Tag Archives: Windows mobile

Microsoft releases coming up

Waiting for Windows 7Good to see some credible rumours about Windows 7 being published. May 5 seems to be the day when Windows 7 RC goes public (and hopefully earlier for MSDN and TechNet subscribers).

A week later on May 11 Windows Mobile 6.5 might be released (or perhaps not).

But before those releases we’ll have Office 2007 SP2 available on 28 April.

And of course the Exchange 2010 Beta was released this past week.

Windows Marketplace for Mobile preview

Windows Marketplace for MobileThanks to Long Zheng you can view a promo of the coming Windows Marketplace for Mobile experience. It looks pretty good actually, although the guy doing the voice over did sound a tad cheesy. (The screenshot on the right is taken from the video on Long’s site.)

The selection process, rating system, easy download and general look’n’feel are all good… just like they should be when you’re playing catchup to another vendor who shipped months ago. Oh well, at least they are trying.

And speaking of trying, it sound like they are listening to feedback. They’re now allowing free upgrades for the lifecycle of the application. They’re also offering a money-back guarantee on any apps you download. A nice touch in my opinion.

Back on March 14 over on my personal blog I lamented the ‘charge the developer’ mentality that seemed to be pervading this initiative, and I agree with Long’s thoughts along those lines also. So I’m happy to see improvements from the Mobile team.

Here’s the comments from the PressPass announcement:

In addition, people will be able to return an application after purchase within 24 hours for a full refund. Microsoft also announced today that developers will now be able to deliver updates to their applications for free* throughout the application lifecycle.

Another interesting note form the press piece is how many companies have signed on to be a part of the program, including Facebook, EA Mobile, Netflix and MySpace (who we covered separately earlier today).

Windows Live for Mobile

And on April 2 the Windows Live for Mobile suite will be available for free download. Here’s the details:

Microsoft also announced that Windows Live for Mobile will be available for free download this week for customers in 25 languages. Windows Live for Mobile is the company’s mobile suite of Internet services designed specifically to take advantage of the Windows Mobile platform. It includes mobile versions of Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Contacts, Windows Live Spaces, Microsoft Live Search and enhanced photo upload capabilities. Customers who have Windows Mobile 6.x phones can visit http://wl.windowsmobile.com on April 2 to download the suite.

Things are certainly starting to get exciting (for a change) in the Windows Mobile space. Please, let it continue.

Microsoft still hiring

Careers at MicrosoftI don’t know about you, but I’ve been hearing a lot of requests for developers lately. Seems as though despite what the media might be reporting, there are a lot of companies still hiring.

Case in point: Microsoft. Although they had to initiate some layoffs earlier this year, that hasn’t stopped them hiring in important areas. As The Standard reports, there are currently 466 job openings in Seattle alone. Interestingly there were numerous roles in Windows Mobile (34 by my count) and Live Search (31). This is good news since those two areas are particularly weak in the Microsoft stable.

Some roles however have been around for a while, like this one for a Programming Writer dating back to March last year.

(via Steven Bink)

Windows Marketplace for Mobile

I was a little disappointed to read Microsoft’s Developer Strategy for the Next Generation of Windows Phones.

Windows Mobile Development Unveiled last week, this PressPass piece indicates that Microsoft will be sharing 70% of sales revenue with developers for any Windows Mobile 6.5 applications sold through Windows Marketplace for Mobile. (Note: 70% is the same as Apple shares on their AppStore)

Put another way, Microsoft is charging you 30% of your sale, for giving you the opportunity to make your app available via Marketplace for Mobile. This seems high to me. Of course, having access to a huge international market is fantastic (and well worth the 30% commission I’m sure), and the promised feedback to developers on whether their apps meet certification requirements is extremely valuable.

But in a catch-up strategy (which Microsoft is definitely in), and with established channels such as Handango already in play (although to be fair they charge a whopping 40%), I was hoping for something spectacular from Microsoft.

Microsoft may still have significant market share in the mobile space, but it is eroding, and thus the success of endeavours like Marketplace for Mobile is vital for the platform. Microsoft needs to be attracting amazing mobile developers and encouraging the development of amazing mobile apps.

Ideally we’d be seeing Microsoft offering 95% share, with weekly competitions, awards for exceptional apps (as judged by their certification committee), special promotions of quality apps, etc.

Obviously there is significant infrastructure (and thus costs) required to facilitate the Mobile Marketplace, but extracting this from developers is not the way to proceed.

No, in this catch-up-to-the-iPhone-App-Store climate, Microsoft needs to view Mobile Marketplace as a marketing expense, not a monetization strategy.

 

Aside: In some ways this reminds me of the mistake Microsoft made with the early versions of its developer tools for Office (VSTO).  Initial versions required special ISV partnerships, followed by versions charged at a hefty license fee. Not until recent years has VSTO become part of the Visual Studio install, and even now it still has some hurdles, since it is only included in the Professional Version and above. IMO, putting the VSTO tooling in the Express versions is long overdue, but that’s a topic for another post…