Windows Phone fans petition Square, Instagram, Google for apps

Are you using Windows Phone but missing a favorite app? Maybe an online petition will do the trick.

That’s the strategy being tried by some Windows Phone users in an attempt to get companies such as SquareGoogle and Instagram to make versions of their apps for Microsoft’s mobile platform.

It’s a testament to the loyalty of Windows Phone fans, but also to the lingering holes in the Windows Phone Store.

Microsoft says there are more than 150,000 apps and games in the store, but the absence of some high-profile apps can make potential customers wary of buying Windows Phone. It’s a chicken-and-egg problem, because Windows Phone’s relatively small market share makes it tough for developers to justify the expense of making apps for the platform.

(As I noted yesterday, I’ve made the switch to Windows Phone, and so far, at least, I’ve actually had good success finding the apps that I need; I’ll have more in a follow-up post.)

The petition to Square seeks to convince the mobile payments company to make its popular credit-card scanning device and app available for Windows Phone. The person behind the Square petition is Ezekiel Carsellaan independent tech blogger in South Carolina who goes by nickname, “The Microsoft Missionary.”

Carsella explains via email that he got the idea after seeing Intuit drop support for its GoPayment app on Windows Phone. He was also inspired by the petition to Google from Windows Phone users. His dad is planning to open a food truck, and he wants to be able to recommend Windows Phone to him, but without a good credit card terminal solution, it’s not an easy sell.

His petition is available here, with a target of 5,000 signatures. “Not only would Square bring along itself but a bunch of other high quality apps that would also bring along more users,” Carsella says.

He adds, “You might ask, ‘Do you think a petition will really make a difference?’ Frankly I do. Why? Because people by themselves even in mass numbers don’t have the same effect as that same amount in one organized protest.”

The petition to Google has received more than 6,200 signatures, but it faces an uphill climb: Google’s recent announcement that its Gmail service will be ending support for Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync protocol is a sign of how the company is approaching Windows Phone.

Google makes a native search app for Windows Phone, last updated in March, but the petition asks the company to bring other apps to Windows Phone including Google+, Google Talk and Drive.

One popular app that doesn’t require a petition is Pandora, which is slated to come to Windows Phone this year along with a year’s worth of ad-free service for Windows Phone users.

  • http://www.andrewtechhelp.com/ Andrew Tech Help

    “It’s a chicken-and-egg problem, because Windows Phone’s relatively small market share makes it tough for developers to justify the expense of making apps for the platform.”

    That’s a valid excuse for lots of small app developers, but not for Square, Instagram or Google. The last two are loaded with cash (and I assume Square is too, but we don’t have it in Australia AFAIK so I don’t take much notice), so they have no excuses really other than laziness or viewing Windows Phone users as 2nd class citizens.
    Just make the apps guys, you’ll get a few extra users and the cost of making the apps would be like drops of rain in a bucket.

    • voleheart

      square makes money off of every sale made with square so it is a win win for them!

      • Kevin Goldsmith

        Not really. There are development costs with addressing a new platform, long term costs for continuing to support that platform, and opportunity costs. If Square could get twice as many customers on iOS for the same effort of adding WinMo, they would make a lot more money.

    • Kevin

      That is a valid excuse for big developers too. If it is going to cost more money and opportunity to target a small platform than you will make from it, why would you do it? Charity to Microsoft? Saying that a big company “can afford it,” is not an argument, because a big company can do a lot of better things with their time and money, just like small ones. If Microsoft wants more developers for their platform, they need to increase their market share and show that people who own windows phones will pay for apps.

      • http://www.andrewtechhelp.com/ Andrew Tech Help

        Naa, see you may think I’m a socialist, but I think that once you start earning a certain amount of money, you have a responsibility to look after people, not ALWAYS think about money first.

        It’s hard for Microsoft to get more people on board when you see most reviews say, “Microsoft has done an excellent job with Windows Phone and it’s a good product, but don’t buy it because there’s not enough apps.” Kinda hard to expect Microsoft to convince people to buy the phone after reviews like that over and over again across tech blogs and the mainstream media.

        • Mike

          It is nor reasonable to expect every app developer to also develop on a platform with 2.7% share, which is the last 2012 number I saw. iOS and Android are 95%+ share which really covers the market. The chicken and egg problem is a real one. I had assumed Microsoft would try to pay for more development from key app developers, but maybe the app developers are not interested. They have a great platform but seem late to the show.

          Plus Google said it will not be building for WP and will no longer be supporting activesync for personal Gmail accounts. Google is focused on great apps for iOS and its own Android OS. No reason for them to help Microsoft build if they do not have to.

