Windows 10 Mobile devices are hitting stores in greater numbers now, with the arrival of the low-cost Lumia 550 and rumours of new devices from HP, Samsung and others. However, when it comes to getting an Android or iOS app on to Windows 10, Microsoft's grand plan is falling apart.
This news comes as former Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer (also, the company's biggest shareholder) and many industry analysts demand they adopt Android Apps. Microsoft's Android porting system, Project Astoria, is now on hold, while the iOS version, Project Islandwood, is available on GitHub but remains in a very early state, even if it is regularly updated.
While some big name apps are arriving on Windows 10 Mobile in the form of Uber and TuneInRadio, there are still plenty missing. However, when it comes to smaller companies, there remains value in having a Windows 10 app, since many clients may soon be upgrading to Windows 10 and a Windows mobile ecosystem to take advantage of the close knit services between the two, if they haven't already done so.
With universal apps, Windows users can run the same app on their phone, desktop and tablet, and with Continuum and OneDrive cloud storage, can access the same data, killing off the hassle of downloading, uploading or emailing documents and files around, with the subsequent issues of version control and collaboration.
If this takes off among businesses, then having a Windows 10 universal app may give clients a competitive advantage. Even if your app is just a port of a website (Microsoft also has a tool to port HTML 5 code to apps), having a Windows version may prove useful. That's as fractured Android and costly Apple ecosystems try their hardest to capture the business market, it seems Microsoft - even though it now has Office and Skype apps across all ecosystems - has something of an advantage when it comes to business use.
Mobile app developers and app companies should keep monitoring app and website usage from Windows devices with analytics tools to see if there is much growth from Windows 10 (now six months old) and as Windows 10 Mobile takes off in the market.