Microsoft’s Bing team inadvertently caused a stir by releasing two new iPhone games and one streaming music application for Android in time for the holiday season. The holiday-themed applications include Snowboard Hero and Powerboat Challenge for the iPhone, iPod touch, and the iPad. As their name suggest, Snowboard Hero lets you test out your virtual snowboard skills, while Powerboat Challenge lets you navigate a boat through a series of courses. The Android application, Holidays 100, is a music application that will stream an assortment of over 100 Christmas titles to your Android handset. On account of its holiday theme, the Android app will only be available until January 2, 2011.
While Microsoft should be applauded for releasing both iOS and Android applications, the software giant failed to release comparable titles for its Windows Phone handsets. This omission has Windows Phone fans up in arms about Redmond’s decision to turn its back on Windows Phone. One commenter on the announcement postt asks the software giant why he or she should keep Windows Phone 7 when Microsoft does not support its own platform. The Bing team must have taken notice of all these negative comments and has responded by stating,
We hear your feedback loud and clear. Please stay tuned for more updates from us on WP7
Before you join the group of discontented gamers, let’s consider what Microsoft is doing here. These games are coming from the Bing team and are apparently being used to promote Bing’s presence on other mobile platforms. Windows Phone may have been deliberately omitted because Bing does not need any additional promotion on Microsoft’s mobile platform. Unlike iOS and Android, the Bing search engine and mapping service is already tightly integrated into WP7.
Unfortunately, the team that made this decision failed to consider the public lashing it would receive from Windows Phone fans who were upset that these basic games are not available to them. This decision backfired and now Microsoft and Bing are left with a bit of PR mess that needs some cleaning up. If you were disappointed by this decision, what do you think Microsoft should do to make things better?