Mobile app devs optimistic about Windows Phone 7

Posted by Trent Nouveau

It seems as if enthusiasm for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform is finally picking up steam amongst mobile app developers. To be sure, Flurry Analytics tracked an impressive 66% increase in WP7 projects during the week leading up to the momentous agreement between Redmond and the Finnish-based Nokia.

"It is interesting to note the similarity in relative growth of Android and Windows Phone 7 project starts," said Flurry analyst Peter Farago.

"[Because] when Flurry [we] launched [our] support for Android in October 2008, there was doubt in the industry around the viability of [the OS] as a development platform."

According to Farago, the initial sentiment towards Android was that the OS would definitely capture market share as a mobile operating system, but not necessarily as an application development platform or an ecosystem where developers could thrive.

"180,000 apps later, Android answered its critics. Likewise, prior to [Friday's] announcement, many questioned the viability of Windows Phone 7 as an operating system that developers would support," he explained.

"Moreover, there was doubt that Microsoft as a company could muster enough momentum to gain relevance at this stage the mobile platform race. [But] this week's spike in WP7 activity shows that developers not only believe Nokia has given Microsoft WP7 a shot in the arm, but also that Nokia and MS together can build a viable ecosystem."

Mobile app devs optimistic about Windows Phone 7However, Farago emphasized that one should also remember the "relative drop off" in BlackBerry's project starts over the same initial period. 

"It appears that developers voted down BlackBerry as a viable third contender to Apple and Google in in the first five weeks of Flurry’s support. Months later, the market proved these developers right.

"Yet, despite the rising development cost to build for multiple platforms, developers continue to demonstrate their willingness to support a multi-platform world, where they believe real business opportunity exists. With spiking support for Nokia and Microsoft, developers are showing us they believe," he added.