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Microsoft attempts to solve the Windows Phone app problem with web apps

Microsoft WebApps

Microsoft has had to endure complaints surrounding an issue since Windows Phone originally launched back in 2010 - not enough official apps. It's true the platform is still missing a number of official solutions, but since Windows Phone 8 was released, support has slowly been growing at a slow, but steady rate. The Windows Phone Store now has more than 160,000 apps.

We've seen banks, mobile operators, broadcasters and more pop on to the Windows Phone Store, but there's always that one app you need but it's just not there (and there's no decent third-party alternative). Microsoft is looking to address this problem by packaging mobile websites and packaging them as web apps.

You'll notice official apps appearing from the developer "Microsoft WebApps." Brands include SouthWest Airlines, Booking.com, TMZ, Lowe's, and the Food Network. The webapps themselves are simply mobile versions of said websites packaged into a Windows Phone experience. Here's how Microsoft explains the WebApps team:

"We are helping people access great mobile experiences on Windows Phone by creating pinnable Web Apps that show up in the app list. These are not a replacement for native apps. In most cases we hope that usage of the Web App will encourage the ISV to publish its own native app."

The above quote makes it clear that Microsoft is not set out to replace official, native apps, but the plan is to encourage developers to get on-board and start building content. This latest move suggests a state of desperation for Microsoft regarding its app issue. 

Microsoft WebApps

It's an interesting way to bring official brands to the store. We're not sure how this will be received by the community since Windows Phone consumers generally favour true, native experiences. That said, it's good to see Redmond attempting new techniques.

Head on over to the Windows Phone Store to check out the availabe web apps.

via: ZDNet

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Reader comments

Microsoft attempts to solve the Windows Phone app problem with web apps

197 Comments

Most people will complain and say that they are not native. I on the other hand welcome this until the publishers from those websties make a native app, which could never happen btw

+1...totally agree. It also pushes the respective owners of the service to make something better. They don't want to be represented incorrectly :)

Well, they should've done this earlier on. Now, as expected, they're getting torn apart on tech sites like The Vag. They're saying MS is just getting really desperate now.

Most people don't even know what native is. I think the will help more than hurt. Most mobile versions of sites are great. This is the trend anyway, as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS can do more the need for native will lessen.

Force them to make the website metro? If Microsoft can't convince them to make an app, what makes you think they can force them to design the website using metro style design?

Actually not so far fetched. look at Google Plus and various other sites mimicking the Metro design. Minimalism is in, and many placed besides MS have turned their sites into more "Metro-like" schemes. Sliding windows, gestures to open features. Here in Japan the Star movie channels have these stark, lots of white space tile-inspired graphics.

So while the comment was certainly tongue-in-cheek, fact is, it is happening.

agreed; web apps is a great app.  they even added my local bank at my request which really sold me on their app so i bought the unlockable features.
But you are correct, this makes them searchable in the store and like the article states it gives firepower to get a native app.  i applaud this move!

This may do some good.. Whatever shuts the hatters up..
Maybe these companies can see how many WP users are visiting their mobile websites, and that will encourage them to build official apps for the platform..

Actually, some people might prefer the mobile website, so I would encourage MS to go ahead and even make web apps for existing official apps that are already in the store.... There's nothing wrong with this if you look at the big picture..

Yes your right when wells Fargo hadn't made a official app Webb apps did! So when wells Fargo did come out with a official app I did delete the Webb apps one but I will NEVER delete the actual Webb apps ! They were there when needed them

They would have more success attracting developers if they led by example with their own apps for the platform and made the OS more competitive and thus more attractive to consumers and increasing market share. But they prefer to prioritize the iphone and android like everyone else so this shouldn't surprise anyone .

I truly don't get how they don't have a massive team to support their own product. Its almost like they don't really care.

Can't say I disagree, really. Seems insane to me when they release new apps elsewhere and ignore WP for weeks or months at a time.

No one expects any developers to launch on WP first. At all is nice. Remember these apps on other platforms are fuelling Windows Phone by bringing in extra money to Microsoft.

