Facebook and Microsoft point to each other about Windows 8

Windows 8 has probably been the most controversial version of the Microsoft operating system in the company's history; our own Brad Sams took a shot at reviewing the hybrid desktop/tablet OS.

Official apps on Windows 8 are going to become a big thing, due to the company including a Windows App Store. The app store is constantly expanding, including some of the more popular mobile games out there, such as Cut the Rope. Yet one massive presence has been missing - Facebook.

It seems that Facebook might not be coming to Windows 8 as an official app, with Facebook releasing a statement to go to Microsoft ("We only build the iOS and Android FB apps. You should check in with Microsoft on anything related to Windows 8").

The secrecy makes it very hard to gauge whether there's a real Facebook app, for both companies already have a rather cosy relationship. Microsoft owns 1.7% of the Palo Alto-based social network, and in turn, that same social network bought $550,000,000's worth of patents from Microsoft. That's just over half an Instagram, folks!

For something that could appeal to a lot of Facebook users it is strange that there's so much silence. Surely one of the two companies would be working on something? Neither company can really say they lack the cash to work on the idea.

Source: VentureBeat
Image via PC World

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58 Comments

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Fine with me. The dedicated iOS and Android apps are crap. Can't share, can't delete or hide posts. I'll stick with the website on the tablet, thanks.

There is already an app. It's called http://www.facebook.com. Pin it to your start screen, let IE open it full screen and there you go. Everything else is built-in the OS itself. What exactly would a Windows 8-specific app bring that isn't already available?

So basically people want a web browser with its home-page set to Facebook embedded in a window that does not look like a web browser so they can call it an "app" and be one of the cool kids...

Facebook probably want users to stick with the web version because they haven't gotten their stuff together regarding adverts in their mobile apps.

Its in the peoples hub already for the most part you can see all your feeds and post with out an app. So maybe FB is like you integrated it already why should we build something. MS is saying we connect to all your feeds and you can post just like in the phone but if you want people to see it as FB build your own app. I'll just use the browser and pin it to the start screen. Problem solved.

Remember that Windows 8 is a tablet OS as, there needs to be an app for the same reason there is one on the iPad and Android tableta. You can't look at it from a desktop point of view.

After reading through the comments, I'm surprised not a single thread mentions the commercial argument/benefit for Facebook to build an app for Win8!! As you may all know, FB is now a publicly traded company that has seen it share value drop considerably from it's IPO. FB is trying to find a way to monetize its mobile offering in some fashion. This is still a challenge for a company the size of FB to make a profit, let alone, breakeven on smartphone devices using the current advertising model for apps. If they are/were to make a Win8 app, FB will need to figure out a clever way to integrate advertising in some form to allow their big clients, such as GM, to signup given that the volume will allow them to see a ROI.

pikablu0530 said,
In the first BUILD keynote, the PCs Steve Ballmer logged into had a Facebook app installed.

You sure it wasn't just a pinned site?

TCLN Ryster said,

You sure it wasn't just a pinned site?


I noticed this too and was surprised no one posted articles on it! It definitely was an app, not a pinned site. It was a large FB icon, which you don't see on the site.

j2006 said,

I noticed this too and was surprised no one posted articles on it! It definitely was an app, not a pinned site. It was a large FB icon, which you don't see on the site.
Interesting - maybe this is why Facebook is deferring to Microsoft? Maybe they're building a FB app themselves?

Lord Method Man said,
Again with the "we need an 'app' for everything" nonsense.

Again with somebody who hasn't thought the whole argument through.

The facebook website is clunky to use at best on tablets and touch devices. We need either an app, or a mobile version of the facebook site that's designed with bigger controls for touch.

There is a need for an app, because there is no way to post to Facebook or Twitter from the People app. I can't believe how poor the Windows 8 People app is compared to what is included in Windows Phone.

xpxp2002 said,
There is a need for an app, because there is no way to post to Facebook or Twitter from the People app. I can't believe how poor the Windows 8 People app is compared to what is included in Windows Phone.

