updated 10:56 am EDT, Wed October 23, 2013
Southwest complains over lack of approval for Microsoft-made app
A move by Microsoft to repackage popular mobile websites as apps for Windows Phone devices has hit some turbulence. A number of the Microsoft Web Apps under the initiative have been pulled from the service, with at least one company complaining about their web content being republished by Microsoft without its permission.
The Web Apps launched on Monday and were all free to download from the Windows Phone Store, reports ZDNet. Close to 50 apps were created by Microsoft, in what appears to be an attempt to encourage developers to make Windows Phone apps. A spokesperson for Microsoft advised that the Web Apps "are not a replacement for native apps," and hoped that the popularity of some apps could help push the site to develop its own native app.
Of the initial launch lineup, the WebApps for Cars.com, Southwest Airlines, and Atari Arcade were removed from the listings. Though it is not clear what happened to Cars.com nor Atari Arcade, Southwest's removal is directly linked to a complaint. "We have been in communication with Microsoft but have not given them approval to push our content." said a Southwest spokesperson to Neowin, continuing "After realizing our discussions are still early, Microsoft removed our content from the store."
It seems that this could be the case for more of the Web Apps, as Microsoft appears to be anticipating more complaints. A statement sent to The Next Web claims "Web Apps drive more people to the company's own website experience, as designed for mobile browsing, so we don't anticipate many objections." The statement also provides an e-mail for website owners to complain through, though Microsoft believes it is being "very transparent" over the apps due to its use of the "Microsoft Web Apps" name and "clearly describing them as website accessories in the descriptions."