Bing apps, xbox games, Office, etc, etc it's rare anything comes to iOS or Android first. Some Skype features, but Skype is a product they bought so a lof of development will have been planned months or years in advance and they have big teams dedicated to that platform. Remote Desktop was a product they bought recently repackaged for iOS and Android tablets (Windows 8 tablets having had RD for years), so again a non-issue. So stop with the bs about them not prioritising for WP, they do on the whole and when they don't there's valid business reasons.

Again, this is valid to MS too:
 
There are somethings that might be adjusted:
1. Indie Devs tends to prefer ( I don't know why) to opengl, instead of Directx.
2. They love webkit, and we do not support.
3. There are several api's restrictions that might offer a so limited experience, that developers prefer to not develop a limited app and get all the bad reviews on marketplace ("The iOS have that, we don't' Android got that, why we not)
4. The restrictions are so high, that business apps, will suffer from that. You can't save files (like recips and etc, from money transaction) in file explorer. In order to get it and send by mail, you have to do inside the app. If by any reason you reset the app, u lost everything. Sad , but true.
6. HTML5 is the  way, but for MS weird reason they don't support properly on Windows Phone.
7. The worst, that developers (big ones) started to developer apps to iOS using the new architeture 64bits (that android might follow) and MS even in 8.1 didnt consider that, that might need to enable it for new hardware. So they are lazy.
8. No unified store, developers needs a balance between their teams to developer in RT, Windows 8 and WP8 store. This costs money.
9. Restricted API's is only offered to OEMs, specially nokia.
10. Thats all

7-64bits app ios for real 0_0 plz call be back when you know how many real 64bit program you have on your pc lol this is bs marketing at its finesse. 8- you only need two version, one for rt/win8 (same app) and one for wp8 which is the same on ios ( iphone and ipad).

Wow, you really have no idea do you - I'm going to summarise some of the repsonses, but I can go into far more accurate detail f you really want....
 
1. I'm an indie developer and I'm actually not at all bothered by either opengl or directx - it really comes down to personal preference.
2. Webkit is horrible - it is something that everyone has been forced to use for years - having said that, it is for browser support, not for apps
3. iOS is more locked down than WP - Android is riddle with useless spam/malware aps due to having no restrictions. As nice as it would be to trust that all developers will make legitimate apps, there are many who won't - locked down is good for the end user.  Developing is about overcoming challenges, it is part of the fun of it - just deal with it, it hasn't stopped me producing the app I want to make for my users.
4. Quite simply, I wouldn't want business files being saved to a device.  Much better if the file was sent across to my corporate network - then again, there is always connectivity to SkyDrive, which then resolves the issue of lost files on the uninstalling of the app, but again, if I have a business app, I think there is a sense of safety in the knowledge that the files will be removed when uninstalling the app.
5. - I think you might have missed this number, guess it can't have been important.
6. HTML5 is really a matter of opinion.  I for one don't believe that it will ever be able to become a standard frontend development language for mobile devices.  Each OS will have it's own quirks - the issues we see with cross browser compatibility will be nothing compared to HTML5 being standard across phones.  Not only that, there are so many implementations of various things anyway, it is hardly a standard.
7. 64bit is completely irrelevant to WP development.  If MS ever decide to allow this it will be done because thre are some OS benefits, nothing else.  Anyway, when I develop for Win8, i can package for 32/64/ARM all in one go, with no differences to my code, so really not an issue.
8. Interesting, but more for the user, not for the developer.  I have over 80% of my code shared between WP and Win8 (RT/Pro) - The only stuff that isn't shared is the UI, but this would need to be different anyway due to the diferent form factors of devices, so really it is irrelevant.
9. This really goes back to point 4
10. I don't see any of your poins as valid, but this is just my opinion.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/03/windows-phones-app-problem/
“To me, it’s an unproven platform, so why would we take all the risk if it’s going to take us $50,000 to rewrite the apps just to use DirectX [Microsoft's proprietary graphics platform]. It’s an unknown if we’d recoup that in sales,” said Noodlecake co-founder Jordan Schidlowsky. “The people that I talk to, and what it seems like, say that the sale numbers aren’t quite there yet. It wouldn’t be profitable for us to go there.”
Schidlosky also pointed out a purely technical drawback. All of Noodlecake’s games, including the incredibly popular maker of the popular Super Stickman Golf and Super Stickman Golf 2, are based on OpenGL, an open and cross-platform graphics SDK supported by iOS, Android, Linux and even BlackBerry. But Windows Phone 8 doesn’t support OpenGL. As much as Microsoft is lowering barriers to entry with its many middleware partners, that doesn’t always work out for indie game developers like Noodlecake (which also happen to make huge, hit games).

