Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 is its most popular mobile operating system to date. Sure, it’s a long ways behind Android and iOS in terms of market share, but it’s currently holding down the number 3 spot thanks to powerful WP8 phones like the Lumia 920.
Well, Microsoft isn’t satisfied being number 3, and it recently released a new app that aims to chip away at Android’s heft market share. That app is called, appropriately, “Switch to Windows Phone”, and it’s meant to make switching to Windows Phone as easy as possible for Android users.
Here’s what the Switch to Windows Phone app does:
-Inventories the Android apps on your phone and finds the same apps (or similar apps) on the Microsoft Windows Store
-Saves the app inventory to a SkyDrive account
-When users switch to Windows Phone 8, they download the WP8 version of the “Switch to Windows Phone” app and download all of the app recommendations as they were saved to SkyDrive
As you probably already anticipated, there are some drawbacks to the Android-to-WP8 transfer process. The biggest drawback is that there are nearly a million Android apps and only about 150,000 WP8 apps. Sure, you’ll find replacements for popular apps like Facebook or Twitter. But what about some of the lesser known games and apps that you use every day?
Here’s my favorite part of the Switch to Windows Phone campaign: the wedding commercial. Just one day after its release, the commercial has well over one million views:
I like how they poke fun at the Samsung ‘tap’ feature or whatever that thing is where two GS3 users tap their phones against one another in a sexually suggestive way. I did that once with my GS3-toting friend just to see how it works and I’ve never used it since, so I don’t know why Samsung emphasized it so heavily in its commercials.
In any case, it looks like Microsoft is pulling off a classic political maneuver: letting its rivals fight one another while it sneaks up the middle.
Not available for iOS
As you may have guessed, the Switch to Windows Phone app is not available on the iOS app store. Why? Well, Apple personally screens each and every app that enters its app store, and I’m thinking the Switch to Windows Phone app wouldn’t make it past even the most preliminary stages of screening.
The Google Play Store, on the other hand, lets in everyone and everything, giving Microsoft a perfect opening to steal away Android’s market share.
Is this the end of Android as we know it? Haha…no. Microsoft hasn’t got around to releasing the Switch to Windows Phone app yet, but a download link will be up shortly.