LinkedIn for Windows 10 Triggers Its Own Controversy

Posted on July 17, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Social, Windows 10 with 47 Comments

LinkedIn for Windows 10 Triggers Its Own Controversy

Microsoft today announced the availability of the LinkedIn mobile app for Windows 10. But PC users are complaining that it’s just a wrapper of the website. And Windows phone users are complaining that it doesn’t run on Mobile.

Yep. Another little controversy here in Redmond-land.

“Starting today, LinkedIn for Windows 10 PCs will begin to roll out in the Windows Store,” a Microsoft representative told. “The app includes features like the Action Center and Live Tiles, giving consumers real-time notifications including new messages, trending news and timely updates from their network. Additionally, the LinkedIn app will be available internationally in 22 languages.”

I recently mentioned that Microsoft was retiring LinkedIn for Windows Phone in Thurrott Now (a Premium site feature). There’s no real surprise there, given the death of that platform. But it is just a bit odd that Microsoft would make a UWP version of the LinkedIn app that doesn’t work on Windows 10 Mobile.

But then the LinkedIn app isn’t a “real” UWP app. It’s a bridge app that appears to use Microsoft’s Hosted Web Apps (Project Westminster) technologies. I assume the LinkedIn website works fine on Windows 10 Mobile. But that won’t have the native platform features Microsoft notes above, like real-time notifications.

Maybe in the future, as a Progressive Web App, it will.


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Comments (47)

47 responses to “LinkedIn for Windows 10 Triggers Its Own Controversy”

  1. rameshthanikodi

    As usual, Microsoft showing great leadership with what can be done with UWP apps. /s

  2. Stooks

    "Windows phone users are complaining that it doesn’t run on Mobile"

    Exactly what can Microsoft do more to let these people know that Windows Phone is dead?????????????

    They don't make the phones anymore. It is very hard to get the remaining phones compared to other phones. They basically laid off the entire Windows Phone team. They never talk about it anymore.

    Time to move on.

    As the app goes, unless they whole thing, data and all, is running on my PC, say like Word with a local document then a web wrapper is just as good as a local app, even better really because updating it is simple. When every bit of the content is in the cloud...who cares.

    • SvenJ

      In reply to Stooks: OK, so what is the point of UWP? I'm going to run LinkedIn on my Xbox, HoloLens? If MS isn't even going to bother building UWP apps why the hell should anyone else? Yes, I get the "benefits" of the UWP platform, but if you aren't going to demonstrate those benefits in your own offerings, you are dismissing your own vision. It's not a matter of running on Windows Phone per se, it is a matter of supporting actual UWP.

      • rbgaynor

        In reply to SvenJ:

        I think most developers are already ahead of you.

      • Stooks

        In reply to SvenJ:

        LinkeIn has always been a website. Sure an app on a mobile device makes some sense because of the need to format for the size and all. Even that said what does the Linkedin app do on Android/iOS...pull all of its information from the cloud/web.

        Locally installed apps need to be full UWP apps if they are moved from win32 to UWP. Games and things like Quicken/Quickbooks or Photoshop, Autocad, full Office apps etc. Those can run with out ever needing to touch the cloud/web. There are many advantages in converting your Win32 Apps to full UWP.

        Things like Facebook, LinkenIn, Netflix, Amazon Prime.....basically anything that has to get all of its data from the cloud and you are just basically consuming it for the most part and today you do that via a web browser on a Windows PC, could be a UWP wrapped web app. There are some advantages to it, just like what Chrome does to say Google photos on Windows. Eventually (big IF) if UWP takes off then all apps, web wrapped, bridged and full UWP can be had from one location, the store.

        • SvenJ

          In reply to Stooks: Not sure what you are trying to say here. Yes local apps need to be full UWP apps if they 'replace' a current win32 app. This isn't that. Yes LinkedIn has always been a web site. This is that wrapped in UWP camouflage using Westminster. It only runs on Win 10 desktop, which was served just fine with the web presence. So what's the point? If they had actually delivered a UWP app (which would incidentally run on Win 10 Mobile), regardless of whether that was worthwhile, they would at least have demonstrated some commitment to the platform. Let third parties be lazy. If MS is going to build a store app, it should be UWP, not pseudo-UWP, or just acknowledge it isn't worth the effort.

          • Roger Ramjet

            In reply to SvenJ:

            Maybe UWP was so slow to work out that its been overtaken by events, even within Microsoft? I use some of the MS UWP Apps, and they are really great for their portability between desktop and phone (mail, onenote, calendar, things like that). But if the phone marketshare is essentially zero, and it was Nadella himself who wielded the stabbing knife, then, maybe they are just acknowledging they are moving on from the strategy, it didn't work (they have certainly shown in many ways that they have mailed it in on mobile, clearly there is some reason that prevents them from saying so directly, but anyone can see this). For example, if we are to believe the rumors their next mobile idea will have something to do with full windows and CShell enabled by WoARM with a radical new form factor. Do they still need UWP in that world? I doubt it.

