Microsoft, Nokia pledge up to $24 million for mobile app developers

By on March 26, 2012, 8:52 AM

Nokia and Microsoft have announced that they will invest up to €18 million ($24 million) in a new mobile application development program over the next three years, a move aimed at raising developer interest in Microsoft's Windows Phone platform and Nokia devices. Dubbed AppCampus, the program will kick off in May 2012 at Aalto University in Finland, and will give "students and entrepreneurs from all over the world" the opportunity to get training in mobile technology, design and usability, as well as funding for their projects.

Participants will get financial backing without the need to give any equity interest to investors and also will receive coaching on technical issues and how to commercialize applications.

The focus is primarily on Windows Phone, but the program will also cover Nokia's other platforms, including the aging Symbian and Series 40. Also, applicants who have developed mobile applications based on AppCampus grants have to commit to exclusivity for six months before porting their creations to other platforms.

Currently, there are about 70,000 applications in Microsoft's Marketplace, up from an estimated 50,000 applications in December last year. Although it has already surpassed RIM's BlackBerry AppWorld, the number is still far short of around half a million apps available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Most popular apps such as Facebook and Twitter are available on Windows Phone, but makers of many niche apps have shied away. What's more, a report from development platform vendor Appcelerator and market research company IDC last Tuesday said that only 37% of developers are very interested in developing applications for Windows Phone, compared to 89% for iOS and 79% for Android.




User Comments: 5

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mosu said:

Cheap shot, they expect billions and invest just 24 mill..

KG363 KG363 said:

I love windows phone, but I don't feel that the problem is a lack of apps, the problem is that they are overpriced. I don't want to pay $2.99 or $4.99 for an app that is free or $.99 on iOS.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Too bad Microsoft has to resort to the "amount of apps" tactic to appeal to undecided consumers. I guess it makes sense from a business standpoint to tell people you have 70,000 apps to make them more interested in investing in a platform that seems healthy. But sadly, the reality is that out of those 70,000 apps, perhaps half of those are duplicates.

That leaves us with approximately 35,000 apps. Out of these, maybe 2,000 at most are real useful apps. There rest is just crappy, useless ****. It's like Google Play's little brother.

Although it kind of makes sense. They are doing this to prepare a sort of mindshare foundation until Windows Phone 8 phones arrive, as Apollo will support C++ development (essentially bringing the platform up to par with iOS and Android as far as code porting feasibility).

yRaz yRaz said:

I honestly have to say there is a severe lack of apps on WP7. however, I didn't but WP7 for the apps. I bought it because it was stable, efficient and uniform across manufacturers. 24M is a lot of money if you consider an app might take ~$5k(possibly less) to develop. They COULD Invest more but I think they'd start to see diminishing returns with the more they invest. They don't want to flood the market with apps either. people can't possible find the good ones if they have 20,000 crap apps bloating up the market place. There are tons of great apps hidden deep within zune marketplace that are almost impossible to find.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It could be interesting if someone do a 'research' on each market place/app store to see how much duplicate apps / junk apps it contains, should give a good perspective of quality of each store.

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