Robert Scoble signs copies of his book, Age of Context, at an event Tuesday evening in Seattle.
Robert Scoble signs copies of his book, Age of Context, at an event Tuesday evening in Seattle.

You probably know tech pundit Robert Scoble from his experiences as an early adopter of Google Glass. But long before he showered with the high-tech specs, the 49-year-old spent three years as Microsoft’s technology evangelist for Windows.

It’s been nearly a decade since he’s worked in Redmond, but Scoble has some simple business advice for his former employer: Ditch Windows Phone.

“That train has sailed,” said Scoble, who’s now at Rackspace as its Startup Liason Officer. “The real answer is, give up Windows Phone, go Android, and embrace and extend like you did with the Internet. But they don’t listen to me.”

We caught up with Scoble after his talk at a WTIA event on Tuesday afternoon in Seattle, where he was promoting Age of Context, his latest book with co-author Shel Israel.

Scoble, who was well known for the blog he maintained while working at Microsoft, talked about Microsoft’s reputation in the mobile space and why San Francisco is the “center of the world.” Read on for edited excerpts from our chat:

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

GeekWire: OK, you worked at Microsoft for three years starting in 2003. What are your thoughts on where the company is today, especially as it goes through some big changes?

Robert Scoble: “The problem with Microsoft is that it’s so committee-driven and slow. It’s not a startup anymore. It’s a big-ass company with a lot of people. And let’s be honest — you work at a big company because it’s comfortable. You don’t have to work 80 hours per week and you get paid, have nice benefits, and the family is all happy. It’s collected a lot of those kinds of people and they are all in committees. Committees don’t do anything. I don’t know if Satya will change that. He’s trying. He did a hackathon today, that seems cool.”

GW: But it sounds like you’re not confident about Microsoft’s future, particularly against companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon.

Scoble: “The problem is that Microsoft has 4 percent market share for mobile. The reason for that is that they have no apps, and there’s no love for developers of apps. When you go to hackathons in San Francisco — and not Seattle, because San Francisco is the center of the world, not Seattle. Sorry, that’s the way it is.

GW: Wait — I want to hear why you think San Francisco is the center of the world.

Scoble: San Francisco is the "center of the universe." Photo via Flickr user mdalmuld.
Scoble: San Francisco is the “center of the world.” Photo via Flickr user mdalmuld.

Scoble: Because it’s the center of the fucking world. You see 6,000 times more tech companies in San Francisco than you see in Seattle. All the money is in San Francisco when you look at the venture fund maps. The PR is in San Francisco. The centricity of the industry is in San Francisco.

So when you go to a San Francisco hackathon, you go to a Tel Aviv hackathon, you go to a Shanghai hackathon, you do not see Windows Phones. That’s the problem. You have lost the mobile war. That means you are screwed as a company that makes me think you have a future.

Now, Satya did something very smart. He made a deal with Apple. His team sat down with Apple, and said, ‘We are going to make a deal. You get rid of Google on that little iPhone thing, and we’ll put in Office.’ Brilliant. Now, at least Microsoft has a finger in the cool iPhone. Maybe they can build off that. That’s where I would be building off of.

But Windows Phone? I don’t know how you get developers excited by that. I don’t understand how you get influencers excited by that. We have decided our phones; we’re not going to switch just because Microsoft says to switch. Is Microsoft going to get Brazil? I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. Well, it does to someone, but it doesn’t matter to the narrative of this story. Because I’m sorry, if you don’t win in San Francisco, you don’t win in the tech industry.

Nokia Lumia 530.
Nokia Lumia 530.

GW: And that’s just going to be the way it is?

Scoble: That’s the way it is — until it switches to Beijing (laughs).

GW: I’m still interested in your Seattle vs. San Francisco comments. We’ve discussed the comparisons between the two startup hubs many times on GeekWire. What do you think about Seattle’s future as a startup city, especially if the Bay Area continues to be the “center of the world?”

Scoble: “Seattle is one of the tech hubs. It’s important to the world — it has Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing, Paccar, a lot of gaming companies, a lot of startups. I mean, look at the Zillow deal from this week — Seattle is very important to the world.

But it’s just not San Francisco. It’s never going to be. So, why even try to be San Francisco? Be Seattle. That’s the way to do it.

