Microsoft has released an app in the Google Play store designed to get people to stop using said store and the Android phones that connect to it. Simply called "Switch to Windows Phone," it scans your Android phone for all of your installed apps and then saves the results with your Microsoft ID. Then, using a companion app on Windows Phone itself, you can sign in and see all of the equivalent apps in Microsoft's own store, tapping through to install them each one-by-one. It doesn't show current Android users what those matched apps are, but it could be helpful to recent switchers.

It's a clever idea, getting people over the concerns that apps won't be available on Windows Phone, but the execution isn't quite there yet. Scanning was relatively quick and painless on Android — the apps says it matched 87 percent of my installed Android apps. However, once I logged into the companion app on Windows Phone (and had it crash a couple of times), I discovered that some of the "matched" apps weren't quite exact. Instead of Mint, for example, Switch to Windows Phone presented me with a link to Pageonce. While Pageonce performs largely the same functions as Mint, for many users "close to the same app" is not close enough. It would have been nicer if some of those non-exact matches would present multiple options, but the Quixey-powered app didn't do that. Users who prefer a more traditional method can try Mark/Space's desktop switcher app.

Despite Microsoft's best efforts, it still doesn't have every big name app that users on other platforms can take for granted — much to Nokia's chagrin — but the situation has been getting consistently better for the platform. Even if it doesn't eliminate all the hassles associated with using the third-place smartphone OS, Microsoft's app should help get new Windows Phone users started after they switch.