce. Below are some possible workarounds for gmail:

            Enabling POP in your email client:

            Enabling IMAP in your email client:

            Or, alternatively, using Windows Live Hotmail to Access your Gmail:
            Rabid Howler Monkey