But if I was a Microsoft strategist, I would not be living in Seattle right now. I’d be living in San Francisco or Beijing or Tel Aviv or London or Berlin or New York City. I would get out of the bubble here. There is a culture here that is different than the rest of the world and it is a Microsoft company culture.”

GW: What exactly is a Microsoft company culture?

Scoble: “The minute I get off the plane, I see Windows Phones. I do not see Windows Phones anywhere in the world except Seattle. You got to get away from this culture where you don’t understand the market. You need to understand why the developers don’t like you. You got to hang out at a hackathon — not the Seattle hackathons where there are Windows Phones because it’s a Microsoft world. Go to some place else in the world where there’s a hackathon and convince them to get a Windows Phone. Then I’ll start saying different things about Microsoft.”

Comments

  • Bart C

    Oh GeekWire, get over the fact that Seattle is not San Francisco. It simply is not, and it will never be. And that’s just fine. Get over the underdog position please, these kind of discussions are getting really old.

  • Sarah Williamson Beddow

    I’m sure they will kill WIndows phone. Right after I get my new one. I think there is a msft culture in this town, but there is also a thriving startup culture. I don’t think we should strive to be SF – we should strive to beat them. I recruit for startups in both Seattle and SF and I love my Windows phone, but I’ve never even seen one in the bay area besides mine.

  • moely

    Robert Scoble is known to be a troll with adhd. No one takes him seriously. He should just give up trying to get attention.

    • http://scobleizer.com Scobleizer

      I should. Maybe you should tell that to the 640,000 people following me on Facebook, the 400,000 following me on Twitter, the seven million following me on Google+, the 26,000 following me on Instagram, or the 20,000 following me on LinkedIn.

      • http://www.philliphaydon.com Phillip Haydon

        7 million on Google+? Just checked, says 5.4 million. 7m is not even a close estimate.

        Just because people follow you, doesn’t mean that you’re worth listening to.

      • jonny_utah

        Cool story bro.

      • http://www.extendedresults.com/ Patrick Husting

        We all can buy fake followers for just $5 too. We chose not to.

        • http://scobleizer.com Scobleizer

          I have NEVER bought any followers.

      • JH

        Just because I follow you doesn’t mean that I like or agree with you ….

    • gerdo888

      Agreed. Followed him for a while, and didn’t get anything valuable out of it. Full of self-promoting BS.

  • http://www.extendedresults.com/ Patrick Husting

    Please don’t give Robert Scoble any print. He is all about “ME” and driving attention to him. He works for Rackspace, but you would never know it. I think he really works for Google with all the press he gives them. Not sure why he doesn’t work there.

    • http://scobleizer.com Scobleizer

      It’s very clear you don’t read a damn thing I write. http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble and I talk about Rackspace all the time. I’m also pretty down on Google lately.

      • http://www.extendedresults.com/ Patrick Husting

        Geekwire has better more relevant tech news than your trash. I don’t need to waste time reading your postings.

  • http://www.micahiverson.com/ Micah Iverson

    Let me get this straight, Microsoft should dump Windows Phone because it has low marketshare? “The problem is that Microsoft has 4 percent market share for mobile.” – Scoble

    So Robert Scoble, the person who’s sole job the past 5 years is to sit down and talk to startups – startups, most of which essentially have 0% marketshare and likely several competitors, thinks that Microsoft should give up because they only have 4% marketshare?

    Maybe all the startups you talk to should also give up? What is the point in even doing a startup, most of them fail anyways, right? What is the point in taking any kind of risk?

    Remember what percentage of marketshare Apple had when the iPhone launched? Zero
    Remember how many 3rd party apps Apple had when they launched? Zero
    Remember how small of marketshare Macs have now? Less than 10%
    Remember how small Facebook was compared to MySpace?
    Rememer how small of share Google had compared to Yahoo?
    The list goes on…

    Did these companies give up? Heck no, likely motivated to work even harder – in the end it paid off.

    As a startup evanglist who in my mind would want startups to be as successful and useful to ALL people – you of all people should be ENCOURAGING startups to build new apps and port existing apps over to Windows Phone (Which can also quite easily be ported over to Windows).

    Microsoft doesn’t need Windows Phone or even Windows to have marketshare to be successful since many of their most important apps and services work on almost all devices now. Their hardware is simply designed to showcase their ecosystem in a consistent experience and allow those of us to use one ecosystem across all of our devices. (Something I’d assume you think is a good thing as well).