Not true. Go into the people app and click/touch your own picture

Am I missing something? They've already created a WP7 app, surely making it compatible with Windows 8 wouldn't be that big of a hassle?

Mathachew said,
Am I missing something? They've already created a WP7 app, surely making it compatible with Windows 8 wouldn't be that big of a hassle?

That app is made by Microsoft (OR CLarityConsolting by Microsoft or something like that)

brent3000 said,

That app is made by Microsoft (OR CLarityConsolting by Microsoft or something like that)

Ah, thanks for the clarification. Still, whoever made it has already has the ground work effectively done.

Microsoft, here's a free idea: you can already pin a website to the start screen. Go one more and create a way to make live tiles that are updated via web content. I'm thinking of some kind of almost widget api that can display info on a live tile. Call it Live Favorites or something.

icwhatudidthere said,
Microsoft, here's a free idea: you can already pin a website to the start screen. Go one more and create a way to make live tiles that are updated via web content. I'm thinking of some kind of almost widget api that can display info on a live tile. Call it Live Favorites or something.

They already have an API that will do that, I'll try to find a link to it for you

edit: yep, here you go: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-u...rary/hh880842(v=vs.85).aspx http://www.buildmypinnedsite.com/en

I thought MS sold their shares of FB?


Microsoft owns 1.7% of the Palo Alto-based social network

I might be wrong, though, I'll look for a source

Edit: yeah, according to Neowin, they offloaded 20% of their 1.6% share = .8 * 1.6 ~ 1.3% stake. not a big difference (just about 6.6 million shares ) but just wanted to point it out

Does FB have to be so arrogant against a major share holder?

Its like they just refuse to make Windows apps

Also TBH most of what I need to use FB for is all done via the People hub anyway The app would be nice but atm this does not effect me as an end user... I still think FB should go abit more cross platform...

I don't personally need one as the people hub notifications and pinned website work more than great. But some people are still in the mindset that you need a native app to use a service, and therefore these are still important to the general consumer.

I'd assume by that statement they're probably leaving it to Microsoft to get the app sorted, like they had to do with Windows Phone.

Microsoft shouldn't be expected to create apps for third party websites, but I don't think one is really needed given that most RT enabled browsers work as fully fledged web browsers.

Javik said,
Microsoft shouldn't be expected to create apps for third party websites, but I don't think one is really needed given that most RT enabled browsers work as fully fledged web browsers.

Have you ever tried to use the facebook website on a tablet? It's a clunky experience to say the least. I agree we don't necessarily need an app (though I wouldn't object to one if it came), but I would say they need to develop their mobile site (m.facebook.com) so that it looks good and works nice on tablets. Bigger buttons and links, etc.

I am closing my FB account anyway. it became too crowded and redundant. Google plus is nicer and cleaner though It literally has no Users and most probably not coming to windows 8. Oh well...

S3P€hR said,
I am closing my FB account anyway. it became too crowded and redundant. Google plus is nicer and cleaner though It literally has no Users and most probably not coming to windows 8. Oh well...

No google+ app either.. lol

Facebook already has an app, it works cross platform across a HUGE range of devices, and you can access it on Win8 already, through a wide array of browsers. Why would they redirect effort away from that for a single platform? For cellphones, it is because of the limited and restrictive data packages. What would the case be for win8?

Xepol said,
Facebook already has an app, it works cross platform across a HUGE range of devices, and you can access it on Win8 already, through a wide array of browsers. Why would they redirect effort away from that for a single platform? For cellphones, it is because of the limited and restrictive data packages. What would the case be for win8?

Erm, because the website isn't design for touch? The buttons and links are tiny. Windows 8 tablets are going to be quite a large market eventually.

TCLN Ryster said,
Erm, because the website isn't design for touch? The buttons and links are tiny. Windows 8 tablets are going to be quite a large market eventually.

