apps-cashIs this really enough to entice developers to consider Microsoft?

Looking to jumpstart its Windows 8 app ecosystem for the desktop, tablet and smartphone markets, Microsoft has kicked off a new program in which it will pay $100 (in a virtual Visa card) for each app developers build between now and June 30th. As part of the new marketing effort, developers can build up to 10 apps each for the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store — meaning they could pull down $2,000 if they create a total of 20 apps for both stores.

If interested, you better get coding. The offer is good for only to the first 10,000 “qualified applications” in the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store.

The Verge asks the key question of whether the promotion will actually generate quality apps?

windowsphone8At $100 per app, it’s hard to imagine that’s what Microsoft is going for here. Microsoft laid claim to more than 150,000 apps in its Windows Phone Store as of last December, but some critical apps were still missing from the likes of Google, Instagram and Square at that time. Also, the number of apps pales in comparison to Apple’s iOS and Android, both of which have more than 700,000.

Paying for apps is a risky strategy, and The Verge points out that former Microsoft Windows Phone Manager Charlie Kindel last year wrote a blog post explaining why he thought it was a bad idea.

“Paying developers to target your platform is a sign of desperation. Doing so means developers have no skin in the game. A platform where developers do not have skin in the game is artificially propped up and will not succeed in the long run,” he wrote.

Perhaps Microsoft has hit that desperation point. After all, its smartphone market share is hovering in single digits at just 3.1 percent. That’s even behind BlackBerry, which guarantees BlackBerry 10 app makers will earn $10,000 in their first year on the platform (or they will get a check in that amount).

Previously on GeekWireTwitter for Windows 8: Microsoft really needed this

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  • bizdevguy

    $100 can’t even enter into the decision process for a halfway decent dev. This is just a complete non-starter — won’t move the needle at all — except on dev community perceptions of the value of developing for W8/Phone.


  • Paul Schmidt

    At first I thought there was a typo, dropping “per hour”. Facepalm.

  • Tosh Meston

    I’m thinking about bringing one of my iOS apps to Windows Phone anyhow, so this will cover the developer program fee. Awesome.

  • @CascadeRam

    The $100 offer seems like a marketing gimmick, not a serious attempt to get good apps. Any developer who has a successful iOS or Android app isn’t going to make a decision based on whether Microsoft gives them $100 or not.

    The marketing gimmick (if that was the true intention) will get WP8 and Windows 8 some press coverage, but I suspect that it is also going to reinforce some negative stereotypes about the WIndows store

  • guest

    Not enough to likely entice anyone new to come over. Certainly not anyone likely to make a great app. This sounds like a scorecard stunt by someone in the WP group. They’ll pay out the money to devs who by and large were going to submit apps anyway. Then they’ll credit this program with those numbers and claim “success” on their year end review. Even if the effort was successful and resulted in a flood of craptastic new applets, would that really help the platform much? We have 200K mostly crappy apps to Android and iOS’s 700K? I’d argue that a dozen innovative, and compelling must have apps that were exclusive to the platform would pay far higher dividends.

  • ms dev

    Why it’s for USA only?((

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