    Apple and even Google to an extent requires you to buy their hardware, if you don’t buy their hardware their revenues drop like a rock. Google is in a better position than Apple though in this regard, Microsoft doesn’t need to care as much about hardware since their apps work on any device – any hardware profits for Microsoft are just icing on the cake.

    • Thomas R.

      You’re leaving out quite a few important numbers, 4% market share and how many billions spent on hardware and advertising? The “Kin” alone was $240 million. And how many years has Microsoft been at this to only get 4%? Any other startup would realized in the first year or two that hey this isn’t working and we need to pivot or shutdown.

      Also as someone who has actually developed for the windows app ecosystem, we abandoned updating our app simply because we didn’t make enough money to cover the cost of developing an app. We had to constantly deal with 0%-20% fill rates on ads. Just check any of the windows phone app or windows 8 app developer forums to see complaints about the fill rate.

      • http://www.micahiverson.com/ Micah Iverson

        Apple has been dumping money into Mac for 30 years and they still have less than 10% marketshare. Windows Phone has been in the market for 4 years – fighting entrenched competitors – it takes a while to grow. Overall the momentum for WP is increasing.

        Millions and even Billions of dollars isn’t really “That much” to Microsoft. Their Revenue was $23.38 billion last quarter alone.
        Even if MS has spent billions on WP – that’s even more reasoning into why WP shouldn’t be killed off – it’s just getting to the tipping point.
        I’ll take over your Windows app if you don’t want to do so anymore (Totally Serious).

        • http://scobleizer.com Scobleizer

          According to VCs and people in the world, including at major companies like eBay their position is actually not growing. I don’t know where you get your facts.

          • John Doe

            They will grow inevitably with low cost devices, at Android expenses. To enter in the mobile world it’s costly, but the short life cycle, less complexity and dependencies give users/companies a easier way to change between platforms, which is nothing comparable to the PC world. The difference in apps between platforms isn’t really, in my opinion, a defining decision factor, the real important apps already exist in all of them.

        • MG

          “Overall the momentum for WP is increasing.”

          No it’s not. It’s decreasing.

          • http://www.micahiverson.com/ Micah Iverson

            http://allaboutwindowsphone.com/flow/item/20006_Windows_Phone_adoption_nears_1.php
            They are selling more and more devices, they are growing in many countries their momentum is increasing.
            Look at iOS down 23% in 2 countries alone.
            Just look at all the backlash to the comments made by Scoble – clearly people are very passionate about Windows and Windows Phone.
            I’m not saying Microsoft is growing fast, catching up to the competition yet but you have to start someplace, and they are working their butts off to catch up as fast as they can.
            In 4 years they have been able to get on par feature wise as Apple and Google – in some ways they are ahead and others they are behind but overall all 3 ecosystems are on par with features. If the only excuse left is “App Selection” then I’d say Microsoft is in a pretty good position.
            Add in the fact that porting Windows Phone apps to Windows apps is getting easier and easier and vice versa is a huge advantage over the other two platforms.

        • joux

          “Apple has been dumping money into Mac for 30 years and they still have less than 10% marketshare”

          What is Apple’s marketshare in PCs costing more than $1000? I am pretty sure it’s a lot more than 10%.

          Most PCs sold are cheap plastic Windows laptops with awful user experience. Apple doesn’t compete in that space, thankfully.

          Besides, Apple’s Mac business is very much profitable. They probably make more money than other top five PC OEMs combined. That’s not “dumping money” into something, if it makes you billions per year.

          Microsoft’s WP business is several billions in the red and it will *never* recover. There just is no room for a third ecosystem, especially for a one which doesn’t do anything better than the competition, but rather lags behind in everything.

    • Mike

      Microsoft has been trying to get Wndows Phone marketshare for years, it;s not happening. In the real world (not the Microsoft sponsored industry report parallel universe) Windows Phone marketshare is dropping. That’s really bad in an expanding market.

      I only know 1 single Windows Phone user, and they can’t stand it. It’s time to move on.

