Microsoft Research releases Climatology app - only on Android [Update]

Part of Microsoft's organizational changes, announced this week by CEO Satya Nadella, will see the company focus increasingly on delivering its apps and services to competitors' platforms. Of course, there are many examples of Microsoft software on rival operating systems already - from Office for Mac to Xbox Music on iOS and Android - and these will only increase in number over time. 

The latest such example is not a mainstream release, but rather one from Microsoft Research, which has launched a new app for Android. Called 'Climatology', the app brings you climate information from anywhere in the world, focusing on three metrics: temperature, rainfall and sunniness. 

This is not an app designed to bring you the latest weather, or tomorrow's forecast. Rather, it focuses on broader trends in Earth's climate, using technology developed by environmental scientists at Microsoft Research. You can choose any location by zooming and swiping on the map, and then pick a month to display information for a particular time of year. 

Microsoft says that this is an "experimental release", and it's pretty basic for now. We'll have to see whether the company plans to update it with additional features in the future. For now, hit the source link below to download it to your Android device. 

Source: Google Play | Thanks for the tip, @jsyed55


Update: The app has made it to Windows Phone - looks like it just took a bit longer to arrive in the Store than expected. You can download it hereThanks to Neowin member articuno1au for the tip!

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If they released the first on wp and android version followed immediately, there wont be as much controversy. *sigh* this is just an insignificant crap and wherever it is released doesn't mean nothing. and not to mention ms' wp version followed.

App is available for WP and Android...so yea, nothing...notta...zero...zip...zilch to complain about and I am sure iOS will probably follow soon. Probably tied up in the approval process.

Neowin jumped the gun here in reporting that it is only available on Android. it was published to both stores, however in the Microsoft Store, unlike the Android stores, there is an approval/certification process to go through, and if it is all the way in the back of the line of apps that need to be approved, it may take a day or 3 before it is done. As a app-store developer I am used to that. Neowin should've checked that first before reporting. I'm calling BS on this Neowin, you should know better and not just copy other sites their headlines.

I think if I was in charge of MS then I would make sure we always had a WP version of any app that we release for another OS. It's not as if it's hard for them to develop for their own platform and it is a bit of an insult to people who purchase their operating system.

Mr.mister said,
if anyone really wants to know there is a wp app in the store ;) here it is :) http://www.windowsphone.com/en...20b3-46fa-8de7-8a6ab847743b

Great work! (not that I am interested in the app, but nice to Microsoft remembers making WP apps).

And to all those saying that it doesn't matter if they only release it for iOS or Android. It does. You know what - when a company releases quality apps on its platform first and then thinks about others, offers more features of its apps to its platform, actively denies rumours that tarnish the reputation of its platform, and ensures that every service offered by it on its platform is fluid, functional, and that users are not complaining about worsening of the apps, then it does send a clear message to developers - that the platform is there to stay with the company focusing on it.

Microsoft is acting in the complete opposite direction. Everytime I wonder why Apple got their popularity, these points come to mind. Ok, IE is better than Safari, and Office on WP maybe better than iWorks on iOS (never used it) but one thing is for sure: Apple has (or at least had till recently) a focus on its platform, and I wish I could say the same thing for Microsoft but their actions speak in the opposite.

Microsoft is a software company first and foremost, always have been. They have always developed software for various platforms, I see nothing wrong with this. If it was a killer app then sure it would seem a little off but this is a niche app not many are going to use and a little brand exposure on other platforms I think is good for Microsoft.

tl;dr - I don't see a problem here

Okay, they really need to stop this crap.

It's fine if they want to release stuff on Android and/or iOS. It's great even. But for chrissakes, make your own platform a priority, and ensure you aren't releasing things on competitive platforms before releasing them on your own!

And if there's some compelling reason (for instance, it's "easier") to do stuff like this... FIX THAT REASON.

Provide an example for other developers. Start developing UNIVERSAL apps, use Xamarin to develop CROSS PLATFORM apps. Release apps on all three at once. Come on.

This is getting to be ridiculous.

Universal solutions like Xamarin aren't as interesting as some people think. Sure, Xamarin is cool if you already have a lot of C# business logic you want to reuse, but you'll still have to write the complete UI's for every platform. If your app is UI-heavy or if you're working on something really new there's little point to using Xamarin instead of writing true native code.

