Windows 10 developer calls out Microsoft's strategy

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/ThomasVogel)

The founder of AdDuplex - the company behind 'AppRaisin' for Windows 10 - has called out Microsoft on its mobile strategy alongside the announcement it has ceased active development on its popular software. 

Alan Mendelevich, who founded AdDuplex in 2011, wrote on his blog yesterday to detail his reasons for no longer focusing on AppRaisin development and spoke bluntly to Microsoft in a section titled "What went wrong". 

"Quite a few points below will look like I’m assigning blame (primarily on Microsoft). And, on the one hand, I am. I am convinced that a lot of things they said and did (or in many cases didn’t do) affected a lot of Windows developers dramatically," Mendelevich wrote. 

'Strategy' is mentioned a lot in the post, or the lack of. Mendelevich says there either isn't one, or that it's "so deep and forward-looking" that he fails to understand it. 

AdDuplex's team worked on a couple of assumptions – one which Mendelevich admits was just based on common sense, and the other was from Microsoft's own words. 

Starting with the assumption based on common sense – AdDuplex believed Windows 10 Mobile would launched in November 2015, or December at worst. Although Windows 10 handsets went on sale in November, upgrades to existing handsets didn't start rolling out until March 2016. 

Where the AdDuplex team felt most let down, however, was the lack of truth in the words of Microsoft's Executive Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group, Terry Myerson, when he said at Windows 10's unveiling: "We will also be making available a free upgrade to Windows 10 to ALL devices running Windows Phone 8.1" 

After months of rumours that only the Lumia range would get the update, or devices over 1GB of RAM, or with particular operators, Microsoft released a list of the limited handsets which could get the update in March. The most popular Windows Phone, the Lumia 520, wasn't getting the update and nor was most of the Windows Phone 8 flagships. This not only annoyed consumers, but significantly reduced the already small market of potential mobile customers for developers. 

Of those which could get the update? Rather than a standard update method, a special app was needed to be downloaded in order to upgrade. AdDuplex released this chart showing what this has all meant for Windows Phone market share: 

As highlighted in the chart, Windows Phone 10's adoption has moved one percent compared to 0.5% in June. The concern for any Windows 10 developer is there's no clear strategy in sight to significantly boost this adoption. Microsoft itself also seems to be more focused on improving the company's presence on Android and iOS rather than fixing its own platform. 

The situation on desktop is much better in terms of adoption, with an often criticised aggressive push from Microsoft leading to a ~350 million install base. Despite the installs, few users are using the Windows Store to download UWP apps. Everyone knows mobile is where it's at, with 80 percent of AppRaisin users accessing from mobile despite being a universal app. 

"Looking at our numbers from this perspective we have around 20,000 monthly active users on a platform that was under-delivered to its modest potential to the tune of 7:1. Meaning that in the alternative universe where Microsoft kept its promise to upgrade all Windows Phone 8.1 devices to Windows 10, we could have had close to 150,000 MAU with the same effort," Mendelevich explained. 

The post offers an interesting look at what it's like to be a popular Windows 10 app developer, and how Microsoft has completely mishandled their mobile strategy. As for the future of AppRaisin, it will continue to be supported but not longer actively developed unless they find a suitable partner who can take it forward. If that could be you, the company wants you to reach out to 

What are your thoughts on the Windows 10 strategy? Let us know in the comments. 

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12 Aug 2016, 9:26 a.m.

I believe Windows 10 and UWP have a great projection in the future, precisely because of its great features for developers, and I'm sure the 10 platform will triumph thanks to these characteristics, but we are in a phase in which still should not make as strong as this company's bets.

We have all heard Microsoft roadmaps, but I don't take them as a legal agreement, but as the good intentions of the company. Bet so much and so fast, can go very well or very badly. I'd rather go testing and converting modules slowly, seeing the problems and ensuring quality to customers.


11 Feb 2017, 3:55 p.m.

Microsoft f..cked-up beyond any reality...

If you bought a windows phone 7, microsoft made sure to pull skype from the store all together, if you bought windows phone 8, microsoft made sure skype would not accept calls in the background, if you bought windows 10, you bought a phone that was already dead before you owned it. You can have a relevant device with a smooth skype experience ... if you buy apple or android ... Microsoft doesn't seem to care about mobile. Oddly enough, they don't care about developers either... And they are a company with the majority of their employees being developers... Maybe they see non-microsoft developers as competition, or maybe the companies that those developers work for... Anyway, whichever it is ... it's f..cked-up beyond any reality...