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Microsoft Reaches into Purse for Apps

Microsoft's Windows Phone needs more apps, for which Microsoft--unlike Apple or Google--is paying developers. Larry Greenemeier reports

Smart phone and tablet users will download nearly 36 billion mobile apps this year, according to Allied Business Intelligence. The lion's share will be for Apple and Google Android gadgets. Only about 2 percent will be apps for the Microsoft Windows Phone.

Why's Microsoft so far behind? For starters there aren't any tablets running Windows Phone. And there aren't nearly as many handsets using Windows Phone as there are running iOS or Android. Microsoft offers about 70,000 mobile apps, compared to Google's 400,000 and Apple's 600,000 for phones and tablets.

Microsoft's solution has been to pay developers to write Windows Phone apps, according to The New York Times.

Software developers have the right to get paid for their work of course. Still, neither Apple nor Google pay for the nearly one million apps they offer. And developers are practically beating down their doors.

The outlook's not all bad for Microsoft. The company should get a boost with this week's launch of the Nokia Lumia 900 Windows smart phone. Nokia expects to sell 27 million of them this year. Apps sold separately.

—Larry Greenemeier

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]
 

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