Discuss: Should Microsoft advertise exclusive apps?

The typical Microsoft Windows Phone ad is predictable in its simplicity. After a lingering view on the body of the device in question, we dive into the OS and apps. Of course, Microsoft makes sure to advertise Instagram (1 year since an update) and Vine (last updated 2013). We get a lovlely view of the start screen with tiles showing all the apps you’d probably already use on your iPhone and Android device, and then we end there.

Nice and simple. Microsoft’s way of letting the world know that Windows Phone does have apps (approximately 400 000 apps now). Now one thing I’ve found interesting is what apps they advertise. MixRadio? Rarely featured. Here Maps? Sometimes.  Windows Phone exclusive apps? Never. Do you see a problem in that way of advertising?

It is common knowledge that convincing someone to buy a product means you must be willing to sell something which they don’t quite have, or maybe something they aren’t sure they need right now. Microsoft’s adverts do the opposite. They are attempoting to sell consumers what they already have. “Here’s a Windows Phone” They declare, ” We do everything your phone can do! Buy us!”

Here’s the thing, it doesn’t exactly give people a reason to buy your device. What it does is it takes away a barrier. “Oh” the consumer thinks, “It does what my device does too, cool” But step away from the consumer, and look at the informed press, the geeks, the nerds. These ads don’t make them feel anything but pity and scorn, and that is because while these ads advertise mainstream apps, the apps advertise can be classed as abandonware. They will crow from the rooftops that Windows Phone has no apps, and the few apps it has are being pulled. 0.00013% of 400, 000 Windows Phone apps are being pulled, panic guys!

The thing is, Windows Phone does have apps. Not only does it have apps, it has several useful, well designed, thoughtful apps that are being placed in the store and being ignored because of either bad algorithms, or a lack of visibility. Microsoft is in a position, for every Windows Phone advert, to take a bet and showcase a Windows Phone app. Show off Foundbite, show the world Fhotoroom and talk about it at build, show users how OneDo would organize their lives other than Android material design task app NO10101 which Windows Phone doesn’t have and therefore has no apps.

Pictured below- No apps

This no apps claim is an example of a “big lie”, one that gets repeated often enough that it is easier to just drop it and people just agree with it rather than thinking. Microsoft itself helps perpetuate the stereotype, in my opinion, rather than looking at the gems present in the store. They reach after app developers that scorn them and ignore the developers that embrace their platform with open eyes. What is this if not burning the candles at both ends? Windows Phone users – especially those who should know better – do the same. Developers don’t develop for Windows as much because they feel they will be ignored unless they make a clone app, and the app cycle continues. It does my head in, and many other developers as well I presume.

Here’s what I’d rather they did; In presentation and press conferences, they should highlight innovative apps by developers to boost developer morale. They downplay apps like (In a better world I’d say toss them out) Instagram Beta and the buggy Tumblr app. They downplay games like Candy Crush and instead show more games like Halo Spartan assault etc. What matters most here is the impression and presentation, if Microsoft continues to act like beggars in mobile, I daresay the world at large will treat them as such.


But that’s just my view. Over to you readers, do you guys think Microsoft should advertise third party and exclusive apps rather than popular ones no one really cares about (because everyone knows about them)? Fight it out in the comments.