  • Kappa

    main issue I have with this man’s point of view is his confusion over how trains and boats function. for a man who professes to be a technology evangelist he’s struggling to grasp basic concepts about technologies that are several centuries old. Trains don’t sail my friend, boats do

    • http://scobleizer.com Scobleizer

      This train is sailing over your head. :-)

  • Dmitry

    Surprised to see so much negativity about Scoble — sure he has opinions, he is a passionate geek. Those who worked with him would know Robert is not arrogant or selfish. He helped me with some Global 100 enterprise companies conversations and was brilliant.

  • NitzMan

    I partially agree with Scoble. Not about the part where Microsoft should dump Windows Phone of course, but getting out of Microsoft world. I think every Microsoft employee should use an iPhone as their primary phone for a year and then go back to using a Windows Phone. Microsoft needs to learn the meaning of the word “polish”. Aside from the lack of apps, Windows Phone isn’t the whole package yet.

    • Ben A

      errrm windows phone is polished. look at 8.1 idiot

      • NitzMan

        I have a Lumia 930 with 8.1. While it’s good, it’s not iPhone good as yet. I’m sure they’ll get there eventually. Obviously I support the platform, considering I just bought the phone. However, part of making it better is realizing the flaws.

        The tiny things like inertia scrolling that stops abruptly, which doesn’t look very natural.

        • Dave

          So if you think the iPhone is so good, why do you have a Lumia phone? There are more than 270,000 apps for Windows Phone. What is so lacking in apps that the Windows phone isn’t worthy?

          • NitzMan

            I didn’t mention anything about apps. If you read my other comment you’ll understand what I mean. I think Windows Phone is fantastic, but it needs a bit more polish to be considered the best. Example right now I have 4 unread emails, but the mail icon doesn’t show me that after leaving the app. As I said, it’s the small things that make the difference. Once Windows phone gets that down it will be the best.

          • Dave

            From your original post, to which I was replying:
            “Aside from the lack of apps, Windows Phone isn’t the whole package yet.”

          • NitzMan

            Oh geez there are tons of popular apps on other platforms that aren’t available on Windows phone. From Miniclip’s 8 ball pool, which I used daily to Digg Reader. There are a ton of ripoffs in the Windows phone store.

          • http://scobleizer.com Scobleizer

            Quality. Quantity. Love.

            Go to a hackathon that isn’t sponsored by Microsoft and you won’t see very many Windows Phones.

          • torch4x4

            WP is important, even if they go down to 1% share, they still working on “something”, I noticed some features coming first to WP then iOS or Android adopts those features easily and is the same case for the Fire Phone from amazon, jolla, etc. etc. they cannot die just because their low marketshare, we need them for some competition… 3 months ago I went to a trip and used a windows phone with 8.1 and cortana, itegration was fantastic, found a website http://wikitravel.org/en/Breaking_Bad_Tour and noticed that you can just tap on the addresses listed there and navigate easily with windows phone, that’s simple just tap any address and automatically opens the navigation app… well if you go to that website on your iOS or Android you cannot do that, a simple thing!

          • joux

            And also, you will see lots of incredibly talented, passionate people…hacking on their MacBooks.

            This is one hurdle that MS needs to clear: mobile developers have switched to Macs and most of them just won’t switch back.

        • Guest

          Assuming you’re using the Twitter app on WP…just tap the Home icon to get to the top of the feed.

          • Sarah Williamson Beddow

            thanks!

        • Miro

          In twitter app you should only press home button twice I think, or not?(for me it works) ;) basically I’m satisfied with the platform, but the true is that Im not very “demanding” user. For me is important to use pretty decent apps for reading news and posts on social networks(this is satisfying so far), all my two bank accounts have smart banking app for WP(Czech republic) and the platform has good price for the performance ratio. The important thing Im missing here is the google apps(mainly hangout).

          • NitzMan

            I think there is a 3rd party Hangouts app, but I haven’t tried it as yet. I think that if we care about the platform, we should be more demanding. By complaining about every little problem that we find, assuming that it will then be fixed, we’ll be left with the best platform on the market. This will drive greater adoption of the platform, which in turn will draw developer attention.

            Honestly, I think that Windows Phone can take the mobile crown away from iOS. Satya Nadella is making a real impact on the organization and I believe that in 2 years, Windows Phone market share is going to increase drastically.

            I was quite surprised that I could just copy music onto my phone via Windows Explorer, which is something you can never do on an iPhone. There are so many pros that need to be marketed.

