About a week ago, I noticed something strange in the Windows Phone Marketplace. The “Xbox Live” banner had disappeared from the Angry Birds game. It was no longer “a few bucks” – it was free. “Interesting…” I thought, “Rovio must think they do better with ad-supported games and released a free version!”
Skip forward to the weekend, I couldn’t find my phone in the last few places I had been, as a security measure (and since I had “Find my Phone” disabled), I connected to the corporate Exchange server my employer runs and sent a remote wipe command to my phone. The good news is, it worked. The bad news? I literally found my phone less than a minute after the wipe. Alright, fine, my mistake. So I started reinstalling apps.
Come to Angry Birds. An app which I had purchased while it was on sale for 99 cents. Alright, so I can’t find it in the Marketplace, but if there’s one thing I learned from Xbox Live, you can use your download history to reinstall games. So I find the Windows Phone Purchase History page and click “more” in the lower right until I find my Angry Birds purchase.
App is no longer published
Are… you… kidding. It’s gone. I can’t get it. This isn’t some questionable app using copyrighted IP that has been pulled from the Marketplace. This is Microsoft’s official release of Angry Birds. An app which I had paid for. Don’t try to tell me that I can switch to the free version. I’m an Achievement addict who lives by Xbox Live integration. It was one of the biggest features, it was a selling point for Windows Phone. And if you’re going to pull the app from the marketplace for future purchases, fine – but to remove the app altogether so that those of us who bought it can’t reinstall it? The free version is not a substitute.
I usually talk about apps, but today I’ve got nothing but frustration. Windows Phone is the 3rd place platform. Having not learned a single lesson from the Xbox Platform and how to manage apps after licensing expires, Windows Phone is going to remain the 3rd place platform. I’m trying my best to wait for a Windows Phone 8 on Sprint, I want to be deeply embedded in the Microsoft camp. But every time I turn around Microsoft is going something else to ruin this for me.