WP7 still looking for “developers, developers, developers!”

App Workshop at University of Arizona

Ballmer’s famous meme of “developers, developers, developers” still rings true with Windows Phone 7, because it may be Microsoft’s only way to make WP7 successful.

When WP7 was first released, Microsoft actually paid companies like Foursquare to develop their apps for WP7. Microsoft also offered developers free Windows Phones if they brought their app to the WP7 platform.

These efforts may seem petty, but bribes might be what Windows Phone needs. When you have a new platform like WP7, the platform starts with zero apps. In our app-centric culture, apps are one of the most important things about owning a smartphone. Users are reluctant to switch to a different smartphone if it doesn’t have all the apps they have grown to love and need.

Without users switching to WP7, developers don’t see the platform as a profitable field. Since no apps are developed, no users switch over. Thus, a never ending cycle.

This is where Microsoft steps in. Microsoft creates the incentive for the developers, which then in turn brings more users to the platform, and finally creates a successful app ecosystem.

Showing us how easy it is to create a lyrics app

Microsoft is clearly invested in this idea, since they still are working on ways to persuade developers into joining the Metro side. Microsoft has been hosting Windows Phone Developer Camps at various locations across the United States, teaching new and current developers about the Windows Phone platform.

They have also hosted app designing contests, where contestents are challenged to create the best app, and the winners recieve Windows Phones and other prizes. I went to a Windows Phone App Development Workshop at my university yesterday where they gave out ten free Focus Flash devices to our audience of about 30. It was like they were handing out free candy, but this candy was $400!

With these continued efforts of attracting in the developers, Windows Phone seems destined to become a success. Once the developers come, users will come.

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