If you’re one of the few still holding out hope that Windows 10 Mobile could be reborn as a competitor to iOS and Android… then we don’t recommend you keep reading.
A new wave of experiences, called progressive web apps (PWAs), are being developed to enable app-like experiences through the browser.
These can work on desktop or mobile, but on the phone the experience is particularly important as it allows developers to create something that can work across a variety of devices.
Wrapping it up
Microsoft has been building this support into its Edge browser, and is pretty jazzed about the whole thing, it seems. However, it’s also confirmed that those using the first wave of PWAs for mobile (there are around 10 at the moment) won’t be able to get full functionality, such as notifications.
That’s a pretty serious difference between a native app and the PWA experience, and it’s hardly going to encourage users to make the effort to pin them to their home screen, which is the point of a PWA in the first place.
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It’s a real shame that Microsoft isn’t currently fully supporting PWAs, because it could have been a real solution for the lack of apps that’s blighted the Windows Mobile program for years - it’s not certain that it never will, so perhaps one day things could be rosier.
It would be unfair to take a single tweet as confirmation that Microsoft has decided for certain that it won't improve the PWA experience on mobile, so it could all change.
But there’s very little evidence out there that Microsoft is willing to put in the massive effort needed to get back on terms with iOS and Android devices, even in the enterprise sector, so the future doesn’t look too rosy at the moment.
- Don't worry Microsofties - the best laptops run Windows 10.
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Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.