If hardware is the backbone to any good smartphone, then apps have become the lifeblood with many consumers judging a device on what they’re able to download for it. Microsoft know this and because it’s playing catchup with its competitors, iPhone and Android, it’s turned towards funding developers to ensure apps are created for them.
The New York Times reports that Microsoft is financing the development of well known apps, costing anything between $60,000 to $600,000 depending on the complexity of the app. Developers are reluctant to dedicate time and money into a platform that is both small and unproven so Microsoft is adapting different methods to incentivise developers. Alongside funding their app’s development, the company also provides developers with free phones and the promise of prime spots in its app stores and in Windows Phone advertising
Microsoft only has an estimated 70,000 apps for its Windows Phone platform. Comparing that the iPhone has roughly more than 600,000 apps in its store and Android has almost 400,000 apps, the company is very much trying to bridge the gap between themselves and speed up the process. Their other initiative is teaming up with Nokia to open up an AppCampus in Finland, where over €18 million will be invested into the project over three years, but the company has a lot of work ahead of them if they seriously want to be in a position to challenge the big two.