During Microsoft's shareholder meeting yesterday, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer criticized the Windows 10 Mobile app gap, and decried the company's current strategy with the Windows 10 Universal App Platform (UAP), which allows Windows apps to be written once and target multiple hardware platforms. "That won't work," he said, while championing the notion that Microsoft should instead allow apps designed for Android to run on Windows 10 Mobile.
Microsoft's current CEO Satya Nadella had previously reaffirmed the company's commitment to Universal apps during the shareholder meeting; GeekWire reports that this is apparently what prompted Ballmer to criticize the company's current mobile strategy. Nadella reiterated that the company's goal is to offer a unified platform for personal computers, smartphones, the Xbox One, and HoloLens—one where they all share a common app platform and store. The approach should provide developers with the incentive to develop apps for Windows 10 as it will enable their apps to be written once and operate across all hardware devices available in the Windows ecosystem. Nadella also stated that while the company has had "different efforts in the past," these efforts did not have the broad appeal and influence that Universal apps do. He asked for time so that the company can reap the benefits of its labor.
Nadella had previously cited Starbucks as an example of a company that could "get the returns for that investment on the Windows platform" by targeting the Windows 10 UAP. Ballmer, however, brought up the app gap by noting how a Starbucks app is not even present on the Windows 10 platform.
While Microsoft's current mobile strategy shows promise, a great deal of uncertainly surrounds the platform. As Nadella has stated, time will determine whether the company's latest efforts will be successful.
Update: The previous version of this article incorrectly referred to the GeekWire report as an interview and that Nadella had made the comments after the shareholder meeting. This has been corrected.
Source: GeekWire via WinBeta