          • Mike

            “It is not reasonable” sorry for the typo.

          • Allen

            2.7% share of ~472,000,000 is roughly 9.5 million people. Why wouldn’t you want to have 9.5 million more customers?

        • Guest

          Over a decade ago Microsoft did everything in the book to sabotage Google’s success, why should Google now help Microsoft’s platform to compete with their own? Karma is a b….!

        • Guest

          wtf??? If Google, Facebook and Square want to “look after people, not ALWAYS think about money first” they should make make charitable donations. Microsoft is not (quite) a charity case.

        • http://www.andrewtechhelp.com/ Andrew Tech Help

          This isn’t a Microsoft vs Google thing to me, it’s not about Google giving charity to Microsoft, it’s about Google and others not screwing USERS. By trying to screw Microsoft, users are the collateral damage (the same thing happened with Microsoft when they were a monopoly too and I disapprove of their behaviour back then too). I should be able to use Youtube (with ads and all, I’m cool with that) on my Windows Phone the same way I can use it on an iPhone (another non Google phone). As someone else said, why wouldn’t you want that extra audience that you can make money from. Microsoft apparently will even build the app for them, so no cost there.
          On Instagram for a second: There are several Instagram apps for Windows Phone, all are missing the “key” feature though: posting photos to Instagram. This is because Instagram don’t give that permission to 3rd parties (fair enough). But seriously, for basically little to no cost, they could either partner with or buy one of the existing ALREADY BUILT apps, and add that final missing piece and tada, an official Instagram app. It’s a small audience, but for the extremely small cost, they’d get a lot of positive press, something they might need currently with that ToS mess they’re in.

          • Guest

            Because they don’t want Microsoft to become a market leader in mobile, only to bury/bully all their competition afterwards. Suddenly those 2.7% extra ‘profit’ don’t sound so good, now do they.

          • http://www.andrewtechhelp.com/ Andrew Tech Help

            I think Android is going to be fine ;) – If anyone is going to take over and become a bully it’s Apple with iOS and they’ve got apps there.

          • http://twitter.com/ManAboutIt Man About It

            Doesn’t Apple do that right now?

        • http://www.facebook.com/gerald.thomas.3990 Gerald Thomas

          Andrew – Is there some law I don’t know about that requires people who do well to hand their money over to other people? Other than tax, that is. What is the threshold amount where you believe that people are required to give it away? Furthermore, who made you the arbiter of this? Who are you to tell other people what to do with their money? Sounds like extortion to me, like churches do using spiritual blackmail for those dumb enough to fall for it. Why do some people think that just because someone has done well, that person has to give away their money? If somebody like Bill Gates chooses to endow a Charity with $1 billion – Terrific! What a great humanitarian! And the money goes to Very worthwhile causes. But – that was his choice. His money and he can do whatever in hell he chooses. That doesn’t obligate anyone else, legally or morally, and those of us who know this are constantly annoyed by those who don’t and are whining about getting “their share”. That’s like sore losers in a poker game who insist that the big winner is obligated to continue playing so that they can have a chance to win back some of their money.

          • http://www.andrewtechhelp.com/ Andrew Tech Help

            We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this. There’s no laws in place that enforces anything that I say, but I just think there should be. It would be a nicer place if more people who are fortunate enough to have plenty of money, shared it with those who need it the most. That’s why I think Bill Gates is a great guy.
            I realise that there’s a large group of people who disagree with me though and that’s ok, the world we currently live in runs the way they want it, so all is good for them I guess. I’m no threat to the Status Quo.

    • Krystine Elizabeth

      Plus personally I’d be willing to pay for these apps as I’m sure many other people are as well so the cost really shouldn’t even be a concern.

  • N8

    Google+ for windows phone…who is requesting this? Also, how is it that MS had an early investment in FB but still can’t get an Instagram app?

  • Guest

    The should be petitioning MS to sell more phones, by lowering the license fee.

    5000 signatures is pretty pathetic, as Square I plus be pretty n moved by that.

    • voleheart

      so IYHO what would be helpful? an unobtainable million?

    • totnuckers

      …and those 5000 signatures are all from Redmond employees

      • voleheart

        actually a lot of them are small business owners and non apple trolls like u

        • Bob Warren

          and a lot of them are Windows fanboys. the point is, 5000 signatures on an online petition would be a ludicrous reason for a company like Square to commit to the expense of supporting a new platform.

        • totnuckers

          I would doubt that no stupid business owners will going to use windows phone on their business

          • gautam divekar

            read your own comment once …. so you might understand how stupid you sound !!!!

