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Microsoft to pay out $100,000 to get developers coding for Windows Phone

WPUG July

We've heard this all before, developers skipping Windows Phone or not viewing it as worth the investment to develop an app. It's an issue Microsoft has had to battle against since the company originally launched Windows Phone 7 back in 2010, but we're seeing Redmond (and Nokia) pouring more funds and time into getting developers interested. Bloomberg is now reporting that Microsoft is paying developers up to $100,000 to get apps on Windows Phone 8.

Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans have revealed that the company is ready to pay companies and developers "$100,000 or more" to get apps coded for the Windows Phone Store. This is to build on the rather broad $100 visa card rewards back in March. Microsoft has enough funds to throw at the issue, but should it be up to the company to get developers interested? It's certainly what consumers are demanding with some popular apps still missing that are available on both iOS and Android.

Windows Phone chief marketing officer Thom Gruhler informed Bloomberg that the store now sports 48 of the 50 most-downloaded apps across all platforms, with both Pinterest and Instagram the only brands holding out. The store isn't light by any means, there's a strong catalogue of third party alternatives too. Consumers who begin using Windows Phone will be greeted by a large selection of apps and games and we've been busy with new apps released on a regular basis.

It's not known whether or not Microsoft will be offering another promotion once the month is up, but if you're a developer or company looking at Windows Phone, now is the time to get involved. What are your thoughts on the status of the Windows Phone Store? Would you like to see Microsoft spend more on app development?

Source: Bloomberg, via: Ars Technica

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Reader comments

Microsoft to pay out $100,000 to get developers coding for Windows Phone

147 Comments

Well shame on wpc for posting news you already knew, ask them to check if ok with u first. Dickhead buy an android

If they wanted to give the customer the best, they'd give us a file manager and unlocked file storage accessible from the phone.

No no no. File Management is a thing of the past, and righly so.
I cannot wait for the day I can stop worrying about file management, I am close.
People should just hit their video app, and their videos be available.
Click their photo editor and it edits photos.
The pots/ folders etc should be completely irrelevant/imvisible and the app+data just work.
This will make computing much more accessible for non nerds, and I cannot wait for that day to reach us.

Didn't say it had to be the only option, just a buried app for those of us who use our mobile devices for the actual work that allows us to pay for these things.  Locked out partitions is a hindrance, not a help. Your solution is good for the average dumb consumer, it's not good for everyone.

I wish iPhone had never happened, or at least Microsoft didn't decide to copy its consumer focus and bring us WP. Before that smartphones were for smart people. I wonder where WM would have been now if they had kept developing it. So sad.
 
It's actually just a small outcome of a huge problem: stupid people taking over the world. It's just a matter of simple math. Smart people usually have two or fewer children, while dumb people usually have more. Since we no longer let nature weed out the dumb and weak naturally, the growth in the dumb population since the 1970s has been exponential. It is an unintended consequence of birth control, which is only used by smart people.
 
Back to phones. In order to sell as many phones as possible and compete with Apple and Google you must now target the dumb (aka consumer) population. This means consumption features take high priority and productivity features take low priority whereas the converse used to be the case.
 
It really sucks.

I've heard others say that, too. It's a shame Google feels the need to spy on its users. For that reason I have avoided Android.

Yes, I know.  That doesn't in any way change that I avoid Android because of Google.  I am not one to say, "Well everyone's doing it so I am OK with it then."  No.  I still resist Google.

You're a dumbass, I'm a computer science graduate who has three children who are very smart in high school and college. By the way, computer programming was my first employment and currently in an IT manager/ network administrator. What is it that you do?? You're assuming people don't want the best for their children and don't stress the importance of an education. You wouldn't be a good candidate for a parent, so if you have kids, I suggest you give them up for adoption now!

There exceptions to every rule, which is why I used the word "usually" in my diatribe. I'm glad you have three smart kids and all are doing well. I'm thrilled, actually!

Nice try at being clever, but the fact is I've not watched or even heard of Idiocracy. You don't suppose that with billions of people in the world that the makers of Idiocracy and I could possibly have had the same thought? Regardless, your comment doesn't say anything about the topic at hand. Try harder.