Then the website owner should be responsible for not supporting a touch-based design...

mahara said,

Then the website owner should be responsible for not supporting a touch-based design...


In Facebook's case, the owner should be held responsible for crappy website design on all platforms. Period.

It's a miserable, poorly built site, and all signs point away from them improving it as a web-based experience.

mahara said,

Then the website owner should be responsible for not supporting a touch-based design...

Wtf? That's one of the weirdest comments I've read.

kcbworth said,
Wtf? That's one of the weirdest comments I've read.

Before blaming others, starts looking into yourself first.

That's the quality of a man should have...

But why do we need a FB app for WinRT/8 they both have a full functioning browser.
We don't complain there is no FB app for Win 7, do we?

Stoffel said,
But why do we need a FB app for WinRT/8 they both have a full functioning browser.
We don't complain there is no FB app for Win 7, do we?

That is true, but if Twitter gets an app, why can't we have a Facebook one too?

Stoffel said,
But why do we need a FB app for WinRT/8 they both have a full functioning browser.
We don't complain there is no FB app for Win 7, do we?

Plus people hub is kinda get all the facebook notifications and updates as well as other social networks. twitter for example.

S3P€hR said,

Plus people hub is kinda get all the facebook notifications and updates as well as other social networks. twitter for example.

In practice, the People app leaves out a couple of updates that I can pick up via the site.

Stoffel said,
But why do we need a FB app for WinRT/8 they both have a full functioning browser.
We don't complain there is no FB app for Win 7, do we?

Two reasons, one: live tile notifications would be nice to have, although you get them in the people hub.

Two: it cuts the bs out of having to go through the browser.

Stoffel said,
But why do we need a FB app for WinRT/8 they both have a full functioning browser.
We don't complain there is no FB app for Win 7, do we?

I keep seeing that argument, but no one mentions to use your browser on a smart phone or an iPad do they?

Stoffel said,
But why do we need a FB app for WinRT/8 they both have a full functioning browser.
We don't complain there is no FB app for Win 7, do we?

Dubious comment.

Windows 7 is a desktop OS designed for use with a keyboard and mouse. The facebook website is ideal for that. Unfortunately though the facebook website is NOT ideal for a touch interface, something I obviously need on a Windows RT tablet.

At the very least facebook need to write a version of their site similar to the mobile one that's design for a tablet sized screen with nice touch controls.

Also when you're relying on IE, you also relying on it's ability to store your logon cookie. Something it seems to quite often lose requiring me to log in again. Also the comments on posts and photos don't seem to auto-update on the website where they do on the iOS app.

TCLN Ryster said,

Comment Fail.

Windows 7 is a desktop OS designed for use with a keyboard and mouse. The facebook website is ideal for that. Unfortunately though the facebook website is NOT ideal for a touch interface, something I obviously need on a Windows RT tablet.

At the very least facebook need to write a version of their site similar to the mobile one that's design for a tablet sized screen with nice touch controls.

Also when you're relying on IE, you also relying on it's ability to store your logon cookie. Something it seems to quite often lose requiring me to log in again. Also the comments on posts and photos don't seem to auto-update on the website where they do on the iOS app.

Your whole comment made sense, and I didn't think about it that way.
Just a shame adults still use things like "Comment Fail"
It makes you sound like a teenager

Stoffel said,

Your whole comment made sense, and I didn't think about it that way.
Just a shame adults still use things like "Comment Fail"
It makes you sound like a teenager

I realised that straight after I posted lol, that's why I edited it to dubious comment. Was obviously too slow for you though

Tony. said,
That is true, but if Twitter gets an app, why can't we have a Facebook one too?

I bet Facebook app would look like using Facebook in Metro IE...

Sekyal said,

I keep seeing that argument, but no one mentions to use your browser on a smart phone or an iPad do they?

In all fairness, browsers are still a miserable experience on smartphones.

The iPad is a valid comment, and websites should (as said above) be doing more to make their sites tablet-friendly. They should also avoid 90s behavior, like locking functionality to one particular browser rendering engine (webkit).

