back to article Microsoft unveils push-button app generator for Windows Phone

Microsoft would like to see more mobile apps in the Windows Phone store, and to that end it has launched a new online tool that it claims makes it possible for anyone to build their own app for the Windows Phone platform. Windows Phone App Studio, now in beta, is a web-based wizard that lets you create your own HTML-based …


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  1. leeCh

    I love the irony

    I still have IE8 on this machine for testing legacy stuff, and of course the windows phone app studio won't run in something so old and clunky (but it won't tell you either).

    Fired up chrome, no problems.

    1. returnmyjedi

      Re: I love the irony

      Are you using a similarly old version of Chrome as well?

  2. Charles Manning

    The way to get more apps is redefine the term "app"

    Sheer marketing brilliance!

    Instead of apps being those difficult interactive things that require highly skilled programmers, we just make a way to can crap web pages and call those apps and anyone can make one!

    Coming next week: A plug-in for MS-paint that generates "apps" from kindergarten scribblings.

    1. SaveMefromeejits

      Re: The way to get more apps is redefine the term "app"

      Sheer marketing brilliance indeed, originally thought up by google and killed off in one of their many waves of things they got bored of supporting.

      As I recall it was called 'app-inventor' and it was actually built from concepts created for teaching children programming techniques and some of their marketing did look like such scribblings.

      1. Eponymous Cowherd

        Re: The way to get more apps is redefine the term "app"

        App Inventor is still out there and is now hosted by MIT.

        While is won't produce anything sophisticated, it is certainly more capable than this effort from Microsoft. It has no restrictions on devices and finished apps can be deployed to Play.

        It is, as you say, based on the same "lego brick" concept as MIT's excellent Scratch environment.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The way to get more apps is redefine the term "app"

      "A plug-in for MS-paint that generates "apps" from kindergarten scribblings."

      I think Android already has that level of the market captured...

  3. GrantB

    I actually now own a Windows Phone 8 phone

    "It's hard to imagine that Windows Phone owners would want to install many of these, rather than just pulling up the corresponding web page in their mobile browsers."

    Er, I have WP8 phone, and the ability of the native IE mobile browser to mangle webpages is unparalleled in modern mobile browsers. Safari on my iPod Touch, Chrome on my Nexus 7 are perfectly fine mobile browsers, so on those devices I am happy to just use the mobile version of a webpage, but with WP8 an app, generally works better.

    Pretty obvious though that the aim of this is to generate large numbers of crap apps that nobody will use - but will blow out the number of apps in the store to match Apple/Android. Pretty sad really.

    1. Def Silver badge

      Re: I actually now own a Windows Phone 8 phone

      Yeah, Internet Explorer on WP8 is absolutely the worst browser I have ever used. It's beyond embarrassing. Slow as hell, and almost zero compatibility with pretty much every website out there. Even El Reg doesn't work properly because of the way it (IE) handles fonts.

      The only thing more annoying than IE, is the fact there are no alternatives available. All "browsers" in the WP store are mere UI shells on top of IE.

  4. Old Handle

    But beginning on Tuesday, Microsoft is allowing anyone to unlock and register a single Windows Phone as a testing device and load up to two apps on it, without joining the developer program.

    So generous!

    Actually, from my perspective, this only rubs it in that they've put arbitrary limits on what you can do with your own phone.

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Touch Develop version Y

      This is their second pass. Sign up and pay money so you can build an app you can run on your very own phone. After submitting it to and having it approved by the app store but it will run in a crippled fashion in the touchydevelopy environment. No money? No tile for you.

      You don't suppose the first app could be something that allows you to install more than one more app, do you? That would actually be quite handy.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Windows Phone App Studio is about giving everyone the ability to create an app, regardless of experience"

    There fixed it:

    Microsoft would like to see more mobile apps in the Windows Phone store, and to that end it has launched a new online tool that it claims makes it possible for anyone to build their own crapp for the Windows Phone platform.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    They're getting desperate it seems...

    First you needed to cough up nearly $100,- just to get an option to be able and hack away with your phone, simply because every Windows Phone is "dev locked", so even if you hook it up to Windows then there's no way you'll be able to access the device through .NET calls.

    Then they started their refund promo's. Of course; it wasn't really a promo, you still had to cough up the $100,- but Microsoft promised that they would pay you back. Yeah right; that was a very weird deal for people who couldn't pay using their local currency (read: getting extra transaction and exchange costs not once, but two times).

    So now, maybe a year or so later, they finally learned. If you check how you can register for Windows phone development you'll see that not only does Microsoft provide a discount, this time it actually is one.

    I tried it out and now the annual fee is only E 15,- for me. I can even pay directly in Euro's, how's that?

    There is of course a problem.. I've long given up on trying to hack away on the Windows phone, already removed the whole SDK from my computer (even though it really looks impressive) because I really couldn't see the use for it.

    But even if I could be swayed there's the issue of me still using Windows Phone 7, and that market is limited due to the current Windows Phone 8. Which only adds up to my approach of "what's the use?".

    Quite frankly I'd rather save up those E 15,- and use 'm to pick up my copy of GTA V instead.

    Another classic example of too little, too late. Because if I would have been able to dive in for E 15,- when my attention was more "WP7 minded" (last year) then it would have been a no-brainer for me.

  7. h3

    Most of the millions of apps in Google Play are worse than the ones created by this app. (In both cases the apps are useless but the Google Play ones act in a detrimental manner running stuff in the background checking every 10 seconds for something etc etc).

    Many of the most useful Apps have been kicked out of the Play Store (Adaway / Adblock Plus / Emulators (In a very inconsistent manner)).

  8. John Tserkezis

    Windows Phone platform online app creator tool now has "Farting App".

    Just in case you thought you were missing out.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder…

    … how well these HTML5 apps can be ported across to Firefox OS? Maybe Microsoft has just played right into the hands of the opposition.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah because the 17 users on Firefox os are really going to make a big difference to the world soon right.....

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "According to Redmond, the whole process is as simple as three steps: have an idea, ???, make profit!"

  11. Alan Bourke

    Like Lightswitch

    ... it'll be all well and good until you start to hit edge cases that don't fit in their model, in which case you will be better off just doing it from scratch in the first place.

  12. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Wonder where they got that idea from...

    Nokia maybe?

    (It did Symbian apps before too but they've knocked that on the head.)

  13. darklordsid

    Oh, nice, so flexible and powerful now I'm going to write Office, Photoshop, and Blender replacements for RT/Store during lunch time! Or just another f*rt app...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You too

    can help fill up the Windows Phone barren app store with useless shit that only you would want.

    The screenshot is a glaring example of the crap that's going to be there "My Resume App".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sounds like a few hundred thousand of the apps on google play then right??

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