Since some major brand names are still not committing to developing Windows Phone apps, Microsoft was decided to take matters into its own hands.
To fill the gaps in its Windows Phone App Store, Microsoft is repackaging brand websites into pinnable web apps. These packed web apps will make it easier for Windows Phone users to find the “app” like they would a native app, rather than searching in a browser.
Microsoft is going after some big names in this move – Crate & Barrel, Petsmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, 1-800-Flowers and many more – in hopes of encouraging these brands to develop native Windows Phone apps. From The Verge:
Microsoft is taking a new approach to its lack of Windows Phone apps. The software maker has started publishing Windows Phone apps for websites like Lowe’s, TMZ, and J.Crew that are simply the mobile version of the sites packaged into a Windows Phone app. In a move that ZDNet notes is part of Microsoft’s WebApps team, there’s over 40 web apps published that are designed to look like Windows Phone apps.
A Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed the apps are published by the company, noting that they’re not designed to replace native apps.
I hope the websites Microsoft is pulling from have been optimized for mobile!