I wonder what the author was smoking this morning. Facebook has never needed an app for windows. No one is going to use Windows 8 anyway.

Stoffel said,
But why do we need a FB app for WinRT/8 they both have a full functioning browser.
We don't complain there is no FB app for Win 7, do we?

True but in Windows 8 there's the new UI and apps designed for it and if there's several Twitter apps it would be nice to have a native Facebook app.

Stoffel said,
But why do we need a FB app for WinRT/8 they both have a full functioning browser.
We don't complain there is no FB app for Win 7, do we?

Windows 8 is a touch OS. When I buy a tablet with this OS, I don't want to use the desktop.

On the desktop, I don't want ModernUI. So.. yeah. This OS sucks.

Nashy said,

Windows 8 is a touch OS. When I buy a tablet with this OS, I don't want to use the desktop.

On the desktop, I don't want ModernUI. So.. yeah. This OS sucks.


KDE is a mouse OS. When I install Kubuntu, I don't want to use the terminal.

In a terminal, I don't want it windowed in KDE. So..yeah. KDE sucks.

/clearly the computing world should only allow devices designed specifically for one input technology
//that's why consoles with controller support should never allow any other kind of input device, like guns, gesture sticks, motion sensors, cameras, voice input...
///if your product lets me interact with it in more than one way, it's clearly compromised and a failure

dvb2000 said,
I wonder what the author was smoking this morning. Facebook has never needed an app for windows. No one is going to use Windows 8 anyway.

im using windows 8 so your comment is allready fail

Sekyal said,

I keep seeing that argument, but no one mentions to use your browser on a smart phone or an iPad do they?

i say just use fliptoast or people. i can live with people

Joshie said,

KDE is a mouse OS. When I install Kubuntu, I don't want to use the terminal.

In a terminal, I don't want it windowed in KDE. So..yeah. KDE sucks.

/clearly the computing world should only allow devices designed specifically for one input technology
//that's why consoles with controller support should never allow any other kind of input device, like guns, gesture sticks, motion sensors, cameras, voice input...
///if your product lets me interact with it in more than one way, it's clearly compromised and a failure

You have a choice to use the terminal or not. You also have other Linux distros more than capable of giving you one, or the other.

Windows 8 is not the same, so comparing the two is ridiculous, you and I both know it.

Stoffel said,
But why do we need a FB app for WinRT/8 they both have a full functioning browser.
We don't complain there is no FB app for Win 7, do we?

Actually, I've always complained about the lack of a Windows 7 Facebook app, ever since MetroTwit was released for Twitter (I realise MetroTwit isn't developed by Twitter, but a full Facebook app could have been developed by Facebook, rather than just Facebook Messenger). Having said that, a Windows 7 one isn't as important to me as a Windows 8 app, because Windows 7 doesn't include a specific design philosophy in which the current Facebook website (like most websites) looks out of place.

The following are just some reasons as to why I'd love a Windows 8 Facebook app, and why I won't enjoy my Facebook experience on Windows 8 as much as I could if there was an official app:

1) A design that uses the "Metro" design philosophy.
2) Support for the Notifications API.
3) Integration with the Charms (e.g. the Search Charm could be used as a way to search the entirety of Facebook).
4) Support for the Contracts API.
5) I much prefer the experience apps provide as they feel more a part of the system than websites. They don't have to be accessed via an IP address or a website URL, which is one thing I find ugly about the concept of a website compared to an app.

Those are just 5 reasons why I'd prefer a Facebook app for Windows 8. I think one is important, and I feel that all services should be apps now, instead of websites. I would prefer a day when everything is accessed via an app dedicated to that brand/product/service instead of us having to go to a website for it.

By the way, the People app really isn't enough. So many Facebook features are missing from it; most importantly, support for toast notifications, and there is no way to receive and reply to offline Facebook messages, sent from people who aren't "available" on Chat, in Windows 8.