Creating numerous new applications or apps for Windows 8 is vital for Microsoft if it is to make a dent in the global smartphone market, where it has a meagre 4 per cent market share. Most analysts believe a part of the reason for the tepid response to the earlier Windows-based phones is they had fewer apps, only around 1,00,000, compared with more than 5,00,000 for Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems.
For Microsoft, which dominated in desktop space, Indians will be crucial to the success of Windows 8 and its attempt to be a significant force in the mobile era. A sizeable chunk of all software code, almost a third is written by Indian developers, according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
More than half of the 2,567 attendees at the 18-hour application development marathon in Bangalore were college students. Of the 700 applications developed, some 300 passed the App Excellence Lab quality tests of Microsoft but only a handful have made it to the App Store yet.
Many apps developed by Indians have hit the one-million download mark. Cricket Worldcup Fever by Indiagames and Parking Frenzy by Games2win stand out. In last month alone, Parking Frenzy had 10 million downloads on the Google Play store.
Microsoft India, which spent more than a year’s developer-engagement budget for the event, collaborated with colleges in Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Jaipur to evangelise the engineering students.
Microsoft has promised to give developers 70 per cent of the first $25,000 in revenue the app generates and 80 per cent thereafter. In comparison, both Google and Apple give developers about 70 per cent.