          • totnuckers

            but not too stupid as you sound. Window phones for business? really? Shill much?

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottmoore.seattle Scott Moore

    Considering that Microsoft has long ago crippled and destroyed MS Office for MAC due to its “low numbers”, just to cite one example, this is really a joke. Outlook for MAC, otherwise known as “Entourage” doesn’t even support HTML in email. It’s laughable. And now we’re supposed to feel sorry for Windows phone users?? Seriously?

    I have a better idea. How about if Microsoft pay Instagram, Google and others to develop those apps that are so critical to its own little ecosystem. @andrewtechhelp:disqus, your rant made me laugh out loud.

    • Azzras

      MS SAVED Apple from going out of business years ago. That wasn’t enough for you?

      • Guest

        Microsoft made tons of enemies, including Google, during their domineering years. They only “saved” Apple for selfish reasons, because they couldn’t become the only one standing (aka monopoly). Now Microsoft needs help? Google answered by shutting down ActiveSync support. The truth is, none of the new tech companies likes the former bully. And they know what happens once Microsoft rules a market.

      • http://www.facebook.com/scottmoore.seattle Scott Moore

        As noted by guest, Microsoft saved Apple for fear of being declared an absolute monopoly. There was nothing altruistic there. They also did it under the condition that Macs shipped with IE, which turned out to be a disaster, and they later let it go because they couldn’t afford to keep developing IE for Mac.

        MS also invested in SCO Unix, another failing company. But then SCO turned around and sued Red Hat Linux for infringing on SCO patents, which turned out to be a failure of a lawsuit. But again, no altruism there either.

        None-the-less, my point was that MS has long been the 800 lb gorilla in high tech, and bullied both its partners and competitors, and now that the shoe is on the other foot it’s interesting to see how they react.

        Microsoft is still an 800 lb gorilla, and still has billions in the bank, so really I think if it’s important for their phone to have apps that the app developers themselves can’t afford to develop for WP, they certainly have the means to create a better user eXPerience by funding the development.

  • Anthony Ancheta

    I am about to reach my upgrade in March, and that is usually when new phones come in, I still have my eyes with the Nokia Lumia, but seeing constant reviews of how great it is, but lacking a ton of the major apps is making me lean toward the iPhone 5. Honestly i don’t really like iOS that much, but i think it can be handy when looking for the apps on hand, but on the other side the Windows Phone 8 has some other apps and alternatives. I don’t know if I should wait till windows gets the apps I want (Instagram) or go ahead with iPhone. I know the hardware and stuff already, I just want to know what you guys think, iPhone or Windows

    • http://twitter.com/m_prince_54 Michael Prince

      It’s a tough choice, but the iPhone screen is just too small for me. If you need instagram, you have two choices, IOS or Android. For me it’s the Lumia all the way, but I don’t use instagram (even though I also have an iPhone 5).

      • Anthony Ancheta

        I can just use instacam (the alternative), but i just cant post pictures. I barely do, but when i do i’ll just use my friend’s phone. I have an android right now, in fact its rooted to make it look like the Galaxy Nexus, but it kinda bores me, even if it does better customization, but kinda slow and crashes, but has the apps i need. So kind of upgrading to a device without many apps is kind hard, but before instagram came on android i had to wait several months, so i can wait the same i guess, but i just want to know like the software. Which one is easier, and which one is better

    • Eddisonlane
  • Guest

    Kudos to the Windows Phone user community for showing this initiative! I’m glad to see so many customers engaging with their favourite app vendors.

  • http://bit.ly/Uys4YJ Phone Source

    Isn’t 150,000 apps and games enough?

    • Elisa

      the thing is that only a certain percentage are quality apps. the same with other platforms i guess.

  • http://twitter.com/cmross Christopher Ross

    As a startup that has chosen Windows Phone as our flagship device, we feel the same pain, just from a slightly different perspective. We too believe the platform and devices are as good and in many ways better than what is offered by other companies; we’ve basically bet our company on this. While we do plan on supporting iOS and Android, our objective has been to be a (relatively) larger fish in a smaller pond first.

    In general, Microsoft does a good job of supporting startups, but I wish there was a more balanced approach to fostering a few “halo” apps as well as encouraging the established apps to bring their apps to WP8. A “me too” strategy won’t necessarily convert users.

    I share more about our company, FotoJelly, at our website http://www.fotojelly.com. And if you would consider supporting our crowdfunding campaign towards our WP8 and W8 App Store development, that would be appreciated. http://indiegogo.com/Fotojelly

    cheers

    • Gigglebits

      You have a typo on your homepage in the quoted section (“quck” instead of “quick”). Also you might not want to have “Powered by Starbucks” in your footer. Not very professional, and also possibly not legal to use without consent.

