Can Microsoft solve its mobile apps problem?

The International Business Times unearthed some Windows Phone-related tension between Nokia and Microsoft in this informative piece today. Alluding to the relatively small library of apps supported by Windows Phone compared to Android and iOS, Nokia VP Bryan Biniak says in the piece his company is “trying to evolve the cultural thinking” at Microsoft to spur the development of apps for the platform. But as writer David Gilbert opines in the story, “Windows Phone is not even Microsoft’s second, third or fourth priority….”

Regardless of who’s to blame, Microsoft clearly has had trouble luring developers. According to research done by Canalys in May, Microsoft’s app store contained only 30 of the top 100 free and paid titles from Apple’s App Store, and only 35 of the top 100 apps in Google Play. And Vision Mobile this week released results of a survey of 6,000 developers in 115 markets that found only 35 percent of respondents plan to develop for Windows Phone, down from 47 percent last November.

That dearth of popular titles is likely tied to Canalys’s finding that the average Windows Phone developer makes about 31 percent less than the average iOS developer. Meanwhile, a small army of new operating systems are coming to market that will vie for the attention of developers. If Windows Mobile is ever going to emerge as a real threat to Android and iOS, Microsoft will have to do a much better job of building its developer community.

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Colin Gibbs

Colin Gibbs

Founder and Principal Peak Mobile Insights

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