            • SvenJ

              In reply to Roger Ramjet: I absolutely agree. I have a Surface 3 that has been running "Win 10 S" since I bought it. I run it with nothing but Store apps, on purpose. It is probably the device I use most. I do have other laptops, including Surface Pro 3 and a desktop I run with full windows as, like most, there are things I still use and am used to.
              But, yes, they still need UWP in a WOA/CShell Mobile world. You've probably noticed that if you take Mail, Weather, OneNote and resize them, they re-arrange based on size and wind up looking like their phone counterparts. That's because they are their phone counterparts. It really is the same app, jut compiled for different processors. Do you think a 'ported' Win32 app or a 'wrapped' Web app is going to do that? Word, Irfanview, are going to have portions of the app and scroll bars when you resize them, just like the Win32 apps they are.
              If anyone needs to show that One OS works and UWP is the solution, MS needs to be the one to show it. If they are going to accept that Mobile will never work because it is Win 7 on a 5 inch screen, and tablets (7"-10") are as marginally useful as they ever were with Windows because it is unusable without a keyboard and mouse, fine. Just acknowledge the only mobile you do is laptops and move on. Maybe redirect your resources into power management on those.

              • PeteB

                In reply to SvenJ: "I run it with nothing but Store apps, on purpose."

                This is like punching yourself in the face, on purpose.

                • SvenJ

                  In reply to PeteB: Why? It isn't much different than an iPad. The UWP apps are effective. Some are excellent. They are all very touch aware. For what I use it for it is quite effective. Even the Mobile Office apps do what I need them to do. OneNote is excellent and should be the poster child for what you can do with UWP. It's as usable as a basic computing device for a large percentage of users as an iPad or Chromebook would be.

    • timo47

      "Exactly what can Microsoft do more to let these people know that Windows Phone is dead?????????????"

      Do "more"? How about they simply start communicating about it. So far noboby from MS has come out and said we are done with phone, we are also done with W10 Mobile.

      It's evident that's where we are heading with no hardware and Mobile on the Feature2 branch. That's what makes it all the more ridiculous that nobody at MS is able to just come out and clearly state that message.

    • Darmok N Jalad

      In reply to Stooks:

      I believe they could just come out and say W10M is done. Instead, they leave it hooked up to life support, because I guess they need a shell of it to live on to make the case for UWP. They leave it ambiguous, so I guess people can dream of Surface Phone. I certainly got the message, and I don't send much support MS's way anymore. Too many half-baked products running on promises.

  3. irfaanwahid

    I don't get it, if the LinkedIn app is just a UWP web wrapper.. then why the heck even create the app in the first place? Why can't I just go to the website and enjoy the full blown experience?

    Am I really dying to get Live Tiles/Notifications?? I don't think so.. granted, if there was true UWP app with additional benefits of the platform, Live Tiles, cross platform, others.. it made sense. But if you are just going to put web into UWP, I rather go to the web. Much like I somehow always navigate to Twitter on the web than the app.

  4. James Wilson

    Now I know what it must have been to be a Zune owner. Flaky product with potential. Engineering spend a bunch of time getting it right, but by that time, the business have given up due to bad feedback and mothballed it. You are left with a great product that is then given up on.

    This lazy product is not the value of LinkedIn on a mobile platform that is now actually pretty good. It should be integrated with people app, mail, calendar. How about send to LinkedIn? Anything on mobile?

    Microsoft needs to stop giving up on products just as they get good. Sure, there may be something new around the corner so seamlessly migrate. Focus on the consumer, not the product. Curves, not edges!

  5. wright_is

    Not even appearing in the Store, here in Germany...

  6. lmoritz

    Why all the hate on this app? Sure, it's not a native UWP, but if anything Microsoft is demonstrating that the Westminster bridge is a legitimate way to create UWP-like apps. This is not a simple "web wrapper." I'm almost choking to admit that Paul is right, but things like Hosted Web Apps and Progressive Web Apps are the future, and this new LinkedIn app could be a significant way for Microsoft to show they have a way to do it.

    • timo47

      In reply to lmoritz:

      Here's the problem: only the Windows 10 app is web-based. The Android and iOS versions are not. Why?

      If they truly believed at LinkedIn, that the web version is just as good enough they could easily dump their platform specific versions and cut app maintenance costs in the process. But they are not doing that which in turn sends the message that native is better then web and thus Windows 10 got the shaft with an inferior app. This may not be the case (haven't compared them), but that is the perception that is being created.