      • http://twitter.com/cmross Christopher Ross

        Thanks Gigglebits – there’s always work to be done right? And, I’ll see if our attorney has any problems with the “Powered by Starbucks” statement – I’m pretty sure it’s not a problem :)

    • Guest

      Why, in god’s name, would a startup reduce their addressable market by picking a niche platform as their “flagship device”? Maybe because they are MSFT alums and suffer from magical thinking.

      • Bob Warren

        good catch….they are MSFT alums.

      • http://twitter.com/cmross Christopher Ross

        While I am a MSFT alum, that had no bearing on the decision to go with the platform. There were 4 reasons: 1) my development background is all .NET – I was a coder for over a decade before joining the company in sales & marketing roles. 2) the developer tools and software licenses Msft makes available to developers via BizSpark and other programs. We had $0 hosting, server licenses, dev tools spend, and 3) we felt that targeting a smaller market would give us a leg up on visibility, and 4) the pool of competent, experienced developers and engineers is considerably greater that what we’ve found for either iOS or Android.

        So I would characterize it more as working with what we know and had confidence in rather than any allegiance because we used to draw a paycheck.

        • Guest

          And how’s that going for ya so far? Maybe your startup should have hired a seasoned business guy to assess your business model and market potential.

          Business lesson 101 – don’t bet on a tiny niche market where its future is moreover uncertain.

  • Thomas R.

    I think it’s also interesting to note that one can infer that the quality of apps trumps the quantity of apps. One could possibly say that despite Microsoft’s monthly/weekly press releases about how many apps are in the store, users only care about the quality of the apps… Traction could be measured instead by usage, stickiness or something more meaningful.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1402752163 Mike Safioles

      “One could possibly say that despite Microsoft’s monthly/weekly press releases about how many apps are in the store, users only care about the quality of the apps…”

      I completely agree.

      I was happy that we got Draw Something a few months back, but that happiness disappeared when i discovered it was just as much of a shitpile as it was on Android.

  • http://twitter.com/Fbendotti F. Bendotti

    Lumia 920…

  • casi

    I just want instagram and snap chat. Its dumb that they’re not up to date popular trending apps. They would probably sell a lot more phones goodness!

  • nathan

    Definately need Temple Run and Jetpack Joyride !

  • Jackie

    I have this phone, and so many friends of my friends want it too, until i tell them it doesn’t have Instagram. then they all say never mind. Android is better. So ya -__- I like this phone but coming from a heavy user of the app on Android, to no app at all, really sucks :(!

  • http://twitter.com/Child_0F_KMT Arlander Lowry

    I feel like Windows Phone Users can do w/o the Google app (they can just type Google in the search engine then have add it as a block). Moreover, Instagram and Square should be made available to ALL recent Windows Phones and future ones as well.

  • deepen03

    Developers are full of crap! yeah it has low market share, because of the LACK OF APPS! they’re all paid off by Apple and don’t want to help Windows Phone gain traction, even thought phones like the Lumia 920 are FAR BETTER than the iPhone 5..

  • deepen03

    Windows Phone 8 is overall better than iOS!

  • http://myfriendexplosion.com/ Buy Instagram Followers

    The instagram has used advanced technology for effectively making photo sharing….We also reference our friends…. That the site is good….

  • http://twitter.com/OuthornK //OK

    Hmmm, sounds like the Windows Phone Fanboys needs to set up a Kickstarter to hire developers… If Instagram or Square won’t fund it maybe the Windows Phone Fanboys will…

  • http://www.facebook.com/chevron.slinky Maria Violet Belan

    Hey dudes! I made a facebook page for the Instagram cause. Looks like only 90 or so signatures to go!!! https://www.facebook.com/Instagram4WindowsPhone

  • C2xeditor

    I really think Instagram should support windowsphone. I for one tell people not to get windowsphone when I have one. Only because there’s a very small market place! If there were more people who develop apps for windows phone like games and apps that are only supported by google play and apple store, then I would be spread news to get windows phones like wild fire.

  • me

    “don’t do evil” my a** … google is beginning to be more evil than microsoft…

  • Patrick Dunbar

    Well if Microsoft can’t get square to design an app then the should design there own and call it Microsoft Money… its kind of pointless if the biggest software company cant design software

  • Terrie G

    For those Window phone users who want a credit card reader, I just got one from http://www.getcube.com. I’ve got the reader and it works perfectly! The search is over!