Is Microsoft crazy to offer $100,000 for Windows Phone 8 apps?


Windows Phone 8

The short answer: no.

The longer answer is that they have to do something. When Microsoft first made the jump into the smartphone arena with their Windows Phone 7 operating system, it’s likely that they knew they had a tough road to climb and that they would be the third option for most phone buyers, at least in the beginning. They probably weren’t prepared to be such a distant third with iOS and Android phones taking more than the lion’s share of the pot.

Windows Phone 8 hasn’t been as well received as they had hoped, either. They’ve been paying developers directly to produce apps for them – $100 per app with a $2000 cap – but it hasn’t been enough to move the needle significantly. They had to get aggressive. According to Business Insider:

Word is that Microsoft is offering some developers way more than that, as much $100,000 to bring their apps to Windows Phone 8. This tidbit was first reported by Bloomberg’s Ashlee Vance, but its been confirmed by two sources contacted by Business Insider.

Some would say it’s a desperate move. Others will see that they should have been this aggressive for a long time, now. Developers want their products to be seen and used. Right now, Apple and Google have their attention because they have the consumers’ attention. For Microsoft to make a significant dent, they need to do more than simple comparison and challenges. They need buzz. They need hype. They need developers that are putting their sexiest products on the market through the Windows Phone 8 marketplace before they take it to Android or iOS.

We’ll see if this pans out to get them anywhere close to the numbers that Google and Apple are putting out. If it doesn’t, Microsoft should start talking to BlackBerry sooner rather than later.

  1. Maybe if they want people to develop apps on their mobile platform, they should make the SDK usable on windows 7 instead of exclusively on windows 8.

  2. I completely agree with zig. I am looking into setting up a windows 8 vm on my windows 7 machine just so I can begin development. I’m sure they have their reasons as the platforms are radically different, but it would have been nice.

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