The past few days have been very exciting for Windows Phone developers:
- The Microsoft partnership with Nokia promises great synergy for delivering on our platform and fueling the ecosystem, thereby creating a huge opportunity for developers.
- Steve Ballmer and Joe Belfiore disclosed just a few (not all!) of the new features in the platform release planned for later this year, including multi-tasking and fast app switching, and hardware-accelerated IE9 with HTML5 support, not to mention cool new operating system features like Twitter integration in the people hub
I am very excited about the roadmap, but I am also jazzed about our success to date, so I thought I would let developers in the marketplace tell you about their successes today.
Two weeks ago, a few developers participating in LG’s hAPPiness program were here in Redmond and I was invited to join them for an hour of “tips and tricks.”
[Sideline, the hAPPiness program is a great offer that allows LG phone owners to download and keep 10 great free apps from their marketplace. It is a wonderful promotion for apps, and as a value-add to LG phone owners, apps will rotate over time, so you will be able to pick from far more than the original twenty selected to-date].
I was able to meet most of the developers, and was impressed with their excitement, passion, and eagerness to write new apps or improve their current ones. It was so cool that I asked if I could record them to show to our internal platform teams, who always get a rise out of seeing cool apps and hearing from developers.
Here are my personal conclusions from meeting the group1:
- Developers are making good money! None of them are retiring tomorrow or ordering a Ferrari (yet), but the money is adding up nicely. Even free applications with ads are making money. You don’t have to take only my word for this; check out this article from Inside Mobile Apps for download comparisons between Android and Windows Phone.2
- Developers are having a lot of fun! The platform is easy to use and it is very RAD, the tools are free, we have great phones that users love, and a growing user base--not a bad playground for developers.
- The Silverlight and Windows Phone community rocks. I don’t get to say this often, so I will use this chance to shout out to the Insiders, MVPs, early adopting partners, and all the other community folks who are on the forums, sharing their stories and their feedback (both good and bad)3.
Those were my conclusions; but you don’t take my word for it. Take time to watch the interviews below.
[Disclaimer: We were focused on the developer’s stories. Though they all demo their apps, the crappy recording (me), the room (improvised), and our goal of keeping the chat to just a few minutes, did not do the apps justice.
Check out the apps in the marketplace links below, and don’t forget, if you are an LG user, these are free for a limited time.
- Balint Orosz is one of the folks from Cocktail Flow. You can watch his interview here.
In just a month he created a very successful app leveraging the skills he had (.NET, Silverlight); he might take it to other platforms now that the concept is vetted and much better funded.
My summary from his story:“It is OK to get started on Windows Phone, leverage your skills if you are .NET or Silverlight developer”.
- Emad Ibrahim is the creator of Envision, Notesly+, QuoteZen, Picasa Viewer (and possibly others since he codes faster than I blog). You can watch his interview here.
Emad is super fast at creating apps, and is getting great ROI from his apps. My take away on his story: “Get started now, while the competition is low.”
- Andy Beaulieu (creator of Talking Rag Doll) and Jeff Weber creator of Krashlander. You can watch their video here.
Jeff is one of the original creators of the open source farseer physics engine on codeplex . Andy was the first person to wrap it in Blend, contributing some cool Blend behaviors for it.
I thought it was great to see community contributors meet and finally get financial benefits from their community efforts. They seem happy that other developers are cashing and using their library/behaviors. My take away for their video, “have fun!!”
[Sideline, according to Inside Mobile Apps, KrashLander has had 15,900 $.99 downloads in January]
Thanks to all of the devs for playing along on such short notice and letting me share their recordings. Check out their apps--and good luck creating your own!
1 I have to emphasize these are my personal conclusions. Don’t over-generalize it to my employer or folks in the Windows Phone team.
2 I don’t want to spin the numbers and compare to Android (you can ignore that part or not, your call). I only refer to the article because they have independent numbers on how well apps some are selling.
3 Again, the platform and phone have been rock-solid. The area where we have been less than stellar is the marketplace. I can assure you that the right people are listening; there have been a huge number of improvements, and there are more on the way. There are 8,000+ apps in the marketplace, so clearly it ain’t all broken; be persistent and keep pushing us. I will come back to the marketplace topic in a future post (hold me to this).