Hot on the web on Sunday from Mobile-review.com and PocketGamer.biz is an interesting news item about Microsoft’s mobile strategy. PocketGamer.biz reported that Microsoft have been convincing them to port their games over to Microsoft’s Windowsphone 7 platform. PocketGamer stated in clear terms that “Microsoft is contacting successful iPhone developers, offering them upfront cash to port their games to the new platform”. PocketGamer described the monetary amount involved as being “substantial”, but was not in any way tempted.
Microsoft is clearly trying to achieve the robustness of Apple’s apps store which is one of the major attractions of the iPhone. Microsoft are thus offering to pay developers to re-engineer their games and possibly other applications to be compatible with their Windowsphone ecosystem. This strategy is interesting and noteworthy because it gives some insight into part of the Business Strategy of the Redmond Company.
“The iPhone application store has been a monumental success for Apple and a huge part of that success has been the large choice of quality game titles available”, says Mobile-Review. What this shows is that Microsoft has an uphill task to surmount especially seeing that developers are not just tempted even by “substantial” amount of upfront cash.
My suggestion is that instead of Microsoft inducing developers, that they should make the Windowsphone 7 platform impeccable with good UI, enterprise compliance and mass appeal. If the phone itself is good with tremendously good sales, surpassing the iPhone, Android and Blackberry (Nokia has too much distance), then they do not need to convince developers to create apps for them. Developers would just troop there in droves and Microsoft can then call the shots.
Another option is that since Microsoft has DEEP pockets, they can just offer developers bigger offers to induce them. I believe everyone has a price, especially if the price is even more “substantial”.