It's almost Easter, so perfect time for the good old chicken or the egg analogy.
Microsoft needs more apps for Windows Phone to attract more users, according to common wisdom. But developers want to see more Windows Phone users before they commit to supporting the platform. So which comes first: The user base or the developer commitment?
Some believe it's a no-win situation for the Softies, but not for lack of trying.
Can Microsoft change the app conversation with techniques like these? If you go simply by numbers, Microsoft has a long, long way to go, with its 80,000 Windows Phone apps, to catch Apple, with its 600,000 iPhone apps and Android phone makers with their 400,000 apps.
Would more apps that are exclusive to Windows Phone do the trick? Is there a Halo equivalent for Windows Phone? Maybe Skype could have come close, but Microsoft already has decided to do Skype for iPhone and Android. (The Windows Phone version of Skype is still in beta at this point.)
That said, some of the Windows Phone marketing team seems to believe that exclusive apps and brand promotions for particular audiences may help its case, as this slide from a December 2011 Windows Phone marketing deck makes clear:
Former Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Hal Berenson asked a provocative question this week in a new blog post. Berenson wondered whether Microsoft is focused on the "right" apps for Windows Phone. Shouldn't Microsoft be courting Starbucks, Great Cuts, United Airlines and more household names rather than some new hot startup app maker, Berenson asks.