Microsoft's Cars.com 'WebApp' now also removed from the Windows Phone Store

Earlier today we reported that Microsoft has removed the "WebApp" based on Southwest's mobile site from the Windows Phone Store. We also noted at that time that the Atari Arcade app put in place by Microsoft had also been removed. Now we can report that at least one more web app, Cars.com, has been taken down.

While the actual page on the Windows Phone Store site is still up, the listing does show that the app "is no longer published." It's also been removed from the Microsoft WebApp listing page too. We had contacted Cars.com for contact on Monday taking their opinion on this matter and have done so again with this new development.

This shows that Microsoft's efforts to increase the number of apps listed on the Windows Phone Store by taking content from other mobile apps is getting some resistance by at least three companies, and it's possible more could raise objections. We are still awaiting Microsoft to get back in touch with us about our original Southwest app story.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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True, but for the average user they are just going to search and install the "official" looking app. So these wrappers are useful.

well now that we have official instagram that should be enough to start attracting consumers which in turn attracts developers!

The longer these companies hold out support for WP, the more pressure there will be on MS to do something to at least enable customers to get by.

The whole YouTube fiasco is a small glimpse at how ridiculous some of these developers act when MS reaches out to them. It really does not need to be that hard.

trooper11 said,
The longer these companies hold out support for WP, the more pressure there will be on MS to do something to at least enable customers to get by.

The whole YouTube fiasco is a small glimpse at how ridiculous some of these developers act when MS reaches out to them. It really does not need to be that hard.

Do you think it might be some type of karma?

As in MS is evil and deserves this?

If karma was at play, Google and Apple wouldn't be doing as well either.

No, it has more to do with the fact that there are two established mobile platforms and most of these companies don't bother keeping up with the mobile OS world to know that WP has been growing and has a user base that would make use of their support.

The reality is that app support is actually improving all the time for WP, just look at Nokia's announcements today, bringing on board more popular apps. I think its just that we would all like to see it happen faster. The pace has picked up some this year, so maybe we will start seeing more standard support as we go into next year.

It's sad that Microsoft would rather base its reputation on quantity rather than quality. Blackberry tried the same thing with developed paid on the number of apps submitted rather than the quality and it resulted in the store being filled with worthless apps.

Microsoft should focus on quality over quantity.

Yeah, because 175,050 looks soooooooo much better than 175,000. Yep, that was the only reason they did this. /s

The only reason they are doing this is to eliminate empty searches until the devs of these apps get off their lazy asses. WP has enough marketshare for these companies to get upset MS is taking this step, but they STILL can't be bothered to create an app for it?? It's not about sales since a official version of all the apps on that list would have been free apps anyways. The blame lies on every company that MS made a web app for.

To me, this is more evidence that these companies are ignoring WP development.

If I was working at MS trying to secure app support, I would be a tad frustrated with the slow adoption. Looking at ways to help customers by offering web apps to them until these companies decide to make an effort seems like a good idea.

Even if they are just the mobile versions of sites, that is better then nothing.

There has been a third party app that is sort of a repository for the mobile versions of websites. It presents them as 'apps' that you add to a list of favorites and can even set a tile for each one. I have used a couple myself because sometimes the mobile versions work well.

I just don't think this was a crazy move by MS. My gripe is more with the companies that would actively refuse this option for its customers while also not working on a proper WP app. Maybe this is a way to start to turn these companies towards actually doing something. MS has most definitely done a lot to lure these guys over, maybe they decided to try something a little different to get their attention.

Also, even if MS were focusing on quality, it wouldn't change the fact that third party developers aren't moving fast enough. MS can make all the quality first party apps they want, but they can't do anything about the popular third party apps that people want other then what they already do. They go out of their way to reach out, work closely with anyone interested, and even do the heavy lifting of building the app if necessary. That all still requires these companies to be willing to let them

@WAPOZ - 'Lazy' you must be still joking. How can you call Devs not developing for Windows Phone lazy? That's a crazy thing to say. It could be about money, it could be about resources, it could be a dislike for the dev tools, it could be about a lack of faith in the platform, it could be company policy. It could be anything.

derekaw said,
@WAPOZ - 'Lazy' you must be still joking. How can you call Devs not developing for Windows Phone lazy? That's a crazy thing to say. It could be about money, it could be about resources, it could be a dislike for the dev tools, it could be about a lack of faith in the platform, it could be company policy. It could be anything.

You are hurting his little brain with a logic and reasoning.

The problem is that none of you know why, so all that can be done is to speculate.

I don't think its lazy developers either, that's just silly. But as to what the real reason is, we just don't know. In fact, its likely different for each company.

I think some simply aren't aware that WP is a viable platform, some are not interested in exploring other platforms due to costs or time, etc, etc.

Fortunately, its turning around slowly but surely. A lot of big companies in fact have pushed WP apps, so I think it just takes patience.