          • Miro

            I meant demanding from the application portfolio point of view, yes you are right that we should be demanding for the features in OS itself e.g. I miss button for switching cellular data in action center, I might lose some logic behind why it’s not there, but what I like is HW backward button, because in iOS every application even if it has only two screen has to have panel with SW back button…

            I think everyone can choose the advantages and disadvantages of three main platforms, it just depends on user how deep is he/she willing to dig inside and find the things which are better/worse against other platforms

          • joux

            “I was quite surprised that I could just copy music onto my phone via Windows Explorer, which is something you can never do on an iPhone.”

            But nobody cares. I have never copied any music to my phone.

            Why? Spotify. It even works offline.

            Streaming services and cloud will render this kind of “integration” to PC irrelevant.

            Besides, any PC/Mac + WP/iOS/Android combination works well enough nowadays if you want to sync photos or music etc. It’s not a killer feature anymore, if it ever was.

          • NitzMan

            You’re simply thinking about your use case. Services like Spotify aren’t available all over the world. Also not all music is available on those services. There are many languages and types of music. Plugging in a phone to a PC is still very necessary for many people.

        • Rallicat

          Have to say, this is a case of not knowing how it works.

          In the twitter app, try double tapping on the icon that represents the view you are in. You’ll find it auto-scrolls to the top.

          There are a multitude of examples where the fact that it works differently does /not/ mean it’s inferior. It’s just not what you’re used to.

      • Mike

        No it’s not. It’s a polished turd. That’s very different.

      • Xyz

        I used to have an old dumb cell phone. I upgraded it to Windows Phone and I could not stand it. Just about all the issues were very small but very annoying and there was enough of them. After 1 week I got rid of it and bought a junky old dumb cell phone that I don’t like. Still, I prefer that phone over Windows phone. I never used iPhone nor Android so I cannot comment on that.
        Apps have not been issue as I have not tried to get any in that time.

  • lokitoth

    In other news, Rackspace should give up on Cloud.

    • http://scobleizer.com Scobleizer

      Rackspace has a LOT more interesting position in cloud than Windows Phone has in mobile.

      • http://www.micahiverson.com/ Micah Iverson

        That must be why Rackspace is always in the news and why Windows Phone is never in the news.

  • Jackal

    If 300,000 Apps is ‘No Apps’ then clearly i can’t count.

    Just how many Apps does he want? This guy is clearly a Moron.

    • Vedran

      And it all started like this… http://youtu.be/eywi0h_Y5_U

      • Alex McHugh

        Lol….almost painful isn’t it. He was such a relic!

    • http://scobleizer.com Scobleizer

      Easy. I interview hundreds of startups every year that are venture backed. Nearly none ship on Windows Mobile. The apps that do aren’t even close to as good a quality as on iOS. All you have to do is go to hackathons around the world, as I do. If you did you would rarely see Windows Phones. They have far less than 10% marketshare. Developers aren’t supporting them.

  • Bryan

    On the basis that Scoble argues – why would anybody get involved in a startup?
    Scoble make a living preaching about new ideas and new ways of doing things he is always rattling on about innovation, competition and startups. He really does have to stick to his story line. If Microsoft should give up Tablets, Phones, Search etc just because a ‘genius’ like Scoble thinks that’s what they should do then which startup (with a few million in funding) who is going to try?
    And his belief that everything revolves around San Francisco is puerile at best and small minded at worst. There are many places around the world that are not San Franciso and thank goodness for that!

    • http://scobleizer.com Scobleizer

      Sigh. Startups are different. They are trying to make something out of nothing. Most fail. But the ones that succeed radically change the world.

      Windows Phone? Um, no.

      • Bryan

        I might be showing my age but do you remember Lotus123, WordPerfect, MultiMate, Tecram, Osborne, Commodore, Sinclar and where they stood in the market?
        About 20 years ago I remember being at a sales conference where the guy at a new cell phone company said we will take the cell phone market from Motorola – slowly. They did and that company was Nokia. Look at them now?
        Let’s have the Windows Phone conversation in about 2 years. As you would know only too well MSFT is persistent when it wants something. Excel, Word, Xbox etc

      • http://www.micahiverson.com/ Micah Iverson

        Startups and the current position of Windows Phone are no different: Market share is low, support is small, startups seek funding – MS funds itself (actually Android is probably funding it at this point), and people working their butt off to make it into something great.
        Startups don’t have to change the world to be successful, they only have to change a part of the world. And San Francisco isn’t the world.

