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Come on, Apple! Let Microsoft Partner Info into the App Store

When the Microsoft Partner Info mobile app launched three weeks ago, support for the Apple iPhone platform was conspicuously absent.

Whatever the reasons that Microsoft originally wrote the app only for Windows Phone and Google Android, the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group is now trying to get it into Apple's App Store. And Apple is saying, "Forget it."

Eric Ligman, director of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Experience and guiding spirit behind the partner app, opened the kimono on his frustration with the App Store in a blog post Monday.

"I'm not the one that said, 'No,' to having the Microsoft Partner info app available on iPhone, Apple is," Ligman wrote.

Ligman submitted a version of the app to Apple a little over a week ago and received his rejection e-mail on Friday.

"We found that the experience your app provides is not sufficiently different from a web browsing experience, as it would be by incorporating native iOS functionality," the e-mail snippet that Ligman posted read. "While your app content may differ from your web site or other existing sites, the experience it provides does not differ significantly from the general experience of using Safari, as required by the App Store Review Guidelines."

While most of us try desperately to keep our rejections private, Ligman has good reasons for talking openly about his here. First, he's trying to forestall complaints from partners who have been asking since the May 23 release of the partner app for an iPhone version. Second, Ligman wants partners to help themselves by voicing their displeasure to Apple.

In fact, he's encouraging partners to both Tweet their displeasure and to blog about it. "If you are a blogger, and if you have the desire to do so, it would be great to see even a short post stating why you would like to have the Microsoft Partner info app available on iPhone," Ligman wrote.

OK, I have a blog and I'm game. I use an iPhone (our family is benefiting from the synergy of iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. I like the looks of the Windows Phone 7 platform and the tablet potential in Windows 8, but, hey, that stack wasn't even publicly previewed when I was ready to buy.)

I like the looks of the Microsoft Partner Info app -- and frankly I don't care if it is or isn't similar to the browser. I don't use Safari unless I absolutely have to; the way I interact with the Internet through the iPhone is through apps. Plus, the screenshots I've seen of the Microsoft Partner Info App look nothing like any Safari browser pages I've seen.

Come on Apple, let the Microsoft Partner info app into your store.

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 13, 2011