What Windows Phone 8 means to developers?

Microsoft introduced the latest mobile operating system Windows Phone 8 with new features including Kid’s Corner, Live Apps, Rooms, Data Sense and new Skype this week. And Windows Phone Store also reached 120,000 apps.  At the same time, Google highlighted Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 with shocking prices,  but I think Microsoft still have a good chance in the mobile computing world. Below is the reasons:

1. The benefits of being ‘first to market’

The benefits of being ‘first to market’ in the Windows Phone Store are reasonable for developers, especially for new developers. Because there are more than 700,000 apps in both Apple App Store and Google Play. In the App Store and Google Play, many famous developers or big companies have dominated the market so there are little opportunities for new comers. As a new market for developers, there are more opportunities in Windows Phone 8 and it’s easier to increase the fame there. Your applications can stand out of thousands of applications with  less promotion resources in the Windows Phone 8 platform.

2. The support from Windows 8

Windows Phone 8 now shares a common core with that of its big brother – Windows 8. Microsoft has Windows 8 for PCs and X86-tablets, Windows RT for ARM-Tablets and Windows Phone 8 for smartphones. All platforms are using C or C++ so the developers can reuse the code and be easier and quicker to release the same application on different devices and platforms. Developers can now build native Windows Phone 8 apps in C++ and use common APIs that work across phones, tablets and desktops. This means users will get a version of Internet Explorer 10 that’s close to the desktop version, Windows security features like encryption and SmartScreen, and the media platform in Windows. It also means Windows Phone 8 is likely to work well with other parts of the Windows eco-system. Meanwhile, to help get developers, Microsoft will offer discounts on Dev Center accounts. The regular $99 fee will be discounted to $8 in the near future.

3. The support from Xbox

For Microsoft’s ecosystem,  Xbox will be a good support for Windows Phone 8 and it will strengthen the Windows Phone Store. Games make PC be more powerful than Mac for many years. Now, Windows Phone platform still falls behind iOS and Android. However, Microsoft has the experience about growing to a home game console giant as its late coming product Xbox when it is facing two giants like Nintendo and Sony. I think Microsoft still have chances to repeat such experiences with its long-time dominating Windows system and technologies. Xbox can bring more opportunities to the developers. Gameloft, one of the biggest mobile game publishers for iOS and Android, has announced 12 titles for Windows Phone 8. The games are available on other platforms already, but this time Gameloft also introduces its high-profile game Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour from Call of Duty series. The full list of titles is Ice Age Village, N.O.V.A. 3: Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance, Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, Shark Dash, Asphalt 7: Heat, The Dark Knight Rises, UNOTM & Friends, Order & Chaos Online, The Amazing Spider-Man, Fashion Icon, Poker for Prizes, Real Soccer 2013.

4. More investment from manufacturers

Fourth, mobile manufacturers also invest more in the latest Windows Phone 8. HTC, Nokia, Samsung also bring new WP8 devices like Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 822, HTC Windows Phone 8X, HTC Windows Phone 8S and Samsung Ativ S. When more WP8 devices are used by consumers, the more revenue can be brought to developers.

Also, Windows Phone 8 is facing some problems like compromise problem between Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 and Windows Surface for RT and market share growing problem. But with Microsoft’s experience to grow up as a late comer, I still think developers have a good chance in Windows Phone 8.


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