April 06, 2012, 10:27 AM —
Smartphones today are pocket-sized app machines. Microsoft is funding app development for Windows Phone software up to $600,000.
Late to the smartphone party means late to the app store party, and Microsoft is pushing to reach the magic number of 100,000 apps for Windows Phone (Apple has 600,000 and Android 400,000). To do that, they are funding developers directly, and even paying third-party developers to write apps for companies. Two companies quoted in the New York Times article include Foursquare and Cheezburger Network.
App companies have Windows Phone on their to-do list, but the critical factor is user base, and Windows remains far behind. Incentives change the equation by reversing the chicken and egg by convincing buyers Windows Phone has plenty of apps even though they don't yet have a substantial user base. And the process is working, as Windows Phone has gone from empty app store shelves to about 70,000 apps in a short time.
This is a no-brainer move by Microsoft that makes complete sense.
Rob Pollard on nytimes.com
Microsoft will do well if it focuses on enterprise mobile apps. This is where Microsoft has a huge advantage over Apple. Apple's tools for building enterprise mobile apps are definitely lacking.
William Yee on wsj.com
Seen it before
Paying app developers to port their product to the Windows Phone platform is nothing new. Platform vendors have done this for many years.
Bluevoter on nytimes.com
I'm an App developer. Apple is my first choice because Apple Apps revenues are between 4x and 8x Android app revenues. Android is my second choice because its app revenues are probably 10x blackberry and windows phone app markets combined. There are no other choices for developers.
Clarke Hill on wsj.com
More desperate moves from Microsoft to save their sinking mobility business. After 10 years it still only has a 5% market share.
Scott Moore on nytimes.com
They should finance an ap called "too big, too slow".
Yoda on nytimes.com
Apple people shouldn't throw stones until they learn more about their iFund that also offered incentives to developers.