2 min read

Progressive web apps are now available on the Microsoft store. But just when you thought Microsoft was taking a step to plug the ‘app gap’ and catch up with the competition… This first wave of progressive web apps won’t actually work on Windows mobile.

One of the central problems with the new Windows progressive web apps is that they do not have service workers implemented for Edge mobile – that means they aren’t able to send push notifications. This is bad news generally for the Windows 10 mobile platform.

It’s possible that Microsoft might add further updates for progressive web apps on mobile, but it nevertheless sends signals that Microsoft just doesn’t have the hunger to commit to their mobile project. As we’ve seen just a few days ago, the company more broadly appears to be moving towards infrastructure and cloud projects. The issues around progressive web apps might well just be symptomatic of this broader organizational shift.

For TechRadar, this is a misstep by Microsoft.

“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.”

However, while disappointment is understandable, there’s a chance that these issues will be corrected. It wouldn’t actually take that much for Microsoft to fix the problem. Development teams could then deploy updates to their respective applications pretty easily, without having to go through the rigmarole of submitting to the app store once again.

The list of companies who have PWAs available are, we should note, pretty impressive. It’s clear that some big players in a number of different fields want to get involved:

  • Skyscanner
  • Asos
  • Ziprecruiter
  • Oyster
  • StudentDoctorNetwork

What this means for the future of Windows mobile isn’t clear. It certainly doesn’t look great from Microsoft’s perspective, and you could say this has been a bit of a missed opportunity. But all is not lost, and they could quickly recover to use PWAs to redefine the future of its mobile offering.

Check out other latest news:

Verizon launches AR Designer, a new tool for developers

Leap Motion open sources its $100 augmented reality headset, North Star

Co-editor of the Packt Hub. Interested in politics, tech culture, and how software and business are changing each other.


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