Truly 'universal' solutions that try to provide a way to build a universal UI always result in slow, ugly, strange-behaving apps and are an even worse idea.

Well, how many Windows Phone users are out there and how many of them are going to use this app... This is why Microsoft is releasing the app on Android, maybe most organizations that use this data use Android and it's the initial launch platform for this experimental app

For such an experimental app, this probably means that they had someone on the team with Android experience, and no one with iOS or WP experience. No need to turn the platform it was written on into a story.

This makes sense - where else do you think they'll find such a big (potential) pool of beta testers for this 'experimental' app?

Lots of drama for an experimental MS Research program (you know, side projects) that most people here aren't even going to use.

I disagree.
There's an immediate damaging effect in the consumer mind. Microsoft not supporting its own platform is not something that should be accepted.

For Windows Phone to be a credible consumer choice requires the platform to be well perceived. Three years of intense efforts have been invested and are starting to pay back. Although this single app appears insignificant, tolerating this behavior could lead to more idiotic moves like this.

I'd agree with you if this was Office, Bing, OneDrive or even some Xbox related property, but not for some random experimental app side project that was probably created by one or two bored employees who are about to get Nadella'd anyway.

TheCyberKnight said,
I disagree.
There's an immediate damaging effect in the consumer mind. Microsoft not supporting its own platform is not something that should be accepted.

... Yeah because this is main stream news and has 100 million downloads already! Give me a break, nobody else cares apart from the tech community. We and the public are very different beasts

TheCyberKnight said,
I disagree.
There's an immediate damaging effect in the consumer mind. Microsoft not supporting its own platform is not something that should be accepted.

For Windows Phone to be a credible consumer choice requires the platform to be well perceived. Three years of intense efforts have been invested and are starting to pay back. Although this single app appears insignificant, tolerating this behavior could lead to more idiotic moves like this.

Starting to pay back how? Their market share is flat or declining in any and all markets that matter.

EYOFDFM!
Eat You Own (Guess what the F is) Dog Food Microsoft!

This is plain idiotic behavior from these people and it is not acceptable. Your company is spending billions to remain relevant in the phone market. ACT CONSEQUENTLY!

TheCyberKnight said,
EYOFDFM!
Eat You Own (Guess what the F is) Dog Food Microsoft!

They know most of their own employees use android, so what's the point releasing software to the minority first, if at all?

how hard is it to make a windows phone app?? The data is in the CLOUD, just build the freaking UI!!!

i'm sure they have sample code somewhere...

MrHumpty said,
My god. If MS makes apps for Android and iOS WP and Windows will die. What are they thinking?

If they don't, they won't have there services on the most commonly used mobile devices consumers have at the moment. Google tried this in with e-mail and calendar sync trying to make it not fun for windows phone users, and it works smooth / correctly now.

Or this could just be an experimental app--an exercise in both research and development for Android, and rather than shelve it as a toy, they put it out for whoever wants to play with it.

But being a negative nancy works, too.

Joshie said,
Or this could just be an experimental app--an exercise in both research and development for Android, and rather than shelve it as a toy, they put it out for whoever wants to play with it.

But being a negative nancy works, too.

I'll remain a negative nancy to this seeing as Microsoft do this to every cross platform app they release. Hits iOS and Android first. Months and months later WP might get a version.

They treat their own platforms like 2nd class citizens. They abandoned Windows as a gaming platform, they give WP the dregs of their own apps.

I have a bright idea too: Let's all switch to Android and enjoy the best of Microsoft there. That's what Microsoft wants, isn't it?

xankazo said,
I have a bright idea too: Let's all switch to Android and enjoy the best of Microsoft there. That's what Microsoft wants, isn't it?

They are just developing apps where the largest audience is. Microsoft would be sensible to dump its windows phone software and promote android on the nokia hardware it now owns, if it wants to make any money out of the deal!

Actually, it doesn't even work, stuck on "October in India" won't rotate to landscape mode, and doesn't update - useless piece of junk, if this is typical of Microsoft's new software and quality control, they are in deep trouble!

Edited by dvb2000, Jul 12 2014, 2:30am :

I would love to see MS switch to a Linux kernel for the desktop and the phone. The great thing is they could do it all for both platforms for free and switch all of their talent to make the software that runs on top of the OS. It's not like Linux is not mature, it ships on nearly every device out there or can be shoe-horned onto them.