Survey: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 a distant third in developer interest

Survey: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 a distant third in developer interest

Summary: Amid "plateauing" interest in Android among mobile developers, as detailed in the latest quarterly survey by Appcelerator and IDC is some mixed news for Windows Phone.

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Amid "plateauing" interest in Android among mobile developers, as detailed in the latest quarterly survey by Appcelerator and IDC is some mixed news for Windows Phone.

Among the 2,700-plus developers using the Appcelerator Titanium cross-platform development environment surveyed by the research outfits in mid-April, Microsoft is now considered the distant third horse in the mobile race, trailing Apple and Android, but edging out RIM.

(click on image to enlarge)

Microsoft fell seven points since the last survey, with 29 percent of the developers surveyed saying they are "very interested" in Windows Phone 7. But Blackberry phones dropped eleven points, to 27 percent, in terms of high developer interest during the same period. (Windows 7 tablets don't even merit a mention in slide above.)

In spite of the potential upside of Microsoft's partnership with Nokia, Microsoft's phone platform still faces some major perception barriers with developers, according to the survey results. (click on image to enlarge)

Microsoft "faces a long road ahead and will be challenged by both market share issues and a time-starved developer base," the Appcelerator-IDC researchers found. "At this point, developers simply have their hands full with getting mobile projects out on the top two platforms."

(click on image to enlarge)

The full 17-page Appcelerator survey is downloadable from the Appcelerator site. As a few readers have noted, Appcelerator's tools do work on Windows PCs, but don't seem to support Windows Phone on the mobile side. However, because Microsoft is recruiting heavily among Android and Apple developers for its phone platform, I still consider the survey results worth writing about.

Update: An interesting Nokia-related aside: Nokia currently looks to be one of the most active contributors to the Android code base.

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft, Software Development, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • RE: Survey: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 a distant third in developer interest

    You should mention that this is a special class of developers using a specific cross platform tool. Microsoft also has a very large army of .NET developers targeting WP7 and they, as evidenced by the rapidly expanding marketplace, seem happy.
    Skippy99
    • You'll soon see Windows Phone 7 interest plummet

      @Skippy99 - No, developers are not happy.

      Windows Phone 7 handsets are not selling. Over the life of a Windows Phone 7 app, most devs won't make enough money to buy a single dinner. They're starving.

      Developers initially showed interest in WP7 because of all the Microsoft hype. Now the reality is setting in, that the Windows Phone platform is not working.
      Vbitrate
      • RE: Survey: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 a distant third in developer interest

        @zndac

        And you know that, because...? I am a developer of WP7, I have different story.
        jk_10
      • Message has been deleted.

        Will Farrell
      • Message has been deleted.

        Will Farrell
      • RE: Survey: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 a distant third in developer interest

        @JK_10...

        I agree, the prediction that zndac seems short on detail, we really don't know what the Windows Phone 7 numbers are "in the wild". I'm curious for some more detail on your take though, as regards "your different story".

        Are you finding it easy to make money on Windows Phone 7 Apps (When I say easy, I'm assuming quality apps, not the bazillion odd flatulence apps available on other platforms). To wit: If you are a good programmer, is there a lot of money to be made *today* developing for Windows Phone 7, in your experience?

        Kindest Regards,

        Hans
        Looks Confused
      • RE: Survey: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 a distant third in developer interest

        @zndac

        I think you seriously missunderstand .net developers. Every single one of them became a wp7 developer that can churn apps in a fraction of the time it takes to do in iOS and android because of the better tools and because it is all buit in the familiar .net framework. So they are happy. What's holding back the platform is bad marketing and lack of the api's that mango will bring, such as sockets.

        yet android and iOS are simply mature OSs which will not really do any ground breaking work any longer and are in a state similar to windows and mac OSX. They evolved all they can and can do no more other than wait for hardware to catch up.

        You also missundersand iOS and android developers. Most are startving anyways because it is nearly impossible to compete against all the cheap shops in india cranking out apps. So if you want to make money, the platform is secondary to luck and a good idea. In fact, WP7 is probably more profitable to starting developers because if you have a good app, you're in it early and can build your user base and rating as well as word of mouth before the flood of developers drown whatever good apps are out there in a sea of trash...like the IOS android markets.
        neonspark
      • RE: Survey: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 a distant third in developer interest

        @zndac

        Now that MS is involved the phone wars have just begun.
        Rob.sharp
      • RE: Survey: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 a distant third in developer interest

        The only appeal that Win 7 phone apps have for developers is that they would not have many users to support.
        john_gillespie@...
      • RE: Survey: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 a distant third in developer interest

        @john_gillespie. I am typing this from my MacBook Pro, with MonoTouch and XCode open beneath building a pretty substantial app.

