Microsoft hopes Windows Phone summit can shrink the app gap

Windows Phone OS may not have the market share or the apps, but the one thing I will say is that Microsoft is finally going after developers with more vigour. This time, it's to the tune of a developer summit on 21-22 June .

(Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET)

Microsoft is serious about closing the gap that is separating its Windows Phone application Marketplace from Android's Google Play and Apple's App Store. And the San Francisco location couldn't be a better spot to tap into Silicon Valley's software-development mojo.

It isn't that the Redmond-based giant hasn't tended to its app garden — which it had to restart from scratch after ploughing under its previous Windows Mobile platform. In fact, Microsoft had been actively seeking top app shops and independent coders before ever announcing its first Windows phone.

More recently, Microsoft even began paying app authors for their Windows Phone attention, a tactic that seems to have turned at least a few developers' heads.

As a result, the Windows Phone app store spiked from 30,000 apps in May 2011 to 50,000 in December to 80,000 this April.

The steady rise in Windows Phone's app count isn't coincidence or luck. It's Microsoft's execution of a calculated business plan that acknowledges one of the key hurdles Microsoft must clear in order to break through Android and iOS in the mind of the phone-buying public.

The first step is winning over holdout developers. Microsoft will likely use the summit to recruit coders for Windows Phone 8, which we expect to preview in June.

Windows Phone 8 will be Microsoft's largest test of its converging computing platform yet. Not only will it bring Windows Phone up to speed with Android and iOS features, it will also closely integrate with Windows 8 for tablets, laptops and desktops.

With so much at stake, Microsoft's mobile developer's summit is surely just the beginning of a larger push to make Windows-born ecosystems cool again — underdog Windows-based phones included.


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Will1505 posted a comment   

This is really good news, I'm a fan of windows phone, But still hasn't got everything I want yet, this is a good next step.


t.sull posted a comment   

This is what they all need to do. I think a large proportion of smart phone buyers choose a phone based on the OS that has the best range of apps. The top end phones themselves are all pretty similar.
If IOS, Android, WIndows and Blackberry all had the same choice of apps, there would be a much more level playing field.

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