Nokia and Microsoft Try to Woo New York Developers to Windows Phone 7
[A previous version of this story inferred that Fresh Digital Group developed the TVPyx app. Viafo created the app.]
It is no secret that Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems dominate the smartphone realm. But Microsoft and phone maker Nokia are marching in lockstep together in a bid to disrupt the near duopoly of the market. At a Mobile Monday New York event this week, Nokia and Microsoft gathered local developers to encourage them to create apps for the Windows Phone 7 platform. That is a hard pitch to make in the current mobile market that has already seen Research In Motion’s BlackBerry devices eclipsed by the iPhone and Android-based smartphones.
Though Nokia’s forthcoming Lumia 900, which is powered by Windows Phone 7, was named best smartphone at CES in January, it’s taking a bit of handholding to get developers on board with the platform. At the moment, there are more than 60,000 apps available for Windows Phone 7 users compared with more than 500,000 iPhone apps. With a huge amount of catching up to do, Microsoft and Nokia are campaigning like dark horse political candidates to the developer community.
At the event, Danilo Diaz, Microsoft’s developer evangelist for the Northeast, talked up the differences that Windows Phone 7′s tile-based interface offers compared with iOS and Android. For example, the Windows Phone 7 weather app displays a radar image of current weather conditions rather than the generic icons found on many other smartphones. Diaz pitched such reactive features as one reason for app makers to work with the WP7 platform. “This is the time for developers to get in early on the game,” he said.
Nokia’s representatives at the event said their company wanted to remake itself in the eyes of developers and U.S. consumers alike. To that end, Nokia offered its phones and unspecified funding to help developers build Windows Phone 7 apps.
A handful of developers from the greater New York tech community also took the stage to demo apps they already created for Windows Phone 7. Douglas Hwang, product manager for Amazon-owned audiobook provider Audible, showed … Next Page »