Desperate Microsoft paying developers to port iPhone games to Windows Phone 7

“With Windows Phone 7 seen as Microsoft’s last gasp attempt to compete with the likes of Apple and Google in the smartphone space, the company is apparently splashing the cash to ensure its autumn launch is well populated with content,” Jon Jordan reports for PocketGamer

MacDailyNews Take: Google does not deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as Apple. Google is a derivative iOS maker with nary a presence outside the U.S. The day iPhone goes to multiple U.S. carriers is the day Google would rather not think about.

Jordan continues, “One developer has told PocketGamer.biz that Microsoft is contacting successful iPhone developers, offering them upfront cash to port their games to the new platform.”

“Amounts are said to be substantial, although not enough to tempt the developer in question,” Jordan reports. “Because Windows Phone 7 is limited to Silverlight or XNA Framework (C#) development, the cost of reworking its games from C++ remains too high.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bzzzt! Wrong answer, Mr. Ballmer, but we hope you keep right on playing!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Wandering Joe” for the heads up.]

36 Comments

  1. At some point, a sane CEO would have to question the ROI of paying people to notice your me-too platform. How long will you need to keep paying developers to code for you, or handset makers to make phones for you? Good thing Ballmer’s still in charge, so it won’t occur to him that this might be a bad precedent to set, as both may simply stop once the payola stops.

  2. Micro$haft is opening their fourth retail store here in San Diego at the Fashion Valley Mall on June 24th, the day of the iPhone 4 launch. The only way they’re going to be able to attract customers is to give away tickets for some event.

    I may just stop by there to see the response. There may be a crowd there opening day but after that? I predict a ghost town.

  3. While it is sad that Microsoft has to resort to bribing developers, what else can they do? And Microsoft has the money to spread around, so this is an obvious move.

    The folks at Apple were very smart. First, they put a desirable device out there unlike anything else at that time. They pretended that Apple really didn’t want third-party native iPhone apps and told developers to create web-based apps. But during that first year, they finished work on the iPhone OS SDK (for third-party developers) and App Store infrastructure (which was tacked onto the existing iTunes Store).

    Then, Apple released iPhone 2.0 with the App Store. At that point, there were already tens of millions of iPhone users, just waiting to buy apps. Hundreds of developers signed on to the platform immediately, because there was money to be made from the existing customer base on Day One.

    Compare that to what Microsoft has to do just two years later. They have to launch Windows Phone 7 as a platform. Thanks to iPhone, it is now an expectation that a smart phone platform must have an app store; they have to simultaneously launch an app store. But since there are zero potential customers before the Windows Phone 7 launch, why would a developer jump in unless Microsoft paid them enough up front to make it worthwhile?

    So what did you expect Microsoft to do? Unlike Palm, Microsoft has money…

  4. Steve Ballmer couldn’t get a date in a cat house with a $1,000 bill rolled and tucked over his ear. Steve, change the programming code to C++, double the offer and try again. If that doesn’t work, give them a blank check after you made the change to C++.

    And Steve, next time tape the $1,000 to your face with a post it note, “More where that came from.”

  5. Microsoft could incorporate the phone with gaming to compete with Gameboy, PSP and (heh, right) the iPhone. If Microsoft was smart, they’d tie it into their xBox 360 platform and bring in the gaming community from that pretty large user base who live in their parent’s attic.

    Apple should get “smarter” (heh) and remake that Apple TV. Retool the thing ground up. They gotta fill in that box with the question mark. I heard the response at the D8 conference Steve had, but I think there is still a way to make a compelling device by adding internet, apps store functionality, DVR capability, GAMING and etc. by bypassing the cable providers box. Give it Blu-Ray functionality and have it look like a razon-thin stereo component.

  6. @ken1w, it’s not that we think Microsoft should be doing something different. You’re right — they’re doing what they gotta do, and it makes sense to use their cash instead of just sitting on it.

    But that doesn’t mean we can’t ridicule them anyway.

    On a more serious note, the lesson here is this: For too long, Microsoft didn’t care about innovating. They counted on being able to enter a market late (after it had grown to a useful size) and by sheer force of money, blow past the innovators and dominate the market. It didn’t work with the iPod, and that should have given Microsoft (& Ballmer) serious pause. But they didn’t learn their lesson, arrogantly blowing it off as a fluke. And now they are paying (literally) for their arrogance and lack of vision. If they had a culture of innovation, they might have a chance at competing with Apple, but they don’t, so they have no chance at all. Do I have any sympathy for Microsoft? Not a shred. They had their fifteen minutes of significance; that’s all they deserve.

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