Microsoft is determined to make Windows Phone a bigger part of the mobile space, so much so that it’s willing to pay developers to create apps for its platform, according to the New York Times.
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Many developers don’t write apps for Windows Phone because they don’t want to spend time and money on a market that hasn’t really developed. Among its incentives, Microsoft is promising free phones, high placement in its app store and Windows Phone advertising for those that do.
The company’s already paid third-party developers to write versions of popular apps for for Foursquare, Facebook and Cheezberger Network. Ben Huh, Cheezberger’s CEO, told the Times that Microsoft “made it very easy for us. They took care of everything,” during development of its Windows Phone app.
Windows Phone currently has more than 70,000 apps in its app store, but Apple has about 600,000 and Android nearly 400,000. Numerous popular apps are missing from Windows Phone including Pandora, Instagram (just bought by Facebook) and games by Zynga.
Some developers may find that Microsoft will pay a significant amount for competing apps. An article in ZDnet revealed that Microsoft may create a mechanism to protect the investment of brand-name companies like Pandora if they create apps.