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?
At $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 GeekWire: Twitter for Windows 8: Microsoft really needed this