Microsoft tries to convince iOS app makers to join Windows 8

While Microsoft has been adding more and more Windows 8 apps to the Windows Store in the past several weeks, the company apparently knows that many mobile app developers are still making apps exclusively for Apple's iOS platform. Now it looks like Microsoft is making a bigger effort to bring these particular software makers over to Windows 8.

The MIT Technology Review reports that last week, Microsoft held sessions over the span of two days at its Mountain View, California offices specifically to inform iOS app developers of what they could do with Windows 8. The sessions were held only a few miles away from Apple's Cupertino headquarters.

While there was some effort to also promote Windows Phone 8 as a development platform, the meetings apparently concentrated on Windows 8 for app development in tablets and notebooks. Tim Burks, a founder of the iOS app development company Radtastical, seemed to be attracted to the stable development tools for Windows 8. He stated:

If you’re a professional dancer, would you want to dance on a stage with broken boards and holes on the floor? No, you want to dance on a stage that’s clean and organized. That’s what these guys—especially Apple, and it looks like Microsoft—are like.

App developers for iOS might also gravitate to Windows 8 because, at the moment, there are far less apps available to download on the Windows Store compared to Apple's iTunes. That means app creators can launch their product on the Windows Store and have it stand out. iOS app developer Santhosh Krishna says, "It’s a lot easier to get lost in iOS world because there are a million apps out there."

Source: MIT Technology Review | Image via Microsoft

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19 Comments

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I am hoping Google gets on board. I feel their participation would earn MS some points. It'd be great to get a G+ Windows 8/RT app going and a Gmail app as well.

That is the very reason why a Gmail app would be the biggest one on Windows 8/WP8 if they released one after the switch on EAS is turned off.

Developers like to get paid. If there is enough of a Windows 8 market for new apps, they will begin writing software. MS dev tools are great, but if W8 platform adoption is slow or luke-warm, some will tend to hold off until there is more consumer demand within the market. It is still a time and cost commitment to invest in writing software for any platform, and there needs to be a perceived net gain at the end of the day.

I'm sorry but I still think that is a very backward approach to development that is rarely the 'marketshare' equasion they like to use as an excuse. MS has delivered an audience that dwarfs iOS, yet this breed of Apple loving devs are still playing the wait and see card (YNAB for example). That says to me their choice to not support WP/W8 is more about their own biases and skillset and the rest is just hyperbole.

Developing in the mobile space isn't equivalent to the desktop one where the marketshare argument has some weight. Mobility flips that all on its head since it will always be more fragmented. The additional fact that iOS apps still come out before Android given that market disparity shines more light on the kinds of dev bias/laziness we're talking about.

Edited by Dashel, Dec 20 2012, 7:31pm :

Dashel said,
MS has delivered an audience that dwarfs iOS, yet this new breed of Apple loving devs are still playing the wait and see card (YNAB for example).

Microsoft sold around 40 million Windows 8 licenses. Apple already sold hundreds of millions of iOS devices. Currently Microsoft really isn't dwarfing anyone in the mobile space.

Point taken, Dashel. Time will tell if the traditional Windows x86/x64 audience will translate over to the new RT/ARM market, though.

In addition, there will always be a certain amount of brand loyalty for devs and consumers alike when it comes to the companies and platforms they are most comfortable using. Those types of folks will only go to another platform if they are dragged, kicking and screaming the whole way.

It might be comparable to switching between a gasoline powered automotive industry to an electric car based system. Do I wait for the cars to be built before the fuel stations that can service them, or build stations first, and then the cars? There has to be 'just the right conditions' before it can successfully be adopted in large numbers and become a working ecosystem. Timing is often the biggest component. Marketing can only do so much to convince people about a product or service.

nohone said,
When apple sells 40 million iPhones in one month, then they will start to be equal.

You're actually comparing a high-end smartphone and price to match, to a €15-30 software license? That's really cute.

Dashel said,
So on the flipside, at what percentage is development OK? Why waste time on 20% not just focus on the 60%+?

If 1% means a 100.000 million users I'd go for it. Personally I find market share percentages in itself extremely uninteresting. Anyway, I merely wanted to point out a flaw in your post.

.Neo said,

You're actually comparing a high-end smartphone and price to match, to a €15-30 software license? That's really cute.

You were the one who first compared a real operating system (Windows) a toy designed for playing music (iOS)

.Neo said,

You're actually comparing a high-end smartphone and price to match, to a €15-30 software license? That's really cute.

Microsoft sells the vast majority of its licenses through OEMs, who sell those licenses as complete systems that cost anywhere from $300 - $3000. As OEMs sell those systems, they buy more licenses. The more they sell, the more they buy. Currently, Desktops and Laptops (and the Windows 8 licenses on them) are selling at a rate of about 30M a month worldwide.

As far as the iPhone goes, most people pay far less than sticker price for one. Looks like that price range is currently $0 - a whopping $400.

So you might want to rethink you argument that Windows 8 licenses sell faster than iPhones because they cost less; in fact, on average a PC with Windows 8 on it sells for far more than your average subsidized iPhone, as far as the consumer is concerned.

.Neo said,

Microsoft sold around 40 million Windows 8 licenses. Apple already sold hundreds of millions of iOS devices. Currently Microsoft really isn't dwarfing anyone in the mobile space.

First off, if it wasnt for the jailbreak community, Apple wouldnt have any apps. Thye had planned to go the way of RIM and just have the apps the device comes with. After the JB community saw there is a way to install apps and Apple saw how interested people were, then they jumped on the bandwagon

40M users is enough to make some good money providing u make some good apps. Since most Windows apps on mobile always cost more than they do on other platforms, you do the math.

40 x 100,000 buyers @ 5.99 for each app is nt chump change. One good app will make you an instant millionaire. That should be more than enough incentive. If I could make apps I would make a a single game that can be played cross-platform on Windows, Android and iOS.

Its not as though Windows 8 is new, its been available to download and dev on since September last year and it seems most ios devs dont care to make apps for it. Maybe this will help but I find it doubful, MS themselves should be making more apps for their OS as well as WP.

as anybody who has developed for iOS, their tools are awful compared to visual studio and the .net sdk. That is probably the best courting. I recall many iOS devs shocked at how easy and good the tooling is for every MSFT platform and cries of pain from MSFT devs who had to work on iOS.

Agreed. Microsoft's dev. tools are definitely a bit easier while still offering a great deal of oppertunities for the developers.