Microsoft talks Windows Phone 7 developer outreach, Twitter for WP7 demoed

Ina Fried from CNET has been an “embedded” reporter deep inside the Microsoft bunker for the last 6 months, and has filed this report on Microsoft’s efforts to get developers on board their new platform.

Ina notes for the handful of “must-have” apps Microsoft has been pulling out all stops, offering technical and marketing help, guaranteeing prime real estate in Microsoft’s online store, and dangling other financial incentives including–according to sources–significant cash payments for the most coveted applications and sales guarantees for a number of others.

Several hundred other applications have been promised to be placed front and centre in the "showcase," in marketplace.

Ina notes, as has been rumoured recently, the big emphasis has been on games. Other kind of headline apps have however not been left out, with a native Facebook app for example still to be unveiled.

Of interest is that there will finally be an official twitter app for Windows Phone 7 (there is no official app for Windows Mobile). Sean Cook, Twitter’s manager of business development for mobile, says he "recognized this (Windows phone 7) was going to be a viable contender, and we really wanted to be there at Day 1."

Unfortunately Pandora was not as easy to convince, and will not appear in the launch line-up, despite being heavily wooed by Microsoft executives.

Another music streaming app, Soundtrackr, will however be. Its CEO notes :

"As a small start-up I have the opportunity to work directly with Microsoft," unlike on the iPhone, where the app is also present, and developers  have to just cross their fingers and hope their application is approved.

Also quite marked in the article was the neglect Windows Mobile suffered, which in part explains the complaints about resources we regularly heard from that department despite being part of the huge software company.

Ina reports that Charlie Kindel was dismayed to learn that, for the prior version of Windows Mobile, Microsoft had just three or four developers responsible for the software development kit needed to write applications. This contrasts with the 300-400 people Kindel immediately devoted to the task in Windows Phone 7.

Hopefully the 100 fold increased resources will result in a corresponding increase in market share, but one is left to wonder what could have been if Microsoft had placed more resources behind Windows Mobile in the first decade of the century, rather than waiting for the second.

Read much more at CNET here.

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