Its the dumbasses like you who give a bad name to whatever race/religion/country/cult/sect/group you belong to. I tried ignoring you for a while, but then it just kept getting harder and harder. I feel bad even wasting my time on this.

I've to totally agree with you. IPhone killed smartphones, my 6 year old Nokia Symbian phone had more features than the phones of today.

Couldn't agree more. The only thing I want is to be able to access the same folders as you can with USB. That would be enough.
I don't get why you can fill the phone with a cable but not wirelessly through home groups, smb, ftp or whatever floats your boat. I'm hoping blue will change this as it's really my only major gripe with WP8. That and codecs but I've given up on those...

And no, SkyDrive is not an option, I'm not going to send my contents half way around the globe just to load something from a NAS in my basement.

That's good news. What is shocking to me in the Microsoft world, is how bad Windows 8 marketplace has been. I just assumed because it was Windows Desktop OS that devs would be no problem. It is actually worse than Windows Phone marketplace has ever been. I was hoping for some Maddens and NHL13 on my Surface with and Xbox controller. Instead I'm playing the worst find the coin under the shell game, created by two Indians in their second grade computer science class. Completely shocked and saddened at the crap.

I didn't say one negative thing about a race. People throw the word 'racist' around far to easily. Jim Carry says that in a movie and its hysterical. I say it and I'm a racist....B.S.

I agree completely, the contents in W8 Store is miserably poor, compared to what you can download to tablets with other OS. When you buy a app for WP8 it should also be possible to download it to W8, and vice versa. (like Iphone and Ipad).

Do you know why Android tablets suck so bad? Its because they don't have any tablet apps. This way, we get tablet optimized apps.

Why is it bad?
 Facebook, Amazon, Kindle, Twitter all there. Most of the big ones.
Nextgen reader, a gazillion weather apps, ESPN. etc Skype, Netflix.
I was playing Royal Revolt this morning, its a very good game.
Its not _that_ bad. Don't forget they are Metro apps, so need Dev learning time. It will happen.
87,000 apps. And they are now approaching 5000 new apps per week.

Windows 8 marketplace is always going to be sort of strange... because it has every "app" you could want, just install the "desktop" version of the "app."  It needs RT to succeed for the Windows 8 marketplace to succeed, and by all accounts, people don't want RT over Pro.

There is a major issue with this. Maintenance won't be done once the app is done. Look at most "big name" games on wp7. I wish it would be more effective, but I don't have high hopes.

Not sure I agree with that worse case scenario. It all depends on if WP can get users, say above 10% worldwide. If so, the apps on WP become much more important. Get the apps, users will come. Users start buying, there is more activity on the apps. More activity on the apps, the better the support. This is the only avenue MS can travel. Without the apps, you never grow. With the apps.....

But, I digress.....

You're absolutely right.  I guess I think about things like Zombie run or whatever it was, or Carbon.  I know these aren't the norm, but I would rather have an ecosystem built on developer love than greed.  It's a dreamworld yes, so I think Ms is right in doing this at least.

I will if there is no notification center built into the OS my only problem and I can't have a phone without it.

Hopefully the update at the end of the year will have a notification center. I hope it is a pull-down shade like iOS or Android.

You're aware of news the rest of us don't? The only confirmed case of NC is a snapshot for the 8.1 release scheduled for Q1 2014.

Years behind... on an OS less than a year old... and that other OS's are currently copying... OK.
Notifications are coming, that has been established, but probably not until the "blue" update is released.

I will not leave Windows or my Xbox or my wp8 but we need a little more freedom and another 1 or 2 swipe gestures in the wp8 OS

This is true. The windows phone surface N concept on YouTube has an amazing looking notification centre where you can toggle settings and toggle music controls.

