If you believe Google, Windows 8 and Windows Phone are essential failures, so much so that the company won't bother to release popular apps like Gmail and Google Drive for them. So says Clay Bavor, product management director for Google Apps, according to the site V3.
Bavor pulled no punches when interviewed by the site. He said that Google Apps clients have very little interest in Windows 8 or Windows Phone, and because of that:
"We have no plans to build out Windows apps. We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8.
"If that changes, we would invest there, of course."
Even though V3 didn't mention Google Apps itself, which competes directly with Microsoft Office, clearly Google won't be releasing Google Apps for Windows 8 or Windows Phone, either. (Keep in mind that Bavor was speaking only about Google's business apps, which come under the Google Apps rubric, so it's not clear what Google has in mind for its other apps.)
It's not as if Google won't release on business apps for competitors to Android. It's going full speed ahead for work on iOS devices. Bavor went on to say:
"In 2012 we've laid some of the ground work and really improved the experience of our core apps on mobile devices, such as adding native editing of spreadsheets for both iOS and Android apps.
"We really see these as the first versions of our mobile experience, though, so we will continue to make big investments in mobile in 2013 with the goal of having beautiful mobile apps."
Those "beautiful mobile apps," though, will be on Android devices and iOS devices, not on Windows 8 mobile devices or Windows Phone devices.
Some people might questions whether Bavor is being honest about Google's motivation for not releasing business apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. After all, Google Apps directly competes with Microsoft Office, and it doesn't compete with any Apple products. So not releasing apps for Windows 8 or Windows Phone could be a competitive move against Microsoft.
It's more likely than not that he's being honest, though. If there's really demand for Google's business apps on Windows 8 and Windows Phone device, Google would only hurt itself by not releasing apps for them, because it means that Google Apps would be at a disadvantage against Microsoft Office.
Windows 8 sales haven't been booming, and Windows Phone market share is somewhere in the low single digitsrange, depending on whom you believe. Enterprises appear to be particularly leery of Windows 8, and that's the core audience for Google Apps.
So for now, Windows 8 and Windows Phone users won't get native apps for Gmail, Google Drive, Google Apps and similar Google services.