I use both FB apps, and they are very slow, compared to other apps.. They do have plenty of features now, but they are seriously slow to load, or transition through...

Using the beta right now.
problems so far,
Slow when tapped on notification, messaging, friend request bar at the top.
Messaging text or attaching photos with in the facebook app is atrociously slow.
Problem loading post with many comments.
Pull to refresh only works when pulled slowly. New news feed icon is clumsy
serious features missing when compared with iOS/android app
 
makes me wonder if you used it yourself

Lag compared to the IOS and android versions. Also, it doesn't have the chat circles. My sister complains, as she just switched from the 4S to the 1020. She loves the camera though, and thinks 6tag is better than the official app, which is true. :)

Lots of things are wrong with the Facebook app. Notifications fail, messenger fails, clunky and unresonsive navigations, hard time tapping on Like, can't upload photos when apps is sent to background, etc etc. No offence, but have you try the Android / iOS version? WP version is miles apart!
MS is just so poor when comes to developing apps for windows phones, which makes me wonder if MS really care about its platform at all. Now with this web apps excuse, I think this platform is going to die sooner than I expected.

Idk, I think they should just get Microsoft to replace the Facebook apps on iOS and Android since Facebook would pretty much rather have someone else run the show for them... =P

I do not really use Instagram and I still bought 6tag because of how wonderful an app it is. I would pay again for a Facebook app designed by Rudy (6tag creator).

Average consumers don't know this though. Like my 34 year old sister with two kids who doesn't have time to visit wpcentral. Or my 19 year old cousin who would rather use snapchat than care about os releases

Favorites aren't backed up.. Apps are.. But, it would be nice to have them populate ,like text messages do, when you get a new device

I recently flashed my 820 and after restoring everything I found that my favourites list was populated as well, so I think that maybe your Favourites are actually backed up.

Unless that's a new feature in update 2, no.. I've recently had my 920 replaced twice, before we got update 2 in US, and my favorites in IE were not backed up.. And yes I have every backup option selected.. Now, phones in other regions might act differently..

Web-wraps. Pathetic has just hit a new level.
 
Because users really like that...just look at Microsoft's YouTube App. Such great reviews.
 
Besides, if I want to pin webpages, I rather use Skinery Themes. At least I can create a full custumizable tile and make it open the webpage.

But, isn't this a good idea for those who want prefer the mobile site over the official app?.. What is the harm in this❔❔

Sadly. Until the developers care about wp8 this is the garbage we will be stuck with. It still is better than nothing though.

Do you know any smartphone owner who prefers mobile versions of sites to a full functional app? I honestly don't.

The harm is that it makes the platform look pathetic. "Oh...we don't have Apps. We can't convince developers to develop for out platform...but we have IE...you can always access the sites through it".

It's like "look...we're too poor to afford cow meat...but we have here this piece of dog meat...it's also red...so...hurray?"
 
Besides, as I said, there are plenty of offers in the Store to allow you to create these web-wraps. Why is Microsoft wasting time and money on this when they could be using that time and money to try and bring developers on board.

Yeah, but that's only because their webapps look horrible...don't these have a certain appeal? To be frank, to always criticize and seriously do nothing for us is getting quite tiresome. You make considerable points but what else do you have...any apps? =D

I wasn't aware WP users were required to have Apps?
No I don't do apps. I don't have the knowledge for that and even if I were to acquire it, MS has made sure I couldn't develop from W7. Still, I've colaborated with several developers before (and intend to continue doing it in the future as long as I have a Nokia device). So yeah. I think, even though I've absolutely no obligation to provide the WP Store with anything, I've done more than my share for the OS without even having been paid for it.

The web-wraps only look good if the website has a specific mobile version prepared for it. But that mobile version works for any platform. If a certain brand has a poor mobile version of their websites, that'll certainly not change just because WP is doing web-wraps to replace the Apps.