      • lmoritz

        In reply to timo47:

        Perception maybe, but the reality is that modern web apps work just as well as native apps.

        • Lawrence Ladomery

          In reply to lmoritz:

          Indeed, but there is no additional value in the experience, why bother?

          The expectation is that an store app is one designed for the platform and not a web site.

          That would adapt nicely table mode, for example, with a UI catering for this with fat fingers too.

          Or a more fluent design.

          I use LinkedIn frequently and this is simply disappointing. As was the new Skype UI, which I'm still scratching my head about.

        • mariusmuntensky

          In reply to lmoritz:

          No one cares about this. The message that is seen by everyone is that MS gives no damn about UWP. Their own service having an app on their own Store that is nothing more than a web wrapper which in the end is useless on a desktop device or 2in1.

  7. Breaker119

    This whole thing confuses me. I've had the LinkedIn web wrapper app on my Win 10 Mobile for a couple of weeks now.

  8. Bart

    I think we can safely say, that if this app isn't a "real" UWP app, the general state of app development on Windows 10 is in disarray. Nobody, including the LinkedIn team, knows what kind of app to develop for the Windows 10 platform.

    Bravo Microsoft!

    • wbhite

      In reply to Bart:

      Well, they should know what "kind of app" to develop on for the Windows 10 platform; they would just mirror their efforts on Android and iOS. The real problem is that they're not actually developing that app.

      • Bart

        In reply to wbhite:

        You are speaking too much sense :) Therefor I could not agree with you more. But how do we get this message across to the LinkedIn team?

    • bbold

      In reply to Bart:

      Agreed. What was the point of buying LinkedIN if they don't share it with business customers. They really need to get their crap together in marketing, too. They suck at it.

  9. Elton Saulsberry

    Not even Microsoft's business units believe WUP is worth it.

  10. Waethorn

    They might as well just make it a GTK+ app at this point.

  11. StagyarZilDoggo

    UWP is dead. We knew that already, but this is a nice confirmation.

    Windows Phone/Mobile is dead. We knew that already, but this is a nice confirmation.

  12. Boris Zakharin

    Well, I mean if it's just a wrapper of the website with some UWP features added, you might as well use the browser control and make it a real UWP app. It's not that hard, I have an app like that.

  13. bbold

    Why are Windows Phone fans complaining? Don't they know that Windows is shuttering Windows 10 Mobile? Of course they don't. All of this could be easily addressed if Microsoft would just come out and make a public statement. "We will no longer be developing or support Windows phones, but we are going to develop new mobile platforms for Windows," something to that affect. Saying nothing means everyone gets their panties in a wad, and all that does is leave customers, both business and home, in a massive bind. Not a good move!

    • ponsaelius

      In reply to bbold:

      Its not about complaining. I am now on Android but Windowsphone people have reasonable expectations that they should expect more.

      When Microsoft retrenched in mobile with Windows 10 Mobile they identified enterprise and business as a key market. HP, a key OEM, launched the Elite X3 entirely for business. The promise of Continuum was to use business UWP apps from a mobile device on a large screen. Microsoft spent $26 billion on buying LinkedIn.

      I think it was not unreasonable for WIndowsphone users to believe if Microsoft wanted to highlight the business value of UWP it would develop a first class LinkedIn UWP app. Windows 10 Mobile has not formally been cancelled by Microsoft (yet) and they keep saying they are supporting mobile. What could be more a statement of support than a UWP Linkedin.

      What people got was a web wrapper. People are quite reasonably saying that if they can't write UWP apps for their business users, where they make big money, who will write UWP apps? Perhaps both Windows 10 Mobile and UWP are dead leaving the WIndows Store as a repository of apps that no one cares about.

      • bbold

        In reply to ponsaelius:

        Agreed. It would have been nice, and it would be even nicer if Microsoft would issue a public statement on what their intentions are to quell devoted customers like us. But they never will. History tells us they would rather just pull the products like Band and most of the phones and say nothing.

      • bbold

        In reply to ponsaelius:

        I don't mean that first question about complaining, it was just mocking that question. I'm with you.

      • JudaZuk

        In reply to ponsaelius: - just to add to your excellent points.. if UWP where dead, and then also the Store more or less, what does that mean for the future of Windows 10 S

  14. M_Romaniello

    The LinkedIn app has been a complete joke on Windows Phone.  It hasn't been on par with its iOS or Android counterparts since day 1.  Even though this is a bit disappointing the way they're approaching it, it should be a welcome change for WP users who are invested in LinkedIn.