Windows Phone App Store: Microsoft Offers Incentives for Developers

  • Microsoft teamed with Nokia in 2011 to challenge Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android operating system. The companies are hoping that the Lumia 900, which launched yesterday in the U.S., will be the first major step toward their goal.
  • “But the hundreds of thousands of apps that run on Apple and Android devices will not work on phones like the Lumia 900 that use Microsoft’s Windows Phone software,” reports The New York Times. “And many developers are reluctant to funnel time and money into an app for what is still a small and unproved market. So Microsoft has come up with incentives, like plying developers with free phones and the promise of prime spots in its app store and in Windows Phone advertising.”
  • Microsoft is even financing the development of Windows Phone versions of successful apps. “The tactic underscores the strong positions of Google and Apple, neither of which have to pay developers to make apps,” explains the article.
  • Foursquare, for example, is having its Windows Phone app development paid for by Microsoft.
  • Microsoft currently has 70,000 apps available, including Netflix, YouTube, the Weather Channel and Amazon Kindle. However, Apple has more than 600,000 and Android close to 400,000. “Analysts say that Microsoft does not need a million apps to appeal to phone buyers — just the ones that are so popular and mainstream that they feel like features of the phone itself,” NYT reports.