I think this could be a good move as long as the sites themselves get info about how many visits actually are from within those webapps, otherwise its quite pointless.

The whole point of this is to show usage numbers to developers. By downloading these you're showing demand for an official app. Downloading these is a good way to support the OS. It will help Windows Phone in the long run. Not downloading these is like saying to developers that you don't care about their apps. Sure they aren't perfect but I for one am going to support the OS and hope it helps.

Hopefully, but will it just serve as a substitute instead of them actually creating WP apps? Will they just make these web-apps and be done with it?

Pathetic that MS is having to do the work for them? Yes it is. WP can't catch a break at times. MS made an amazing YouTube app only to have it gutted and reduced to pointing to the mobile site. MS is trying. So they get points for that in my book.

Looks like this is only available in the US or the North America region.  Tried looking for the apps in the Australian store and says "You can't get apps in this region".

Your doing something wrong bud, im Aussie and all is fine with store, try webapps for pin able apps, also change your region to us and restart

Eight million Nokia WP sold this quarter. Isn't that enough to tell the freak developers that its time to join? This reminds me of wells fartgo app. Bug them long enough and they will respond with a yes.

There are somethings that might be adjusted:

1. Indie Devs tends to prefer ( I don't know why) to opengl, instead of Directx.
2. They love webkit, and we do not support.
3. There are several api's restrictions that might offer a so limited experience, that developers prefer to not develop a limited app and get all the bad reviews on marketplace ("The iOS have that, we don't' Android got that, why we not)
4. The restrictions are so high, that business apps, will suffer from that. You can't save files (like recips and etc, from money transaction) in file explorer. In order to get it and send by mail, you have to do inside the app. If by any reason you reset the app, u lost everything. Sad , but true.
6. HTML5 is the  way, but for MS weird reason they don't support properly on Windows Phone.
7. The worst, that developers (big ones) started to developer apps to iOS using the new architeture 64bits (that android might follow) and MS even in 8.1 didnt consider that, that might need to enable it for new hardware. So they are lazy.
8. No unified store, developers needs a balance between their teams to developer in RT, Windows 8 and WP8 store. This costs money.
9. Restricted API's is only offered to OEMs, specially nokia.
10. Thats all

The excuse was, I swear I heard many times before, devs will not develops until WP increase market share. Nokia is the evidence. I'm no developer but some of your points have never been heard of as if they are the case that you say, why has not devs come out and complaining about this. It would be in tech news! Yet all I read is no WP until increase market share. At this point, I disagree with you.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/03/windows-phones-app-problem/

“To me, it’s an unproven platform, so why would we take all the risk if it’s going to take us $50,000 to rewrite the apps just to use DirectX [Microsoft's proprietary graphics platform]. It’s an unknown if we’d recoup that in sales,” said Noodlecake co-founder Jordan Schidlowsky. “The people that I talk to, and what it seems like, say that the sale numbers aren’t quite there yet. It wouldn’t be profitable for us to go there.”

Schidlosky also pointed out a purely technical drawback. All of Noodlecake’s games, including the incredibly popular maker of the popular Super Stickman Golf and Super Stickman Golf 2, are based on OpenGL, an open and cross-platform graphics SDK supported by iOS, Android, Linux and even BlackBerry. But Windows Phone 8 doesn’t support OpenGL. As much as Microsoft is lowering barriers to entry with its many middleware partners, that doesn’t always work out for indie game developers like Noodlecake (which also happen to make huge, hit games).

It seems as though there are devs that have no problem with WP and those that either make excuses or you have made valid points. Whatever their take, WP is growing and MS is improving.

Microsoft should start offering license discounts on their enterprise software (which most of those businesses probably use for day to day operations) in exchange for businesses building really great native WP apps. That would be the ultimate level of putting their money where their mouth is.

We actually develop our in house apps as web apps around the Windows Phone style.

The nice thing is they work everywhere. Well, almost. Some companies haven't gotten out of the dark ages and aren't running html 5 browsers.

Just search web apps in the store. I use them and like them. Nothing but pinned websites. Stop complaining. Dont like them dont use them.

There's a couple apps I'd like to see, like a USBank app, but for the most part I don't complain and cannot figure out app-whores. 160,000 apps? Seriously, plenty.

