Microsoft to Android phone users: There's a WP8 app for that

Microsoft to Android phone users: There's a WP8 app for that

Summary: Microsoft is poised to launch an app-comparison program designed to sway Android phone users that Windows Phone 8 is worth another look.


Microsoft is trying a not entirely new tack to convince Android phone users that they should give Windows Phone a second look.


As first reported by CITEworld, Microsoft is poised to launch an Android app called "Switch to Windows Phone" that will help them find identical (or at least comparable) Windows Phone 8 applications to replace their Android ones.

This app is expected to be made available some time on April 25. Update (April 26): It looks like the launch of this app is delayed until some time the week of April 29.

Microsoft officials are not commenting on the expected app.

Microsoft's phone team has tried, in the past, to convince non-Windows Phone users that Microsoft has most of the most popular phone apps, even though it has considerably fewer apps overall compared to Android and iPhone. However, there are still some pretty obvious omissions from the Windows Phone app list (Instagram is one of those most often mentioned.)

The way the new Switch to Windows Phone app supposedly will work is it will inventory all the apps on a user's Android phone and then send that list of apps to SkyDrive. When customers log into the same SkyDrive account from a Windows Phone 8 device, the app will list the suggested replacements. (This makes it sound as if Microsoft is planning to use this app as part of a retail-store campaign.)

CITEworld explained the workings of the app, citing execs with Quixey, the supplier of the app-search engine within the Switch to Windows app, as the source.

In other Windows Phone news, Nokia sent to select journalists and analysts on April 25 to a May 14 event in London. The invitation specifies that the event will be about the "Nokia Lumia" story, which could mean anything from an unveiling of new rumored Lumia phones, including the Catwalk and/or EOS, to some kind of Lumia-branded tablet.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry announced this week that a preview of Microsoft's Skype application will be available on BlackBerry Q10 devices when they ship, starting in May 2013.

Topics: Windows Phone, Android, Microsoft, Nokia, Windows 8


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Who is going to install this?

    It'll just clog up your phone.
    • It has Windows how much more clogging could it take?

      Windows is a terrible OS. MS needs to dump the name, and dump the platform and start over.
      Chad Perkins
      • Thanks for the thoughtful insight

        "Windows is a terrible OS" - That's why 90%-95% of all computers run Windows.
        • Not x86 Windows...

          Windows RT is a terrible OS.
          MS needs to drop the "Windows" from Windows RT name:
          Windows RT canNOT use any applications built for other Windows systems, including windows 8.
          • off subject

            this is a Windows phone article you are off subject
          • are you dumb?

            WINDOWS RT was designed that wsy using non x86 chips. Its a tablet, not a Win 8 peocessor. Also the article is re Win 8 phones, not Win RT. Rant eksewhere.
        • not 90-95% of all computers

          You see, computers happen to be all different. Windows might run on some 90% of the desktop computers with x86 CPUs, but the number of computers is way, way more than that.

          If you count all computers worldwide, and check what OS they run, you will discover that most (as in, 90-50%) computers do not run any form of Windows.

          • Why don't you give us a better breakdown, or a better study,

            to back up your claims.

            People don't just talk about "desktops" anymore when they talk about Windows computers.

            So, show us your study, or some other study which backs up your claims, and don't just pull up figures out of your rear. Links for those studies, please.
          • x86

            I haven't come across any non-x86 architecture destop PCs.
            Almost all the new desktops run on x86-64 arch, which is a 64 bit extension of x86 arch.
            Windows 7 is a 64 bit OS. So are Mac and Linux
            All the Linux or Windows or Macs I've come across work on above mentioned archs only.
            The Intel processors i3,i5,i7 are x86-64 arch procs. So are AMDs.
            Would you please enlighten us on what 90-95% of world's computers is the world not aware about?
      • I'm assuming you mean Windows phone is terrible

        I have to disagree. I have windows 7.8 phone and it runs great. I can't think of any apps that I can't get from the market place. Often though when a company says download our app there is not a windows phone version of that. I firmly disagree that is a terrible os though.
      • clogging not a problem

        lots of testing shows single core Win phone performance that beats dual core phones running ios and android
  • Sounds

    "The way the new Switch to Windows Phone app supposedly will work is it will inventory all the apps on a user's Android phone and then send that list of apps to SkyDrive. When customers log into the same SkyDrive account from a Windows Phone 8 device, the app will list the suggested replacements"

    Sounds more like an app to facilitate finding replacement apps once you've already made teh switch. Not a bad thing, but this doesn't strike me as something that will convince an Android user to make the switch in the first place.
    • So agree

      Tried Win, decided to stick with Android.
      There are a lot of "like" or "replacement" apps. Unfortunately they are "like"; ot the same or better. Need a better reason to reinvest into a new ecosystem.

      btw: I have yet to find a Win phone that has a design I like. They all pretty mch suck.
      • Surface Phone

        Now that is a design that could "tempt" me.
  • Re:

    I love you Microsoft. But please, less talking, more action. Android 5.0 is coming out soon, where is 8.1! Nothing yet.
    • They're already planning an accelerated release schedule.

      The blue update windows 8 and windows phone 8 will likely come out this year. WP8 came out at the end of last October while Android 4.0.x came out at the end of 2011, and 4.2 came out last July. So I reality they may be releasing at about the same rate, maybe even faster depending on how you want to look at it.
      Sam Wagner
      • ....and how has that worked from them in the past?

        MS accelerating their development schedule = Bugs, dropped features, poor user experience.

        I feel back for those using W8 phones userrs, sounds like a world of pain in their future.

        Good luck.
        • Why even bother to comment, when MS is in a catch-22 scenario with people

          like you.

          No matter what Microsoft does, it will be bad and full of bugs and crappy and expensive, and too late.

          Your attacks are all known and old, so, why not get a life and do something worthwhile with it.
    • I agree

      Microsoft does not seem to get that they are behind, or maybe they get it and as such are willing to take the time and slowly innovate since it will be years before they catch up (if ever). I just switched from a Lumia 920 to the HTC One and I must say that I cannot image why anyone would continue to support the WP8 platform (unless like myself you have a vested interest in it's success). It is not that the OS is bad, it is just that if you look at the direction hardware is going I cant imagine what value proposition WPx will offer unless they start revamping that failed UI design they seem to be stuck on stupid with. I've been staring at monochrome squares for 3 years now and I must say it is nice to turn on your phone and see some color, background images, drop shadows!!!
  • Not a good approach imo

    Instead of wasting time writing Android apps, MS should be writing hundreds of exclusive WP8 apps! If these were good people would choose WP8 for the new apps.

    I know we have office and bing apps, but surely MS should have thousands of apps by now. They may even be able to sell them and make some money.