DavidK shot this out early today and I had some time to marinate on its content for a while before posting. I think this guy has a lot of good points about the attraction that Windows Phone has to developers. Everyone seems to think that the only thing Dev’s care about is install base. This is a big plus for some trying to turn a quick buck on the app store but, as this Dev points out, the market saturation in the Android and Apple app store has skyrocketed in the past few years. The guy even sites an article claiming the Apple app store had over 50+ fart apps in 2008. Regardless of how you feel about the utility of what is basically a glorified soundboard with nothing but variations of flatulence this same concept rolls into almost every nook of possible apps that could be created. With a fresh start and an app store at a big fat zero the Windows Marketplace gives almost any developer with some talent a new chance to be top dog on the app store. As relevant as I think this point is it’s not even close to the one that matters most.
Microsoft makes it easier to develop apps for Windows Phone than it is to operate some phones today. With basically zero programming experience you can really do a lot with Microsoft’s dev tools. Something they’ve always been incredibly awesome at accomplishing. The lowest barrier for entry, as far as app dev difficulty and time spent, is certainly in Microsoft’s corner. This has done them very well in the last iteration of the xbox, where development costs were massively cheaper than development for PS3 which is where the flip flop in title development happened.
The PS2 had thousands of games. Probably more than any other modern console. With the high dev costs on the PS3 a lot of that independent title work got moved over to the xbox 360. That’s why there is a thriving community of indie games as well as publisher backed titles coming out of your ears of you’ve been on xbox live arcade recently. At the same time Xbox live subscriptions are topping 1 billion in sales with a 65% profit margin on the service and this highly succesful service is only going to be bolstered by Windows Phone sales in the coming year. If Windows Phone customers are held to the same Silver and Gold account standards as xbox users then I see two things. Major incentive for xbox users to grab WinPho and a huge untapped market of possible xbox live subscribers. I’m not sure I want to be a part of any of that non-sense yet, I’m just saying it has potential if no major kinks present themselves.