Microsoft to pay mobile app developers in desperate bid to catch Apple

“Microsoft Corp. is paying developers to build mobile applications for its Windows Phone 7 system to help it narrow a lead by rival products from Apple Inc. and Google Inc,” Dina Bass and Adam Satariano report for Bloomberg.

“The company is providing financial incentives ranging from free tools and test handsets to funds for software development and marketing, said Todd Brix, a senior director at Microsoft who works with app developers,” Bass and Satariano report. “In some cases, Microsoft is providing revenue guarantees, and will make up the difference if apps don’t sell as well as expected, he said.”

Bass and Satariano report, “While Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, has used similar compensation programs for previous versions of its mobile operating system, it’s devoting a larger sum this time, Brix said. He declined to say how much Microsoft will spend.”

“At least four app makers have been approached by Microsoft and offered financial incentives in cash, assistance with development costs or revenue guarantees in exchange for having apps ready at or near the release of Windows Phone 7, said five people with knowledge of the matter. The people declined to be named because the incentive terms are confidential,” Bass and Satariano report. “Other mobile software makers use different approaches to entice programmers. Apple shares a portion of the revenue generated when consumers buy apps from its online store. The company, based in Cupertino, California, has sold more than 51 million iPhones since its 2007 debut.”

Bass and Satariano report, “Apple has about 225,000 apps available for the iPhone, while devices that run on Google’s Android operating system have access to some 65,000. Microsoft is starting from scratch in amassing apps for Windows Phone 7. Its overhaul of the operating system [means] that programs developed for older Windows-based phones won’t work on the new one. At the end of last year, Microsoft had only 246 apps, according to ABI.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

25 Comments

  1. It will fail. This is a socialist model in which M$ personnel will decide what to fund and what not to fund, instead of letting the free market work by enabling entrepreneurial risk-taking with low barriers to entry, like the Apple app store. Then M$ will promote the apps, instead of letting the market do its job. The fundamentals of capitalism work only when you keep the influence of big money with vested interests out of the picture.

    Creative destruction of old models is inherent to progress. It’s M$s turn.

  2. … more than most (any?) iPhone owners have on their phones. So, if they were properly allocated – is that even possible??? – those 246 could be as effective as those 200K+ for the iPhone. OK, sure, at least 100K of those for the iPhone have found a HAPPY home on at least a few iPhones … suggesting that there’s no friggin’ WAY 246 will satisfy a few million users. Still, I’m willing to bet that most of the apps on most of the iPhones out there would fit into little more than a hundred pigeon holes. Apple should be happy to note that MSFT really hasn’t a CLUE regarding what folk want!

  3. 246 apps could be more apps than people that buy the phone. How are those Zune mp3 player doing Steve Ballmer?

    You know, to this day, I have never seen a Zune in the real world. The Zune and the Dodo birds must be hiding in the same place. I hear that new Kin and maybe that Big Ass Table are there too.

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