It’s a well known fact that Windows Phone is behind its competitors when it comes to the amount of apps available on it. The New York Times reports that Microsoft has stepped in to help the situation by offering free phones and free advertisement as an incentive for developers to fill out the store. It has even financed porting of well-known mobile apps from different platforms.
While this plan does smell slightly desperate, it seems to be somewhat effective. Some developers welcome the extra funding with open arms, but others seem to put their priorities on more established platforms. At the moment, Microsoft has more than 70,000 apps in its store, still way behind the nearly 400,000 Android apps and more than 600,000 Apple apps.
Analysts say, however, that Microsoft is nearing the point where the numbers stop being important. They need all the popular apps of other platforms, and a few killer apps of their own. This new business strategy has bagged them a few well-known products, like the social networking site Foursquare.
Some big names are still missing, like the latest game on the incomprehensibly popular series Angry Birds. Rovio announced last month that they do not consider porting Angry Birds Space on the Windows Phone to be worth the effort. Later that same day they did claim to be working towards developing it, however. Was this just a simple attempt at damage control or did Microsoft whip out its money bags?
Windows Phone is still a relatively young operating system so the developers’ wariness is understandible. Now that Microsoft is funding them, all they have to lose is development time. All Microsoft has to lose is money, and that’s really one of the things thay are known for: having money. Doesn’t sound like a bad deal to help out a growing platform.