There's been a lot of times I've wanted an app and it's not there, as I mentioned USBank, but I usually just get over it and use the mobile site. Most the time it's just trivial stuff though.

All the worst apps you can find...multible "facebook" apps that are mobile versio of fb. Now we can see many Gta5 "apps" cheats. Also there are many low performance apps. It looks like Windows phone is taking android app store style. Alot of apps but bad ones

Again, Microsoft is beating around the bush. The solution to their problems is not dual booting with Android and it's definitely not more web wrapped apps. As was mentioned before, look at the backlash from the YouTube "app".

You want more app developers, got to get more users. Give people real reasons to switch instead of "it can do most of what the other platforms can". They can make XBox Music much better. Syncing is absolutely terrible, you can't edit playlists on the phone. XBox Video is still non-existent. It should be a killer app to let you download and watch movies anywhere. XBox Video gets a lot of movies early, but you can't experience them on a Windows Phone. Come on.

IE needs to adapt to the websites out there instead of hoping web developers adapt to it. Drop down menus don't work correctly on many sites, videos cause errors midway through, and some pages are formatted perfectly in iOS and Android but won't display right (cut off, etc.) in IE.

XBox Games is a wasteland and it doesn't help that several are Nokia exclusive. Make the certification process a lure, not a repellent. Don't give up on the WP-360/XB1 save file sync. They were going to do it with Sonic 4 Ep 2 but that game never materialized. Simply being "more secure" and having a more streamlined interface than the competition isn't going to cut it. They have the tools. Use them!

The average consumer doesn't even know what a native app means. I think this is a good strategy, an even better one would be official apps.

1. Indie Devs tends to prefer ( I don't know why) to opengl, instead of Directx.

Indians are the Natives
We need to get the Indians to develope using the Metro UI, Xbox One, RT, WP = DotNet
Ugh!

Does this mean we will eventually have capitol one web apps along side capitol one official apps or will one replace the other ???

And of course this is just more flame bait for the anti-microsoft fanboys and clickbait creating blogs.  The excuses for all these companies not making an app is total BS.  It wasn't enough at 10k apps to get in, it wasn't enough at 50k or 100k, or 150k apps.  It still isn't enough for them that year over year windows phone has been growing steadily and has reached even more markets.  Honestly, at 19 and free developer tools, how hard is it for one of these companies to just assign some random intern to half ass an app? 
I'd rather these companies or heads of development just man or woman up and come out and say they don't want to develop for MS based on their own personal bia's, instead of hiding behind the shit excuse of marketshare or whatever they've pulled out their butts this week.

Exactly.  Becoming a developer only costs $19.  The tools to write an app are free.  They've run several contests for app development and have used cash as an incentive for developers.  They've even offered to write the app in some cases.
It just boils down to professional "fanboyism" on the part of these resistant devs.

My only beef about this is some ridiculous story I read stated that Windows Phone could only do web apps and not mobile apps, as if the platform weren't capable of doing so...it irritates me to NO end to see fools spreading misinformation out there! >_

Excuse the snark, but can't MS just pay to have key apps made? They have billions. This web-app solution comes across as really half-azzed.

If Geico ended up in here, I know my mother would be really grateful. She likes her Lumia 620 and WP but has complained about the lack of certain apps.

There was an excellent 3rd party one but siriusxm locked dev out of it. The only answer I get from them regarding a WP app is pretty much "when the demand is there".

I would hope most of these are temporary stopgaps and that Microsoft has these guys on the hook for real apps that are in progress. I can actually understand doing this for southwest in particular since I don't expect a real app from them (nor big updates to their app on other platforms) until they finish changing over to their new reservation system next year. A solution like this for them is actually a good idea for them in the interim.

Good attempt that will not pay off in the end because consumers will complain for lack of apps and companies won't make apps because they will think that these will work just fine.

I couldn't agree more. How in the world can they dedicate a team toward this when there is still so much lacking in the OS. Different teams? Ok, so make your own apps better then, Bing Sports is already just the web wrapped in a pretty shell. Its so tedious checking anything OTHER than a score. Stats are useless in that app.

How many of these companies still make BB apps? If they do, they certainly don't prioritize based on market demands, more like some kind of nostalgia...

