Microsoft is known to pay a developer ecosystem to stay loyal to its platforms and products. That has become no different with Windows Phone. On the other end, Nokia has a worldwide base of developers that are very loyal to the device maker, especially in emerging markets. The question remains though, can Nokia and Microsoft capture the hearts and minds of regular developers that would normally focus on iOS and Android? That is the question for this week's ReadWriteMobile poll.
Talking with developers and Microsoft project managers for Windows Phone development at Nokia World 2011 this week, it became clear that Windows Phone indeed has a pretty loyal developer base. Whether Microsoft subsidizes them to stay around is another story.
A development team from Halfbrick, which made popular games Fruit Ninja and Monster Dash, took part in the Nokia World Hackathon this week. We ran into them at the (oddly glamorous) cocktail event on the first night of the conference and got them to share some of their thoughts on Windows Phone and what Nokia is doing with it.
The graphics rendering on the Nokia Lumia devices is terrific. It is hardware accelerated and uses WebGL for its interactive features. There are a variety of location-based APIs and SDKs for Nokia's different flavors of maps and its Drive and Public Transportation services. From Nokia World 2011, these are the top functions that Nokia has brought to Windows Phone.
On the Microsoft side, developers like Halfbrick both like and dislike it. They like it because, as a native framework, all the tools are provided and are easier to use. As a stand-alone development, Windows Phone is one of the easiest and most intuitive. On the other hand, Windows Phone is hard to port to and from other platforms. Some basis of code can make it over, but Windows Phone truly does stand alone in the developer ecosystem.
That brings us to the developers. What will it take to really grab on Windows Phone as a platform the same way the ecosystem has with iOS and Android? Does it come down to phone sales, pure and simple? Can developers be enticed with offers and incentives? Take the poll and let us know you thoughts on the Lumia and the Windows Phone developer ecosystem in the comments.