Get us Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat and Candy Crush and we'll be set seems like. Those are the main apps people skip WP8 because of

There are many, many third party apps that work for those.
Snapchat-Swapchat
Instagram-Instance
Pinterest-Scrapbook for Pinterest

I don't use any of the apps I listed, but overall feedback from my wife and from some friends who have bought WP8 because of my recommendation have tried the third party "solutions" and hate them. Instance seems to be good but the SnapChat and Pinterest substitutes are terrible (from what I hear).
The only app I was waiting for was Splashtop, so I'm happy now.

Shocking that its left to Microsoft to do this...but I believe there will be a time when the devs come to WP without the need for bribing. Not coming to WP is going to very soon be a decision which would cripple the success of apps.

I don't know why developers wouldn't be jumping at this. If I was a developer I would focus on WP8 for 100k....its a no brainer. I just don't understand these developers sometimes.

How is this promotion being pushed to the developers? Are they being solicited individually, or is Microsoft just hoping that they hear about it thru word of mouth? I wouldn't be surprised if the developers didn't even know about this.

They're certainly going to be going after individuals rather than opening it up. Who are they going to target with this is the big question.
Plants vs Zombies 2 for example is coming out on iPhone first, then Android "at a later date" -- that later date had better also launch on Windows Phone. But is $100,000 enough of an incentive make PopCap get out of bed?

Remember there are many tier-1 "troll" developers which are big big Apple or Android fanboys and don't want MSFT to succeed or Apple to lose share.. which is another reason Windows ecosystem is not getting many good apps. MSFT has to build its lost mindshare and Apple type coolness in addition to opening the wallets to developers.

Windows Phone is like an emerging market. What business wouldn't want to jump in on that?! Especially with a incentive.

My biggest complaint is that the supposedly humorous comments lately are just cringeworthy, sorry but it has to be said.
Need more European wit.

Having recently completed my first Windows Phone 8 app I was shocked at how quick it came together. I'm a desktop developer, and had never touched XAML, but it was really pretty easy and a very fun platform to work with.
There is really no reason why there shouldn't be more apps, especially from the big names, in my opinion.

I'm a city employee in NYC, and my banking institution, MCU, has an app for iOS & Android; they have no plans to develop for WP8, which sucks...also, I'd like to see a freecreditscore.com app.

Banking apps will be among the last to show up. I was actually shocked to see my mortgage company has an app for WP. My local credit union?? Not a chance. It is supporting Apple and expects to have an Android app before the year is out. WP? Not sure they know it exists.

Even though I hate them, id like to see my mortgage company Citimortgage get in on this and make an app.

My credit union uses Intuits banking system, so there will never be a WP app...but Bank of America and Chase both have apps for WP

I switched my banking to ING DIRECT (Canada) because they have excellent apps for both W8 and WP8. Gotta support forward-thinking companies. :-)

Apps have always been a sore spot for WP as the newer platform. I hope this initiative will help bolster WPs momentum. What I would like to see is existing apps getting some much needed updates like their counterparts on IOS & Android. IE. Tripadvisor, Yelp, The Weather network, etc etc.

I'm seeing comments on other sites of people calling Microsoft desperate. So they complain of no apps on WP, then they complain when Microsoft tries to do something about it. Just pathetic.

Windows phone needs more games.. Most of the top 50 most downloaded games in android and iPhone doesn't exist like Subway surfers,temple run 2,candy crush Saga,granny Smith,bejewelled blitz, etc and apps like vine,instagram,pixlr express,pixart,pinterest and snapchat even though there are alternatives ..

So true they need to hurry up and fix that, no matter how good the alternative is people wants the original not the copy.

Give it time people, give it time. Rome wasn't built in a day. People are so impatient. It would be nice to have everything now but it's not going to happen. Quality not quantity. If you stick with Windows it will come.

Problem is, indie devs are at a bit of a loss. We can build unofficial clients for big networks (like Instagram), but then that app is at the mercy of the network. A lot of popular apps rely on large social networks beyond just the app itself, which a single person or small group can't really maintain. So courting these large companies with money is how Microsoft gains traction, not courting small devs.

More dev camps in more cities in more countries. Help schools out by offering free hardware and software or at least deeply discounted. Make the hipsters who code in school pick the right ecosystem to get excited about early on.