        To say that Apple's environment is FAR more (and unnecessarily) complex than Windows' is a major understatement.

        Having written apps for UNIX, DOS, Windows (Win16, Win32, .NET), Windows Mobile (C++/Win32), Windows Phone (C#/Windows Phone OS), iPad/iPhone (C#/MonoTouch and C++/XCode), I can guarantee you that NOTHING comes close to being as productive and well supported as writing .NET code for Windows or Windows Phone. Period.

        The Windows Phone market is currently in its infancy (heck, it's only been available for 6 months), but within a couple of years, what it'll evolve into will be a major force spanning phone, tablet, PC and server. I can't wait so I can stop fighting with Apple's schizophrenic API's.
        bitcrazed
      • RE: Survey: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 a distant third in developer interest

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        Karston1234
    • RE: Survey: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 a distant third in developer interest

      @Skippy99
      All the platforms have their sdks, ides, and experienced developers.

      If I were to challenge the interpretation of these results, it would be regarding a question that is begged, that developer interest correlates to platform uptake.

      Besides a mobile app of any serious utility relies on the network in a significant way, and the protocols and consumption memes are cross-platform. To put it more succinctly and without buzzwords, your tablet doesn't (and shouldn't) care if the server is running Windows, Linux, or BSD. This leads very naturally to a clear division of concerns in the apps, which promotes portability. Indeed, the NetBSD people always said by having a diversified target of processors, the code gets better.

      Also, how many developers creating how many apps makes a platform viable? The more killer apps, the fewer developers. There's also something intriguing about the way mobile apps are an order of magnitude cheaper than desktop apps pre-2008. A developer needs an order of magnitude higher volume to get the same revenue. This would lead to development first for well-populated platforms and then porting if success allows.

      That said, a fair amount of folks did well targeting the Apple desktop platform, despite being no better than 5-7% of the desktop population. If you figure out what people want and need and the way they prefer to do it, you can make a living.

      Now, that update note regarding Nokia: that's interesting and I wonder if the Deal will affect that.
      DannyO_0x98
    • iOS has about 700 000 developers with Apple's SDK, so MS' own SDK does not

      @Skippy99: ... mean much.
      DDERSSS
    • RE: Survey: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 a distant third in developer interest

      @Hans I am not supposed to share specifics. There are big differences between each one. I feel it is very inline or better with/than other platforms at the same stage. The future of WP7 is much brighter than Android or IPhone, IMHO. I wouldn't surprised if Wp7 take #1 in market share next year. Well, if you believe in analysts, don't trust me.
      jk_10
      • @jk_10

        "IMHO. I wouldn't surprised if Wp7 take #1 in market share next year."

        There are a lot of dilutional fanboys in this forum, but with that comment you might have made the top of the list.
        anono
      • Upside potential

        @jk_10 When you're in the gutter, there's nowhere to go but up. Here, have a look at some facebook usage stats: http://j.mp/gl6Fom

        WP7 is down to 0.7% on row 117. That's not setting the world on fire.
        symbolset
      • RE: Survey: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 a distant third in developer interest

        @jk_10 WP7 almost certainly won't be #1 in a year, but Microsoft has a real shot within 2-3 years. Those who always show up here arguing that WP7 has no chance generally seem to have little experience with the platform. People who actually use WP7 tend to be happy with it, and developers tend to agree that it's easy to create apps for.
        ParrotHead_FL
    • RE: Survey: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 a distant third in developer interest

      @Skippy99

      Yep never heard of this so-called cross-platform environment. Why would anyone use inferior tools to develop for WP7? We used the XNA framework for our WP7 game and others are using Silverlight.

      This sounds just like another self-promotion gimmik. Next time Mary, perhaps we could see a survey from actual WP7 developers ;-)
      tonymcs@...
  • The survey seems almost meaningless

    I'd be surprised if the survey covers as much 1 - 5% of WP7 developers - using the Appcelerator product. (I've never hear of the product before.) Why do bloggers ignore the accelerating developer sign up rate for the WP7 AppHub, and the accelerating rate of apps entering the market, etc.; and instead look at some obscure statistics about non-typical WP7 developers, which has negligible impact on the overall marketplace? This kind of coverage by bloggers is getting so old.
    P. Douglas
    • RE: Survey: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 a distant third in developer interest

      @P. Douglas

      Douglas, because they are iNaive. It really is getting old... And there is a huge double standard.
      They will see when in a few years, Microsoft will own this market.
      mikroland