Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Microsoft, Nokia plan to energize Windows phone apps with investment of $24 million



The ground for the battle is well set! It is who, have the most of the apps in its kitty, will rule the Smartphone market. No one knows the truth, better than Microsoft and Nokia that are trying their every best effort to grab back the market share from Apple Inc's iPhone and Google's Android in the burning smartphone market. The enormous number and variety of apps in Apple and Google stores are a key factor which has given the companies an edge from their rivals in the lucrative smartphone market.

To beat the heat, recently, Microsoft and Nokia jointly announced an investment of about 18 million euros ($23.9 million) into a new mobile application development program known as AppCampus, at Helsinki's Aalto University for the next three years. Most popular global apps like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Evernote are easily available on the Windows Phone platform, but developers of many niche and local apps have shied away from the windows platform.

The number of apps for Widows Phone Market, now has crossed 65,000 apps, more that the Research in Motion's BlackBerry store. But are lagging behind the half million mark of Apple App Store and Google Play, according to a statistics. Only 37 percent developers are interested in making apps for Widows Phone. Microsoft released its   latest Windows Phone 7.5 operating system, Mango, last year which was appreciated well in the market. Nokia too released its Lumia line of phones running on Mango last year as well.
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Lumia phones though good in looks lack in apps and therefore are less appealing to customers. Windows Phone is bright lining for Nokia as well as Windows to challenge the iPhone. The recent announcement by Microsoft and Nokia is an attempt to devise new ways to counter the competition from Google and Android.  They are quite optimistic that this support and funding for app makers improve numbers of apps on Windows Phone.

Only investing is not a solution to the problem, there are many other issues as well to be addressed. Nokia has good know-how of the platform, but Microsoft provides little support for other handset makers such as Samsung, which has more focus towards Android. There is also a big issue of cost for small developers. The small customer base for Windows Phone force developers to cost more for the apps that woo off the customers. An app available on 99 cents on Google Play cost around $2.99 on the Windows Phone Marketplace. It is wait and watch situation, how Microsoft and Nokia deals with it.

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