Being new to the Windows Phone ecosystem I can say the 'lack of apps' argument has been wildy exaggerated. Nearly every major app exists. And for the ones that aren't 1st party, the 3rd party version is literally better (Instagram - 6tag, Youtube - Metrotube, etc.). It's refreshing to see the the 3rd party developer support and creativity that I found non-existent in Android. Apps also tend to look much better in WP8

It's a double edged sword. GOOD third party developers are often more responsive and reactive than companies themselves, and are capable of putting out excellent equivalent apps. Bad ones fill the store with crap and contribute to the negative noise.

Well its true I'd rather have a true, native experience, but a half decent web app is better than no true native experience at all.

Not sure how I feel about this for two reasons.

One one hand this gives the average user access to the mobile sites via an "app" they can download in the Windows Phone app store. But on the other hand, developers for these sites now maybe have less incentive to immediately develop an app as the mobile website wrapper is a useable alternative to a native app and is now readily available for all Windows Phone users.

There appears to be some differences between the mobile sites and the webapps.  I tried out the lowes webapp and it had a couple of different options on the homescreen that aren't present in the mobile version you can access though the bowser.  Maybe there's a bit more to these apps than just rendering a website inside of them?

I've always been critical of mobile websites parading as an "App", partly because it's just lazy and partly because there's always a fear of some malicious function piggybacking in. I feel better about MS actually doing it themselves as they know what will work on their browser, and they have an incentive to ensure the experience is a good one!

Sometimes the mobile sites are better than the official apps. I'll use them. I knew that there were a lot less apps for WP than for iOS or Android when I got my WP so I'm not complaining. I enjoy using my 920 a lot more than I did my 4s. Outlook, OneNote, Excel are all way better on WP. SkyDrive is awesome.
You have to remember why you went to WP in the first place.

Right, let me know again if MS decided to make Outlook, OneNote, Excel into web apps, and see if you can still continue to work without proper internet connection....

@chmun77
No if about it. Those things work, and very well. I thought they would when I got WP, and they do. The rest, lack of apps namely, I also knew about and didn't care enough to keep from getting it. Point is, we all knew what we were getting. And in the 9 months since I got it 6 out of the 8 apps I'd really like have showed up.

Not a bad idea. At least it helps with smaller shops with not the resources to take on this platform correctly. Better than end up with the crap google allows on this platform.

Mannnn, Microsoft's ecosystem is amazing. I hope people one day realize and switch, hopefully then the publishers would pay attention.

How can these not even be available for Windows Phone 7.x??? Im starting to get annoyed, I bought into Nokia/MSFT/ATT and have only been screwed left and right since buying my Lumia 900 day one.

It seems like I can see the end of Windows Phone coming much sooner than expected. If MS going to stop apps development for the platform, is doom for sure. Facebook tried HTML5 on Android, but in the end, they rebuilt it from scratch with native app. Now MS is trying to do this? Good luck everyone.

There are like 40 apps they did this with.  Most of them are niche shopping stuff too.
Seriously, who really needs most of these.  The airline one I understand and maybe the cooking apps but Dick's Sporting Goods and Urban Outfitters.  Chances are most people download those apps on iOS & Android and probably use them once or twice.
Think about what has come to WP8 in the last year that have been useful apps.  I don't think many of these were huge gaps in the ecosystem but that is just my $.02.

Start with 40, but further down the road? Who knows? This shows that they are just not keen to develop for Windows Phone at all, and if MS really need to, use web apps instead. Is just as good as asking the user accessing the sites via the browser. In fact, are these considered as "apps" too, just because they are being wrapped in an container app? And not to mention that apps offers notifications, but how can web app fulfill in that aspect?

This will only work by companies seeing the number of downloads their 'app' gets and realizing they have customers over here.

Ya try finding a wp at best buy...only 520 no contract phone. The whole store is Samsung and apple ask about windows and its like your asking about the plague. Even my kids are using google chrome and chrome books in school. They never herd of word. Ms better hit a home run with Xbox and build from there or its lights out I have both wp and android and will be upgrading at the end of year and if wp dosent get better I'm going android unless there's major integrating with the xbox. Sad things is I have a few movies still from zune that I can't down load to my phone. It just seems ms is 2 yrs behind and their not moving fast enough.