  • sophie bergman

    as Tosh puts it, “more butt-f%&$&g per square foot than any other place”. Yup, no other city like SF.

  • Guest

    no one takes this brainless man serous

  • Alex McHugh

    This Scoble chap is spot on. Microsoft SHOULD and WILL ditch windows phone. Why because they’re dinosaurs who throw money at anything in the hope of gaining some acceptance and profit.
    when said plan of throwing untold amounting cash at poorly planned ideas doesn’t work they just abandon them. They need to be first on the market, nobody(substantial numbers at least) will switch to anything that at best already does what their current device has been doing for years.

  • jonny_utah

    Well lets not make a stink about a mole hill here. The dog is out of the bag, looks like Scoble can’t see the stars from the trees. He’s just trying to tip the boat here.
    If you ask my opinion, all gold goes to those who wait. Microsoft should not thow out the dishes with the bathwater. They need to strike while the sun is hot in the mobile industry!

  • Ajay Vekariya

    According to our indian market, it needs sometimes for windows phone,i think people started accepting the windows phones as they’re really disappointed with android’s hardware compatibility and so many issues.
    & & this is a tech market discussions guys, not a religious one so be calm and watch on market

  • Rallicat

    So, The problem I have with this is that Scoble calls out the low market share of Windows Phone. 4% is pretty low right?

    Now App developers may stay away from Windows Phone, but likely they’ll do this for two reasons. First, because it doesn’t have the ‘in’ factor as Scoble basically points out, and the other is there’s no point targeting a product with such poor market share.

    Thing is though, what does that 4% market share figure actually mean Well, the actual user base for Windows Phone is about 80m worldwide. Even by the end of 2012 (five years in the market), the iPhone had only just passed a user base of about 50m, and app developers weren’t shy about targeting that kind of market.

    For me, it’s not about the market share percentage figure, it’s about the real, actual people using Windows Phone. If your app isn’t on Windows Phone, then that’s an extra 80 million people who you aren’t reaching. For someone like Scoble, talking about hackathons and ‘in’ tech, I’d have thought he’d embrace the concept ‘go cross platform or go home’.

    • http://scobleizer.com Scobleizer

      Unfortunately you miss how app companies work. They can’t afford to build for every platform out there. Look at the new Timeful app, released this morning. it’s only on iOS: http://youtu.be/ztswLXT8wfs

      Why? They are going after the most profitable, biggest, market first. I seriously doubt it’ll get to Windows Phone anytime soon (they are already working on Android).

      • Rallicat

        I don’t think I’m missing anything at all. Notice how I didn’t say anything about the /order/ in which apps might be developed for platforms.

        I accept absolutely that when an app developer is working to develop something new, they’ll likely go for the biggest platforms first (in which case, why would Timeful not be developed for Android first when it’s user base is so much larger?).

        However to ignore Windows Phone entirely is the loss of the developer as much as the Windows Phone user. I’ll say it again. Why would you ignore 80 million (and growing) potential users? To declare 80 million (by the way, 80 million /is/ a lot of people) insignificant is to drag things back to the percentage game. If 80million /wasn’t/ insignificant in 2012, why is it insignificant now?

        • http://scobleizer.com Scobleizer

          Because the costs of developing an app don’t pay off, app developers tell me. Many of them.

          That said, I bet you’ll see the biggest apps come to Windows Phone — eventually. Uber just got there last week.

          You are missing — by far — the coolest apps, though, like the new Wineglass app that ROCKS. I write about that here: https://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble/posts/10152586756189655

          • http://www.micahiverson.com/ Micah Iverson

            How about this Wine app on all platforms: http://www.vivino.com/ – pretty sure Windows Phone will “Change the World” more than your “ROCKING” Wineglass app.
            “Developing an app don’t pay off” – Really? What a is the point in even developing an app then for any platform?
            The app isn’t the problem – the revenue model is the problem. If you have a good revenue model, then you will have revenue to build for all platforms and actually make a living.
            These one time purchase revenue models are absolutely stupid (on all platforms) – at least they are stupid if you expect to make a living off them.
            If you have a $.99 app fee, Apple takes their 30% – you have to have nearly 1,500 paid users to make $1,000 then you have to find another 1,500 paid users to make your next $1,000. Duh, of course they don’t make any money.
            Even if they charged $.99/mo these startups would be significantly better off.
            Tell you what, any iOS or Android app that you run across that you think “ROCKS” and has a revenue model, get them in touch with me, I’ll work with them to port their frontend over to Windows and Windows Phone and get them in touch with developers who will wire up the backend. I’ll do it for no up-front expense but I want a percentage of the startup.
            There, I have taken away your “cost” of development excuse.

