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Microsoft Now Scraping Mobile Sites, Building Pirated WebApps for Windows Phone | The Digital Reader
Mobile apps are better than mobile websites, right? Not necessarily. Sometimes, such as in the case of Microsoft's latest efforts for Windows Phone, what you get in the app isn't better than a website - it's actually a half-assed effort to cobble together an app - any app - no matter how terrible. Microsoft is so desperate to have enough apps for Windows Phone that they've stooped to building WebApps which are intended to fill in for the brand-name apps which users want but don't exist. What's a WebApp? MS initially conceived of this effort as a way for users to find and pin mobile sites to their Windows Phone, but they've since starting scraping mobile websites and building the apps themselves. Add a few screenshots plus a generic description (competing services Trullia and Redfin have virtually identical descriptions) and the app is released to an unsuspecting public - bugs and all. (As anyone who has used Windows can tell you, Microsoft only fixes the bugs after they ship a product.) They've been doing this since at least last Fall when Southwest Airlines asked Microsoft to remove its unauthorized web app from the Windows Phone Store. The app was developed [...]