Sources close to Microsoft have confirmed that the tech giant is determined to prop up its Windows Phone 8 App Store, and it’s willing to bust out the big boy checkbook to do it. According to Business Insider, Microsoft has offered several top tier developers upwards of $100,000 to bring key apps to its mobile platform, and that’s in addition to smaller incentives currently open to anyone.
Sources are reporting today that the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are wrangling over which one of them should lead a preliminary antitrust investigation of Apple. The action was spurred by Apple's new developer agreement which forces app designers to use only Apple programming tools. The inquiry may be launched in a matter of days, and will seek to determine if the policy damages competition in the mobile app space.
Apple's claim has been that adding a layer of abstraction (i.e. a third-party compiler) results in poorer quality apps; thus requiring specific developer tools is a quality control mechanism. Those on the other side, however, claim that Apple is seeking to force developers to choose Apple's platform instead of porting their code to multiple platforms. The worry is that independent developers won't have the resources to rewrite code for multiple platforms, so they will choose Apple's larger and more lucrative app store be default.
The possible inquiry does not mean anything is about to change. The preliminary analysis will determine if a full investigation is required. Do you think Apple is a fault here? How much control should they be allowed to exercise over their platform?
Can’t have a smartphone OS these days without a companion app store, and Windows Phone 7 is no different. There’s no date for the opening of Windows Phone Marketplace, still Microsoft has been busy rounding up partners with wares to sell once it does.
On the list are Fandango, Sling Media, AP, Foursquare, Shazam, and Pandora. And they’ll present their apps in a Marketplace designed to sell: “The Marketplace features a panoramic design and active merchandising to increase the discoverability of games and applications, and supports one-time credit card purchases, mobile operator billing and advertising-funded applications.” A nice feature: customers will get to try before they buy.