If i was running Microsoft, then I would take all the Android license money that Microsoft gets and spend that as bribes for app developers. So the more Android phones that gets sold in the world the more money would there be for encouraging app developers ;-)

First get all banks on board, including American express, get Facebook beta done already.....get Xbox music to be better UI its confusing..... $100,000 should be more like $300,000 but put restrictions on getting that like least half million need to download before u get full payment and 100k need to be using it

If there is no upfront money...why would some other devs take the time and trouble to produce an app with requirements like that???

If there was an advertisement that would (hopefully) in the future that has a WP uploading pictures to Instagram and/or Snapchat through lens would be astounding.

I still want my official Goodreads app and I am unaware of 3rd party alternatives in the store.

They seem to be focusing on fad ups for a certain demographic (I.em teens and young adults)...may take a while for an app for you to show up...

I wish my company would dev WP8 app. They say there isnt enough interest even when customers post on forums that they want it. Hotschedules. The dev house is simply run by apple and android fan boys. Sad thing is those apps started as "side projects" hrmph!!

Would be a great app for WP so many companies big and small use hotschedules now...my company just switched to hotschedules this week!

It's a Chicken&Egg problem right? Apps attract consumers, consumers attract app development. I for one am glad MS is going on the offensive to get apps onto WP.
There are still loads of apps missing: Fedex, UPS, AmEx, BoA, banks in general, etc.
But a bigger problem is that MS doesn't seem to be spending money on marketing WP.
They wasted what, like 6 Billion on that ad company and just wrote it off as a mistake?
MS: spend just 1 Billion on WP marketing! Samsung outspends you many times over.
Nokias spending cash they don't have, why not help them a bit!

Advertising can only do so much. A lot of people want the safe, socially acceptable choice. They don't watch tech news, and haven't heard of WP. When they go to the store they are either sold the next iPhone or if they're brave they get an android. Time and time again we hear stories of sales people steering customers away from WP. Even arguing with the customer when they ask for WP directly. That's where things need to change...

People are saying that 100k isn't enough for some companies to even jump at the thought of making a app for WP. But think of it as this way your a average to above average app maker with employees or something Microsoft pays you $100k+ for a app to come to windows phone then that app company can charge $.99 for the app and make triple the money or much more than that. That's the part no one sees. This is a great idea if instagram came to WP Microsoft would probably pay close to $200k or $300k for the app then instagram/facbook can charge $.99-$1.50 for the app and mulitply that times everyone that has a windows phone. They could make upwards of $500k just for a instagram app...

I agree with some of the things your are saying, but I look at SkyDrive as a free redundant storage/backup system. Generally to get these types of services, its very expensive on a per MB basis. Companies like MS, Apple , and Google are making the more affordable.

Good for Microsoft, we need more developers to back up WP and if they're current with their apps then there's no stopping WP from being #1

I just sent my local credit union another request to make an app along with the link to this article showing them that MS is willing to pay because I got the not enough interest email response when I submitted my original request to their IT department. There a bunch of biased Android/Apple fans as well. Everyone should send their credit unions of companies of their choice requests along with this link to see what their excuses will be now. WPCentral should then get the lame responses out to the media so these Inglorious Bastards get exposed for what they are.

I'd love to develop for Windows Phone, but currently it doesn't support VPN so our organisation won't consider it.

It's probably quicker if you Google it :P Basically it's a private network that goes across a public network like the internet. It uses encryption and secure authentication. It's important when connecting to secure networks.

It's a shame that they have to do it this way and I hope that it isn't setting a long term precedent or the platform is screwed. While they're droppin $100k all around maybe give some bonuses for INTERNAL development and get Skype finished, fix XBox Music/Video and make a few new toys like a simple video editor.

We really need to get more professional applications on the platform. My wife likes her L920 well enough, but the the major apps that she used in medical school on her Palm years ago still aren't available on WP. The result is that now she's taking a hard look at the competition. I can only imagine the same holds true for many others.