Could future Windows Phones transfer apps from iOS or Androids?

The Windows Phone Marketplace has seen a big surge of activity in the past few months as more and more app developers are making software for Windows Phone devices. However, the Marketplace still lags behind the iOS App Store and Google Play for Android in terms of the sheer number of apps available. Now a newly revealed patent from Microsoft could, in theory, solve that problem.

The patent application, filed in November 2010 but publicly revealed a few days ago, (via Unwiredview.com), describes the proposed software. It would scan the apps off your old smartphone, such as an Android device, and then look for the same apps in Windows Phone Marketplace.

If the exact same app isn't available for Windows Phone, the app migration software would try to find the best substitute. If such a replacement still isn't available, the software would notify the user if such an app is released in the future.

The patent application also suggests that software could be made that would transfer the data from apps from another operating system to a Windows Phone device, although it's not clear how this would work.

Microsoft frequently files for patents that end up never being developed as full products, so it's possible that this smartphone app migration software may never see the light of day.

Image via Microsoft

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24 Comments

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John - the title of the article really should be "transfer app data" not "transfer apps".

This sounds really cool!

Its not stealing there apps -1 for not reading anything. It just finds the same app or equivalent on windows marketplace then you can get all your old apps without searching for everything.

Getting app data would be Brill cus if you love angry birds or other games, no need play it again as your saves will be transfered. Id love to see that functionality cus id love to see apples lawsuit - its not fair they've hacks our OS cry cry

psionicinversion said,
Getting app data would be Brill cus if you love angry birds or other games, no need play it again as your saves will be transfered.

Whilst valid I really hope someone can find a better use than transferring Angry Birds data.

Co-ords said,
If you cant beat them, steal them!

Its not stealing. They just needed more apps so they borrow from Em. Personally I think the platform is great. its just all these bindings and limitations narrows down the possibilities of creating apps. thats why developers are not developing apps for WP.

Co-ords said,
If you cant beat them, steal them!

Your post makes no sense. Did you not read the article, or just couldn't understand it? Nothing is being stolen...

M_Lyons10 said,

Your post makes no sense. Did you not read the article, or just couldn't understand it? Nothing is being stolen...

Apple paying to film and broadcast people in the switch ads is just revealing the truth about people being happy with Apple products.
Microsoft receiving an email about how happy a user Is who switched from an iPhone to a WP7 is just low down dirty advertising, lying, and exploiting a hapless user that was lead astray.

Just like people who switch to an iPhone is proof that the iPhone is a compelling device that people just cannot stay away from because it offers the feature that people need.
People that switch to a WP7 are stolen users, and when they choose to port their data over by going to the web, manually downloading software, installing that software, plugging in two phones, and selecting to transfer data, are unwittingly having their data stolen.

nohone said,

Apple paying to film and broadcast people in the switch ads is just revealing the truth about people being happy with Apple products.
Microsoft receiving an email about how happy a user Is who switched from an iPhone to a WP7 is just low down dirty advertising, lying, and exploiting a hapless user that was lead astray.

Just like people who switch to an iPhone is proof that the iPhone is a compelling device that people just cannot stay away from because it offers the feature that people need.
People that switch to a WP7 are stolen users, and when they choose to port their data over by going to the web, manually downloading software, installing that software, plugging in two phones, and selecting to transfer data, are unwittingly having their data stolen.

That was the most impressive bit of trolling/flame bate/idiocy I have seen all day. Congrats.

nohone said,

Apple paying to film and broadcast people in the switch ads is just revealing the truth about people being happy with Apple products.
Microsoft receiving an email about how happy a user Is who switched from an iPhone to a WP7 is just low down dirty advertising, lying, and exploiting a hapless user that was lead astray.

Just like people who switch to an iPhone is proof that the iPhone is a compelling device that people just cannot stay away from because it offers the feature that people need.
People that switch to a WP7 are stolen users, and when they choose to port their data over by going to the web, manually downloading software, installing that software, plugging in two phones, and selecting to transfer data, are unwittingly having their data stolen.

hapless user that was lead astray? what was the user, a sheep?

nohone said,

Apple paying to film and broadcast people in the switch ads is just revealing the truth about people being happy with Apple products.
Microsoft receiving an email about how happy a user Is who switched from an iPhone to a WP7 is just low down dirty advertising, lying, and exploiting a hapless user that was lead astray.

Just like people who switch to an iPhone is proof that the iPhone is a compelling device that people just cannot stay away from because it offers the feature that people need.
People that switch to a WP7 are stolen users, and when they choose to port their data over by going to the web, manually downloading software, installing that software, plugging in two phones, and selecting to transfer data, are unwittingly having their data stolen.

Nice flamebait post there. We all get it, you're a Windows Phone hater.

neo158 said,

Nice flamebait post there. We all get it, you're a Windows Phone hater.

No, quite the contrary. I had an iPhone, and was waiting in line for release day for my Samsung Focus. Love WP7.

I was poking fun at the people from the article yesterday who were saying that the letter to SteveB was fake, how horrible it was for Microsoft to publish it, and there are no people that would switch from an iPhone to a WP7. And, in general, I was poking fun at the absurdness of the "stolen" comment.

nohone said,

No, quite the contrary. I had an iPhone, and was waiting in line for release day for my Samsung Focus. Love WP7.

I was poking fun at the people from the article yesterday who were saying that the letter to SteveB was fake, how horrible it was for Microsoft to publish it, and there are no people that would switch from an iPhone to a WP7. And, in general, I was poking fun at the absurdness of the "stolen" comment.

Damn it, I had a feeling you were being sarcastic.

nohone said,

Apple paying to film and broadcast people in the switch ads is just revealing the truth about people being happy with Apple products.
Microsoft receiving an email about how happy a user Is who switched from an iPhone to a WP7 is just low down dirty advertising, lying, and exploiting a hapless user that was lead astray.

Just like people who switch to an iPhone is proof that the iPhone is a compelling device that people just cannot stay away from because it offers the feature that people need.
People that switch to a WP7 are stolen users, and when they choose to port their data over by going to the web, manually downloading software, installing that software, plugging in two phones, and selecting to transfer data, are unwittingly having their data stolen.

wow such an idiot.

DARKFiB3R said,
That was the most impressive bit of trolling/flame bate/idiocy I have seen all day. Congrats.

korupt_one said,
wow such an idiot.

Calm down, people! I don't quite get how you can NOT see sarcasm in his post.

Cøi said,

Calm down, people! I don't quite get how you can NOT see sarcasm in his post.

Because sarcasm on the internet is like getting AIDS... You never know you've fallen prey to it until someone tells you you did.

Karendar said,

Because sarcasm on the internet is like getting AIDS... You never know you've fallen prey to it until someone tells you you did.

This

It will make moving from windows phone to windows phone saner. Normally you would have to redownload everything and trash your old data as there is no way to back it up and migrate it to a new phone.

neo158 said,
This will certainly help migrating to Windows Phone from Android or iOS, nice find John, thanks.

Yeah, absolutely. I think this would make a lot of people happy.

neo158 said,
This will certainly help migrating to Windows Phone from Android or iOS, nice find John, thanks.

This would kill one of the main reasons people want to stay with Iphones that I know.. when you spend a hundred bucks on apps and games it makes it hard to just walk away from them to try something new. Also Microsoft would know that the person spends money on apps which is the people they want the most.