Ok, you are both right. MS aren't doing this for numbers, a couple of dozen web apps makes no difference. They are doing it to prod these companies into taking notice of WP. If the web app gets hundreds of thousands of downloads they'd see the demand is there and be more likely to change their policy towards WP.

So sure they aren't necessarily being lazy, they may have good reasons, but MS are doing this to make them re-think those reasons (and then get off their lazy asses and write the code!).

TheShark said,
Ok, you are both right. MS aren't doing this for numbers, a couple of dozen web apps makes no difference. They are doing it to prod these companies into taking notice of WP. If the web app gets hundreds of thousands of downloads they'd see the demand is there and be more likely to change their policy towards WP.

Even if that's the case it's a terrible way to do so. It would be far better to reach out to those companies that act without their permission in such a public manner. Microsoft should have known better.

Lazy? Developers have to work on projects they are funded to work on by executive management. We don't just say, "Ah hell, we could do a Windows Phone app today, but let's just have a circle jerk with our iPhones instead."

How do we know that MS has not already reached out to them and weren't able to convince them to do it?

There is only so much they can do. Its not like MS can go and build an app for each and every company that wont do it themselves. They have done that on a select few they though were in high demand, such as youtube, and that didn't turn out so well anyway.

If anything I think this looks more like bad press for these companies rather than bad press for Microsoft. It gives the impession that these companies acknowledge that windows phone is there, but can't be bothered to create an app (that is going to be free anyways), and would rather deprive WP users of any decent app experience.

"We had contacted Cars.com for contact on Monday taking their opinion on this matter and have done so again with this new development."

so it's neowin's fault... o_0

Tegument said,
"We had contacted Cars.com for contact on Monday taking their opinion on this matter and have done so again with this new development."

so it's neowin's fault... o_0

Yes, sounds like Neowin prodded the companies and they reacted by pulling it.

They'll probably talk it over and re-add them.

I could see a company not acknowledging that there is an app developed by a 3rd party do to not having control over it but, on the other side they get a free app developed (even if ifs just a web app) by Microsoft but, pulling the app instead of building an better app possibly with the help of Microsoft wow what a way to ruin a possibly good thing for no reason. I mean if they really gave a crap about a Windows Phone app wouldn't hey have already developed one.

Is there a cars.com app for iOS or Android?

I wonder if this isn't just a way for these companies who contact MS about this to actually then start some talks over MS developing a official app for them in the end? Like with South West, United has a WP app, its been out for quite some time now, why would South West or anyone want to miss out on customers?

GP007 said,
I wonder if this isn't just a way for these companies who contact MS about this to actually then start some talks over MS developing a official app for them in the end? Like with South West, United has a WP app, its been out for quite some time now, why would South West or anyone want to miss out on customers?

that didn't work out too well with youtube :\

They really should create a WebApp for YouTube until Google stop being idiots, better than a link to the website.

Or an app that displays alternative apps for people to download and try - so it'd highlight Metrotube, YT plus and all the other decent YouTube apps.

I contacted Microsoft about neowin putting a Microsoft link on their website above. You will probably be hearing from their lawyers any minute now.

They don't want customers believing they're using an official app. A WebApp makes it look like an actual app. It's just a mobile site with a chrome-less window. Also, it's standard procedure for an app to be pulled while discussions take place. After all, Microsoft added the WebApps without permission. I'm sure they wouldn't complain if it was a link to their sites.

Anaron said,
They don't want customers believing they're using an official app. A WebApp makes it look like an actual app. It's just a mobile site with a chrome-less window. Also, it's standard procedure for an app to be pulled while discussions take place. After all, Microsoft added the WebApps without permission. I'm sure they wouldn't complain if it was a link to their sites.

that's what it is. its a link to the companies mobile site that opens up in a browser control.

These companies lose some amount of control this way, however. This is probably just a move on Microsoft's part to get their attention.

Yeah, this was a bad idea. First of all web apps are garbage, why pollute the store with that? And second, if you didn't work with these companies before hand, what did you think would happen?

Dot Matrix said,
Yeah, this was a bad idea. First of all web apps are garbage, why pollute the store with that? And second, if you didn't work with these companies before hand, what did you think would happen?

I think it was a case of someone in marketing or development doing something before talking to the lawyers

Chikairo said,

I think it was a case of someone in marketing or development doing something before talking to the lawyers

Microsoft doesn't have a Marketing Dept. They have a Magic 8 Ball (shuffled by a gopher).

But good Windows apps are really good. Newegg, Amazon, Package Tracker, NFL Fantasy Football (after several updates), Pinball FX2, Halo Spartan, One Note MX ...

But yeah, this is not a good thing.

Dot Matrix said,
Yeah, this was a bad idea. First of all web apps are garbage, why pollute the store with that? And second, if you didn't work with these companies before hand, what did you think would happen?

I rather webapps to some garbage app from years ago.. Some of the apps in any app store have not been upgraded is so long they are pretty much broken.. Atleast these ones stay up to date..