Angry Birds Space skipping Windows Phone: Maybe Windows 8 instead?

Angry Birds Space will not be coming to Windows Phone, but perhaps Windows 8 down the line.

Update: Microsoft and Nokia got a big blow from Rovio, maker of the wildly popular Angry Birds series. The latest installment in the Angry Birds franchise, Angry Birds Space, just launched on most mobile platforms. Conspicuously missing from the list of platforms was Windows Phone, and Rovio said it has no intention to do so.

This move by Rovio is surprising, as the original Angry Birds game is the number one app on Windows Phone. That's not good enough from a business standpoint according to Rovio.

If you look at activations, Apple's iOS and Android are clearly bigger than any other platform," Peter Vesterbacka, chief marketing officer of the game's maker, Rovio Entertainment Oy said. "We want to be on all screens, but we have to consider the cost of supplying the smaller platforms. With Windows Phone it's a lot of work to technically support it.

The decision to skip Windows Phone may have another strategy behind it that we start seeing from other app developers. Rather than building apps for Windows Phone with its tiny installed user base, developers may be concentrating on Windows 8 Metro apps instead.

Metro apps for Windows 8 have more in common with mobile platforms than previous versions of Windows. It will power everything from desktops to tablets, and Metro apps have a lot in common with mobile apps on Windows Phone. While some Metro app code can also be used on Windows Phone apps, developers may be choosing to go for the full Windows platform first, with possible phone versions later.

Windows 8 is a radical departure for Microsoft, but there is little doubt it will have a big installed base beginning at launch expected in October of this year. This makes it a better alternative for app developers, even those concentrating on mobile apps. Going after a piece of a big user base is better than an iffy proposition with a Windows Phone app.

Microsoft may have inadvertently created an environment with Windows 8 Metro that competes directly with Windows Phone in the app development space.

Update: In a surprising move the CEO of Rovio today told Reuters that it will indeed bring Angry Birds Space to the Windows Phone platform. No date was given. Sounds like Rovio needs to get its story straight.

"We are working towards getting Angry Birds Space to WP7," Rovio Chief Executive Mikael Hed.