Microsoft Paying Mobile App Developers to Create for Windows Phone 7
Microsoft is busy trying to play catch up with Apple’s runaway success of the iPhone and App Store model. According to BusinessWeek, Microsoft is actually providing financial incentives and revenue guarantees to developers that create for their new Windows Phone 7 platform:
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. 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.
This is an interesting strategy considering Windows Phone 7 is an OS that doesn’t even exist yet, which is a large obstacle Microsoft faces at the moment. Trying to convince developers to work for an unreleased an unproven platform is no easy task, especially when there is a pervasive gold-rush mentality with developing for the iTunes App Store, and to a lesser extent with Google’s Android Marketplace.
Will this strategy work for Microsoft? If I had to guess I’d say they will closely emulate the iOS and App Store experiences, just like they are trying with the Microsoft Stores that are so closely modeled after the Apple Store. Hey, maybe they’ll even revive Internet Explorer for Mac and bring it to the iPhone? Jokes aside, Microsoft is a potentially fierce competitor to both Apple and Google in the mobile space, so this should get interesting very quickly.