According to a new report, Microsoft executives recently considered creating a “super app” that will allow it to offer a variety of services and products in a single place.
Microsoft still has a very limited reach in the mobile market, but it wants to quench this thirst by building an all-in-one app that will ideally be a one-stop place where people can access different services from Microsoft. According to The Information, which cited individuals with knowledge of the subject, this idea is inspired by the structure of WeChat, which works exactly like that: an app that combines messaging, shopping, gaming, news, and more.
As the report stresses, Microsoft doesn’t have its own mobile app store for smartphone users, unlike Google and Apple, which are both dominating the mobile market. However, the plan is beyond offering its own products to mobile consumers: Microsoft also wants to expand its consumer services.
However, it is worth noting that almost the same features are already available on the Microsoft Start app. The mobile app offers news, messaging, games, shopping deals, and even Microsoft Rewards. That said, if Microsoft is really considering building a super app, it must offer more than what the current Microsoft Start app can already do. In particular, it must exceed it. Producing an app that is just somewhere near the product it is already offering will just result in a redundant, confusing, and unnecessary app that could lead to a dead end.
Moreover, in comparison, Microsoft Start only has 5 million downloads on Google Play Store, while the WeChat app that the sources said inspired Microsoft’s plan has over 100 million downloads. If this number is part of the inspiration of the Microsoft execs, it might also not be a good idea for Microsoft to push it. As Daniel Rubino of Windows Central stresses, the only secret behind the great success of WeChat is the Chinese government’s influence, which banned the app’s major competitors in the region. This won’t be the case for Microsoft.
The sources added that the executives are particularly eyeing the expansion of the company’s advertising business and Bing search. While the latter is understandable, greatly focusing on and highlighting the former might make a repulsive element that would ruin the app’s success. Microsoft has always been a subject of criticism due to the repeated attempts to introduce ads and push its products and service too much on its Windows customers. Apparently, Windows users have no choice over this, as the system is the most widely used OS globally. Using this same approach for Microsoft’s planned super app won’t do any good, especially in the mobile realm, where there are lots of options and competitors.
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