Thanks Mr. Schmidt, I didn't realize you read the Windows Phone Blogs. Too bad Microsoft takes 50% of the profit of all of your Andrioid phones. :-P Seriously though, I just bought a Lumia 521 to replace an Android phone that ran like crap since the day I bought it. Guess what, my $99 Lumia runs circles around that $360 Android phone. No, I don't work for Microsoft, I am a GENUINE Windows Phone convert. I have no idea why these phones aren't doing better. BUT, in other countries, Windows Phone is actually picking up steam. Windows Phone can do more with less memory and less battery, and that's just reality. I actually think these webapps are genius of Microsoft, because these companies are going to have to notice now. For instance, Home Depot has a native app, but Lowe's doesn't. Now Lowe's has a Microsoft Webapp. I think companies like that aren't going to want to be shown up by their competition by being represented by a third-party app. Just my opinion.

Sorry but my $100 virgin mobile evo 3d is giving me way more options then my Nokia 820. Mhl for one more apps the list goes on I'm waiting to see what Nokia will bring tomorrow. But really thought guru was going to be like an iPod 5 not a shuffel I mean really my kids don't even use a shufel anymore....so 2002...disappointed.

I have had 5 Android phones, and my 521 kills all of them. I am glad yours is working for you. I have used an evo 3d before, and I know the battery doesn't last as long. If I want mhl, I would rather use a tablet, but to each their own.

You support allowing your kids to attend a school that would violate FERPA with regard to their information and share it with Google?

My movies are with Xbox were with zune can't get them till Xbox fixes movies everyone knows this.....or..can't help the state ed is getting in bed with google. Well guess there is private.

Love the concept and really like the Sydience WebApps version of this kind of app.  Super like that MS is following the lead and building out additional apps of this type...!

While I believe it is rediculous to use the number of apps as a measure of greatness for a platform is ludicrous, the facts are that iOS has the apps I NEED that Windows Phone 8 DOESN'T! 
I truly love my beautiful red Lumia 920 and it's camera, but many apps I need or want aren't there.  US Bank and Capital One are the biggest issues for me, but the lack of official apps is galling when their "replacements" are missing the basic functionality of the originals.  YouTube and Facebook are horendous.  I also can't stand the fact that Nokia hasn't been able to put out a good panorama app.  Basic stuff my iPhone does!
If Live Tiles actually WORKED like they are supposed to, I wouldn't mind the lack of a notification center.  But guess what?  It DOESN'T work!  I have to open the apps on my Start page to get them to update and many apps provide no notification outside of a ding.  Miss it and it's too bad, so sad.  This is made even worse by the lack of individual volume controls.  Turn the sound down to play a game and forget, guess what?  You'll be missing calls, texts, notifications and your alarm clock (if you use that feature like me)!  Xbox Music is a step backwards from Zune on my WP7, no background options except black or white and nothing that compares to Google Earth (as much as I despise Google)! 
And then comes the slap in the face direct from Microsoft themselves!  Microsoft makes their apps-that should be exclusive to Windows Phone to draw people in-available for iOS and Android!  Office 365, Bing, Remote Desktop, SmartGlass, PhotSynth, SkyDrive, OneNote, Tag, Halo Waypoint, Kinectimals, Lync, Wordament, Xbox Music, Tentacles (not even available on WP anymore F*&&CKERS!), Ms. Splosion Man, Kinect Star Wars, etc.  WHY???

Agree I run a w8 tile app on my roid and you can customize it way more then wp why? People that didn't own a zune or wp7 don't understand our frustration about cutting corners like this.

I know!  The aggrevation finally got to be bad enough that I had to get a different phone for my "everyday driver" so to speak. 
Then you have Microsoft and their rediculous hoops developers have to jump through for Xbox Live certification.  Let me see...Angry Birds Friends is a super-popular game right now (this is an example, k?)...lets make it difficult for Rovio to get Live certification, delay or even prevent the app from being released on our platform and shoot ourselves in the foot all at once.  SOUNDS GOOD!  Geez....
And more apps I use daily that aren't on WP8?  Appy Gamer, Walking Dead Dead Yourself, Batman Arkham Origins, InJustice, BadLand, Dead Trigger, Zenonia and all it's sequels...and the biggie for me:  Dice with Buddies.  Silly?  Maybe to some, but my wife, kids, nephew, niece, friends and just about everybody else plays it.  I didn't realize how much I missed this simple little game until I no longer had access to it (used to own a iPhone 3GS.)

