The Wall Street Journal revealed this week that it is discontinuing its Windows Store app. Is this the start of a new app exodus?
“The Windows 10 app will be discontinued on June 30th,” the Windows Store listing for The Wall Street Journal app reads. “You can access the same content and more on WSJ.com and our iOS and Android mobile apps.”
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Whether you use or care about The Wall Street Journal app, this is obviously troubling news: This is a high-profile publisher leaving the Windows Store. And it’s understandable that anyone who suffered through the past few years of Windows phone apps disappearing from the Store would view this departure in a similar light.
But let me offer a different perspective.
I’ve long argued the “right tool for the job” philosophy, and that one of the nice things about Windows 10 is that it marks the return to traditional, productivity-based workflows to Microsoft’s desktop OS. Put another way, the rise of mobile devices means that we tend to perform consumption activities—reading, light gaming, video viewing and so on—on those devices, leaving the PC for the work-related tasks for which it is ideally suited.
In other words: People read The Wall Street Journal on devices for the most part, and for those who prefer to do so on a PC, the website works. There’s no reason for this company to put any effort into a mobile app that runs on a desktop platform that very few people would ever use anyway.
Put simply, I don’t see this as a big deal.
<blockquote><a href="#130315"><em>In reply to SteveM:</em></a></blockquote><p>Too bad such perfectly developed responsive websites are so rare.</p>
<blockquote><a href="#130405"><em>In reply to JustinMSalvato:</em></a></blockquote><p> "just pinning the app to the Start Screen or taskbar makes up for not having the app."</p><p><br></p><p>Did you mean "just pinning the website"?</p>
<p>"In other words: People read The Wall Street Journal on devices for the most part, <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">and for those who prefer to do so on a PC, the website works."</span></p><p><br></p><p>I must be missing something. Didn't this app work on a Windows 10 phone as well as a PC? So now reading the WSJ would require using the website on your WP10 which is a downgraded experience.</p>
<blockquote><a href="#130591"><em>In reply to hrlngrv:</em></a></blockquote><p>Yes, I understand the WSJ's probable reasoning for pulling the app, I just don't understand Paul's reasoning that it's OK for users because those who were least likely to use the app (i.e. full Windows users) can always use the website (as they probably have been doing all along). </p><p><br></p><p>As few Windows Phone users there are, UWP apps are far more important to them then to Full Windows users who have plenty of better alternatives.</p>
<p>Imagine all the money a UWP developer could make if they could convince all the businesses that have iOS and Android apps to hire them as a consultant to create equivalent Windows store apps. Alas, it will never happen.</p>
<blockquote><a href="#131070"><em>In reply to Michael Miller:</em></a></blockquote><p>I don't think Windows 10 is optimized for any platform although it does lean more toward the desktop than Windows 8 did.</p>