Microsoft and Nokia's partnership drew developers to the Windows Phone 7 platform even before it was officially announced, according to analytics firm Flurry.
could benefit from its Nokia partnership in ways beyond selling more Windows
Phone 7 devices: According to new data from analytics firm Flurry, more
developers are starting projects using Microsoft's smartphone
with the early speculation and subsequent announcement that Nokia and Microsoft
would be partners, Flurry measured a 66 percent increase in Windows Phone 7
starts over last week," Peter Farago, Flurry's vice president of marketing,
wrote in a Feb. 11 posting on his company's blog.
analytics for Windows Phone 7 only extend back five weeks, meaning that, to
ensure that the application-development spike was not an "aberration," the firm
had to compare it against data for the first five weeks of Android and
BlackBerry application starts. The resulting graph suggested that Windows Phone
7 application starts had not only jumped significantly in its fifth week, but
bore marked similarities to the early growth of Google Android.
launched its support for Android in October 2008, there was doubt in the
industry around the viability of Android as a development platform," Farago
wrote. "Back then, the sentiment was that Android would capture market share as
a mobile operating system, but not necessarily as an application-development
platform or an ecosystem where developers could thrive."
Android Marketplace subsequently expanded to hundreds of thousands of applications,
presenting a viable alternative to Apple's App Store.
prior to today's announcement, many questioned the viability of Windows Phone 7
as an operating system that developers would support," Farago continued. "From
Flurry's point of view, this week's spike in Windows Phone 7 developer activity
shows that developers not only believe that Nokia has given Microsoft Windows
Phone 7 a shot in the arm, but also that Nokia and Microsoft together can build
a viable ecosystem."
agreement will see Windows Phone 7 ported onto its devices. That could help
Microsoft's relatively new smartphone platform penetrate the international
markets where Nokia maintains a strong presence. The effect in the United
States, however, may be more questionable given Nokia's placement (according to
recent data from research firm comScore) as dead last among top mobile OEMs.
executives claim that Windows Phone 7 is selling at a rate comparable to other
first-generation smartphone platforms, but the exact number of devices reaching
consumers' hands remains unclear. At the end of January, the company confirmed
that manufacturers had sold some 2 million Windows Phone 7 units to retailers.
In its research note, comScore suggested that Microsoft's share of the U.S.
smartphone-platform market had fallen from 9.9 percent to 8.4 percent during
the fourth quarter of 2010, increasing the pressure on Windows Phone 7 to
reverse that slide.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.