Nokia Microsoft Alliance spike app developers interest in Windows Phone platform

by wp7geek on 11th January, 2012

A lot of factors go into the success of a mobile platform. But now a days the bottom line is apps. Apps being a critical factor in the ecosystem buildup, a company would need to attract developers to have these apps developed and we are talking about attracting a lot of developers here. These app developers have to be attracted by some means or the other, might it be ease of development, monetization or in case of Microsoft's Windows Phone Platform an Alliance with Nokia.

Reasons for interest in Windows Phone Platform

A recent Appcelerator/IDC Mobile Developer Report (Q4 2011) report shows that 38% of the 2,160 Appcelerator Titanium developers are now "very interested" in developing for the platform. According to the findings the platform climbed 8 points making it the number three platform for app developers this year.

When these developers were asked why they are more interested in Windows Phone now than a year ago, 48% of them replied it was because of the Nokia Microsoft Alliance. 28% of the surveyed developers say they are "very interested" in developing for Nokia's new Lumia Windows Phone devices. As per the reports of Jan 2010, Nokia's own Symbian and Meego platform had less than half this percentage of developers interested in developing apps for those platforms.

The Nokia Microsoft Alliance was not the main reason for interest for North America developers. Developers from North America were interested in the platform because of Windows 8 integration and tablet potential rather than the Nokia Partnership. The fact that Nokia never had a foothold in the American Market, it makes sense.

Nokia's Global Reach

I am not surprised the alliance spikes up developers interest in Europe and Asia. One thing Nokia had and always will is global reach and basically that is what their motive is. Unlike the iPhone they don't want to restrict their products and services to a group or a sector of the globe. Stephen Elops (Nokia CEO) has made it quite clear on several occasions that Nokia's motive is to expand Windows Phone platform to every corner of the world and with every carrier possible. They have already started doing this with their Lumia series devices. The little things they do to make the devices regional specific might not seem much, but makes a lot of difference to its consumers. Check out the start screen of a Lumia 800 bought in India, UK, Germany or some other country. They are all different with region specific apps. Their regional customizations is what really matter and that is why they can maintain this global reach. The Lumia 900 is another example. The product is specifically designed for US consumers.

At the CES 2012 event Nokia showed off their new Lumia Momentum Website which maps events, photos, videos and tweets around the globe where their Lumia devices are available or soon going to be available.

Importance of HTML5

Microsoft from the very beginning has always pushed HTML5 on their Internet Explorer Mobile browser and they were right to do so. 66% of the developers say they are "very interested" in building HTML5 mobile websites. HTML5 have the following advantages from Mobile Development:

  • local storage - offline database and caching
  • geolocation - integration with the OS specific geolocation API of the desktop and phone client
  • video - in language support for playing multiple video formats
  • canvas - in language support for animation and graphics
  • workers - threaded background processes


The competition is still tough. Around 91% of the developers surveyed were still very interested in the iPhone and 88% in the iPad. This was partly due to the iOS 5 release which was significant for many developers. Interest in Android phone fell by 4 points to 83% and in tablets by 6 points to 68%. Interest in development for BlackBerry OS dropped to a low 21%. There are now more developers who are interested in the Nokia Lumia devices than the entire BlackBerry OS.

As a app developer what makes you "very interested" in a platform?

  • Controlled fragmentation and hardware specs of devices - easy deployment
  • Reach - global markets
  • Development Tools
  • Platform performance - ease of use for the end user and application performance on the platform
  • App Analytics - stats and application feature usage
  • App notifications - increase app relevance through timely notifications, maintaining user loyalty through notifications
  • Monetization - in app purchases, in app advertising, ease of payments

If you are an app developer, we would like to hear your views on what makes the Windows Phone platform attractive and what doesn't.


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