Microsoft offers free phones and training to webOS devsBy Jose Vilches 11 comments
Hot on the heels of HP's decision to scrap work on webOS devices, Microsoft is taking the opportunity to get some stranded webOS developers interested in its platform by giving them "what they need to be successful." The company's Windows Phone 7 director Brandon Watson tweeted on Friday that phones, dev tools, and training would be made available to "any published webOS devs" willing to make the switch.
Unsurprisingly, his inbox is being bombarded right now as thousands of developers are taking him up on the offer. "Thank you so much for reaching out to the Windows Phone team to signal your interest in bringing your talents to our platform. To be honest, we didn't expect this level of response, so we were caught a bit flatfooted," a message sent to developers reads. "We are psyched to have you aboard and to see what your imagination can do on the Windows Phone canvas."
This isn't the first time Watson has gone out on a limb to promote his platform with the developer crowd. In the past similar offers have been extended to high-profile developers, including iPhone and PS3 jailbreaker George "geohot" Hot. He has also publicly offered free hardware to celebrities frustrated with their iPhone or Android device, and even shared his personal cell number on Twitter to field questions about the development process.
Currently, Windows Phone 7 has nearly 30,000 apps in its marketplace. That's a tiny figure compared to iOS or Android but it's growing at a steady pace as Microsoft is doing a good job attracting developers – which is critical to WP7's success. The platform is still struggling with sales, but it seems clear that Microsoft is in this for the long haul.