Even when apps finally land on Windows Phone they don't get updated as fast Microsoft needs to change their strategy quick.

I'm with it as long as the web apps are functional. Like the NFL Mobile app for example switches to a web app when viewing fantasy teams content but it works so flawlessly well that I really don't mind.

Aside from our awesome app, WebApps (mandatory pimping now over), Amazon seems to be leading the way with this on the Android front (see https://developer.amazon.com/sdk/webapps.html)
I think the best thing in the long run for the platform would be for developers to be able to submit HTML5 based web apps to the store directly and offer some sort of live tile functionality via RSS feeds (similar to what's possible on Windows 8, but with more centralised discovery).

I dont mind these web apps. To me until Ms gets a unified store apps will suffer. Its a lot more easier to make one app that plays on pc, tablet and phone and xbox.

It's funny how some here think everything's fine. Ms is now the old apple. Years ago people said apple computers....good machines runs smooth but eh...software sucks can't play anywith ms. Fard day. Wp good phone runs smooth eh ...no apps no games I like ill stick with iPone. See the problem.

I agree, but it's worse than that. iOS is like Mac, and Android is like DOS/Windows. WP8 is like OS/2 - I.e. It doesn't have a prayer of becoming a major player. I'm a 920 user, and I like the MS ecosystem, but I don't see why developers would target a 3rd platform...

To beat Android or iOS, there needs to be more official apps at a way faster rate. Legitimate "business reasons" or not...its black and white. The development is not there. This is why WP will never beat iPhone or Android. I hate to say it because WP8 is such a beautiful device and has a good OS :/

Its a shame that none of the webapps by MS are available in India. Wp is growing a lot in India and MS doesn't seem to recognize that. Offtopic, they haven't bothered launch their surface tab here so far. Hope they release start launching the products soon.

MS should make it easier for developers to build native apps instead.
Removing/lowering the registration fee would be nice.
The requirement to run Win 8 to install the WP8 SDK is insane too ! 

This is a bad idea IMHO. This was the original approach for the first gen iPhone. Everyone forgets now and thinks Apple invented "apps", but Steve Jobs was insistent that the iPhone would only ever support web apps. That's also the only reason Safari was ported to Windows - to support web app developers on Windows. People complained and moaned about being locked out of native apps, and by the time of the 3G launch, Jobs had given in (but kept control through the store).
Anyway, people weren't fooled by web apps then, and they won't be now. I thought the web apps on iPhone were STUPID - they are unusable on a plane for example....

I hope enough people use these web apps to make these hold outs wake the f-up. There are tens of millions that use windows phone, it makes no sense why these companies aren't leaping to make apps. When will Windows Phone be large enough?

MS should make it possible to get apps running on Windows 7, perhaps with some emulators ... having an extra billion users would get devs on board
 

It is the future of applications. More and more desktop applications will also transform to cloud based html5 applications. So I do not think this is a problem. A lot of 'native' applications on iOS are also nothing more than a wrapper around a special website.

I would have just spent the money that they used to purchase Nokia on paying big name developers to develop apps for the platform. Nokia are doing a good job as things stand already, it's the apps and OS that are letting them down.

Well the timing on this was perfect wasn't it.
Add a bunch of "meh" webapps to the store.  Get everybody griping about Microsoft giving up on WP.  Get people saying there are no apps on WP and then drop Instagram, Vine, Flipboard, etc on people within the next 18-24 hours.
They got to drop the webapps into the store with minimal negative publicity because we have such short attention spans.

Biggest advantage of Windows phone is its Metro UI called Tile interface. It’s actually very innovative and easy to use this look. But it does not give you all notification in single screen. Like you have to scroll up and down to see notifications in their respective tiles. In Android phone, even latest iOS7 also have it's native notification bar in top of the phone and you will be able to see each and every notification very easily.

 
Source: http://www.itechment.com/2014/02/problems-with-windows-phone-os.html