          • Thomas R.

            Why not just mortgage your house, hire your own developers and make Windows 8 version of all the popular apps that are missing? Then you can own 100% of the app. For someone so gung ho about the windows app eco system, I’m shocked that you haven’t released an app yet. If it’s so easy then why haven’t you done it yet? Until you put some skin in the game you’re just talking out of your ass.

          • http://www.micahiverson.com/ Micah Iverson

            It would be stupid to mortgage my house to build apps that don’t even make enough money on iOS or Android to cover their own costs.
            I design Line of Business apps that don’t get published into the app store – which actually makes me money.
            In addition to that I’m currently designing 6 apps which I will be publishing in the app store when I’m done with them (But I work on these in my free time late at night, so it takes a while).
            I plan for the long-term and the short-term, I make money the logical way for my short-term costs as I build out some of my long-term ideas. I’m in no hurry to rush something to market simply because I hope it will make me a lot of money. Incremental, logical steps that work for my situation.
            If I quit my job and focused 100% of my time on building apps to make a living, I guarantee you I’d figure out a way to be on as many platforms as possible to reach as many people as possible.

          • MsSupporter

            The smart developers now days develop on Visual Studio for Windos Phone, and then port over to Andrioid and IOS with something called Xamarin.

          • Rallicat

            I can’t rival your experience when it comes to the costs of developing apps, and the resulting payoff. Nor can I speak to the profile of users on different platforms and how much they spend. I’m just a user – what do I know.

            What I can say is that I look at the apps that /are/ on Windows Phone, and I see plenty of stuff there going on that shows me Windows Phone must be doing something right.

            They may not be a startup, but here in the UK Barclays recently launched their mobile payment app for Windows Phone. This from a company that already had their personal banking app on the WP platform. Had their experience been that it just wasn’t worth it, I doubt they’d have bothered with also pumping time and effort into more apps.

            OK, so I don’t have Wineglass. I do have Vivino though. I don’t have Timeful. Well, Windows Phone is hardly devoid of alternative calendaring solutions.

            I’m sure we could go back and forth on apps that are there, and apps that aren’t, and I’ll concede the point that Windows Phone isn’t platform number one for most people to target. However, whilst I see the importance of being targeted by start-ups, I also see the importance of the ‘regular’ consumer. They only care when that startup has gotten big and their app is the must have thing. By the time that happens, Windows Phone is usually very well catered for.

            I still feel the point stands. If 80 million users was worth the effort when that was the user base for iPhone, then why isn’t it worth the effort for Windows Phone?

  • http://myappconverter.com Jaoued

    Agree with Rob. Unless they come and talk to us to get MyAppConverter to instantly convert iOS and Android mobiles apps to Windows Phones and do a big catch up by removing that platform fragmentation to the benefits of mobile developers and end users.

  • Guest

    Here’s what Scoble should have said: “San Francisco is one of the tech hubs. But it’s just not Silicon Valley. It’s never going to be.” Scoble and others like him can’t make SF the “center of the world” by just declaring it to be true. If there is a center of the tech world, it’s a long drive down 101. It’s so long a drive in the awful Bay Area traffic that you might as well live in Seattle.

  • donth8innoviate

    with that pessimistic logic, rackspace should close up shop, there is absolutely no catching aws…

  • Odumah Benjamin Ojorma

    One problem I see with windows phone and developer is the requirement to work with windows 8 when most developers are still on win7. Real draw back

    • Yuhong Bao

      This bring up the matter of universal apps. Probably won’t help immediately, but I think x86 Win8.1 tablets did catch on in some niches.

  • Macuser1010010

    Microsoft software are generally full of bugs. The quality is poor.

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