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Microsoft Announces Facebook, Instagram, Box, Twitter, and more Universal Apps for Windows 10

Russell Smith


It was only a couple of weeks ago that I opined on Petri about the lack of Windows 10 Universal Apps from the big players, and despite false rumours that Google were going to announce the availability of Universal Apps at Microsoft’s Windows 10 hardware event yesterday in New York, Microsoft did say that Universal Apps for Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, Netflix, Box, and more would soon be made available.

Although Google didn’t show up yesterday, we could still see Google Maps and other popular Google apps, such as YouTube, appear on Windows 10 in the future. There were also some other noticeable absences, such as Snapchat, even though an app for Windows Phone was promised some time ago, albeit with no ETA.

But the announcement that Facebook will soon provide Universal Apps for Windows 10 is important, because the current Instagram client, which has never come out of beta, is woefully inadequate, and the Facebook newsfeed client was developed by Microsoft, and doesn’t have feature parity with its Android and iOS counterparts. Additionally, the Facebook newsfeed and Messenger are integrated in one app on the desktop, which is an oddity that needs to be amended.

Apps are key to the future of Windows Mobile

The lack of support from major players has been a particular problem for Microsoft’s flagging mobile platform, as there are many third-party alternatives for Instagram, Twitter, and other services that lack official clients for Windows Phone. This doesn’t give consumers much confidence in the future of Windows Mobile. Add to that Microsoft releasing most of its new mobile apps for platforms other than its own, you might be left wondering whether Windows Mobile has much of a future.

But for the time being, Microsoft is all in on mobile, and the soon to be released Lumia 950 and 950XL flagship phones, which sport high resolution displays, Windows Hello and Continuum support, help set these devices apart from the new iPhone 6s. But while the hardware might be compelling, Windows Mobile 10 needs to come up to scratch, and not only that, even if the quantity of available apps is limited, what is available must be of sufficiently high quality to match what’s available on rival platforms.

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