Microsoft Woos Developers In An Attempt To Catch Apple & Google

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News Posted: Wed, Jul 14 2010 10:11 PM

It's no secret that Microsoft's Marketplace is struggling in comparison to Apple's App Store or Google's Android Market. If you browse through these three online application stores, you'll see that Apple and Google have many more applications to offer compared to Microsoft. In fact, Apple has about 225,000 apps and Google has 65,000 in their respective app stores. To make matters worse for Microsoft, because the software giant is completely overhauling its mobile OS, programs developed for previous generations of the software won't work on Windows Phone 7. In other words, Microsoft is starting from scratch.

Microsoft is working hard on its upcoming mobile OS known as Windows Phone 7, and the company knows it needs to offer a respectable app store to go along with the highly touted OS. To achieve this, Microsoft is using a few different tactics to ensure its app store will be filled with apps that are enticing and appealing to users. To that end, Microsoft is reportedly offering free test hardware to certain developers to help them ensure their software will run on the new OS. In addition, Todd Brix, a senior director at Microsoft who works with app developers said the company is providing financial incentives ranging from free tools and test handsets to funds for software development and marketing. In some cases, Microsoft is even providing revenue guarantees and will make up the difference if apps don’t meet their sales goals in the Marketplace.

“We are investing a lot to attract developers big and small to Windows Phone 7 to let them understand what the opportunity is and provide as many resources as we can to help them be successful on our platform,” Brix said. “We’re open for business and we want to work with them.”

Really, there's nothing wrong with Microsoft using a number of tactics in an attempt to gain support for its ecosystem. Microsoft certainly has the money, and given the fact that the company desperately needs to catch up to its competition, it makes sense that Microsoft would want to use any and every avenue it can to ensure a successful launch.

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acarzt replied on Thu, Jul 15 2010 5:23 AM

lol... I didn't even know microsoft HAD an app store... that's pretty sad lol

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3vi1 replied on Thu, Jul 15 2010 7:57 AM

>> In some cases, Microsoft is even providing revenue guarantees and will make up the difference if apps don’t meet their sales goals in the Marketplace.

Microsoft uses this strategy a lot: Take a product that isn't the best and doesn't have market dominance, then throw billions of dollars into advertising and partner deals until the competition goes bankrupt. It's quite harmful to us as consumers, when companies can't compete on the technical merits of their solutions.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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Inspector replied on Thu, Jul 15 2010 2:12 PM

Ya... Microsoft had a app store? But hey free test hardware! It will be a fully operating one right? not just crap to test if it works...

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acarzt replied on Thu, Jul 15 2010 6:29 PM

All these incentives Microsoft is offering... Isn't this the same thing Intel got sued over?

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3vi1 replied on Thu, Jul 15 2010 7:21 PM

acarzt:

All these incentives Microsoft is offering... Isn't this the same thing Intel got sued over?

I don't think it's the same.

Intel was using their dominance in the chipset market to prevent competition in the CPU market (basically penalizing distributors that wanted to sell more that a token percentage of AMD chips). Microsoft's strategy doesn't directly harm vendors in that manner.

I don't think Microsoft's doing anything illegal, I just think that their strategy harms consumers in the long run.  They invest a ton of money taking over a market that someone else created, then take over.  Once they have dominance and the competition has asphyxiated, they quit investing money in development and that market stagnates.  It would be so much better for the consumer if Microsoft would spend their resources improving the markets they already own.

 

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When is the Zune going to be turned into a phone:P

I hope Microsoft makes Apple look like the Turtleneck putzes that they are:P

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acarzt replied on Fri, Jul 16 2010 12:31 AM

3vi1:

Intel was using their dominance in the chipset market to prevent competition in the CPU market (basically penalizing distributors that wanted to sell more that a token percentage of AMD chips). Microsoft's strategy doesn't directly harm vendors in that manner. 

Well that same situation can be worded 2 ways "If you sell AMD products, i'm going to charge you more per chip"

Or... "Hey, if you don't sell AMD products, i'll give you a discount ;-)"

Either way it's illegal to do such a thing. This practice was perfected by Rockefeller way back in the day... and made illegal because of the monopoly it created.

Microsoft isn't doing exactly the same thing, but it is potentially shady.

Also.. they've already tried and failed to take over other markets... The Zune... for example...

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acarzt replied on Fri, Jul 16 2010 12:34 AM

They already made their own phone tom lol It was called the Kin.. and no one wanted it... despite their vast efforts to promote the thing lol

And it's funny that they never put their name behind it... like they knew it was going to fail lol It's a hard to find fact that it was Microsofts little project lol

I think it was more of small scale experiment to see if they could actually enter the phone market with their own hardware lol Instead of going in full scale like they did with the Zune and risk damaging their brand image.

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Really who pay sattention to the Kin:P

They should have just merged the Zune with a phone and called it the Z-Phone :)

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acarzt replied on Sat, Jul 17 2010 5:17 PM

lol... well they have Zune software on the Kin, it had the zune music store as well lol

But like I said... and you proved... no one cared or wanted it lol

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3vi1 replied on Sat, Jul 17 2010 10:29 PM

Well.. they're rewarding developers for working on their platform (Nothing wrong with that), but they're not punishing them if they also develop for other platforms (which would be evil). So, I can't find them at fault, other than the long term effect of their billion-dollars monopoly leverage killing off viable/better alternatives and competition.

You make an excellent point about the Zune, and the same thing could be said of Bing: Markets where their OS lock-in doesn't give them an overwhelming advantage (i.e. markets where they have to compete on the merits of the product) have not been kind to Microsoft, even with their marketing muscle.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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