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Microsoft pays direct for Windows Phone ports of key apps

updated 10:15 am EDT, Fri April 6, 2012

Windows Phone app subsidies now more direct

Microsoft's financial support of Windows Phone ports of iOS and Android apps is more direct than once thought, an investigation uncovered late Thursday. While the full extent of the catalog isn't known, the New York Times found that Microsoft paid outright to cover development of Foursquare's Windows Phone app and did the same for a third-party making a dedicated Facebook app on the social network's behalf. Rovio's sudden reversal on Angry Birds Space has raised suspicions that Microsoft, after learning Rovio wouldn't voluntarily port to Windows Phone, quickly offered cash.

Microsoft was recently reported as having passed 82,000 apps published in the Windows Phone Marketplace and has seen development demand accelerate. However, it faces the same problem that Google has with Android, where a disproportionately significant amount of apps are spam, fake, or clone apps. It recently had to tighten app submission limits after numerous developers flooded the Marketplace.

AT&T is playing its own part. The Nokia Lumia 900 launch will see it train staff on apps to provide equivalents if a customer complains that the apps they want don't exist on Windows Phones.

The initiatives still underscore Microsoft's urgent determination to remain relevant in the smartphone space. Windows Phone and Windows Mobile combined are continuing to shrink, in part as many buyers don't see the apps they want. If Windows Phone doesn't thrive, the company risks watching itself being eclipsed as Android and iOS become larger computing platforms than the Windows PC.

by MacNN Staff



  1. macnnoel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Is it really surprising?

    What else MS gonna do?

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969



    We will call this w**** phone or payola phone. Much better ring than windows phone.

  1. noibs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What's that song?

    Wait. Listen. What's that song playing on the Windows phone?

    It's the fat lady singing.

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    They have to, total rewrite

    WP7 does not support C/C++ so you have to rewrite everything in .NET which is why MSFT has to "pay" people to port. The fact that their marketshare is so low does not help either.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    payola, whatever you want to call it. it's buying their way in. cult of softies will call it "competing".

  1. dpicardi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If you are going to spend $100s

    of millions in advertising to launch a new phone, you'd be stupid not to spend Ms of $ to ensure it has a decent ecosystem.

    This really isn't very news-worthy or surprising.

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