For developers looking beyond iOS and Android, the timing may be right to jump on the Windows Phone bandwagon. Nokia has a lot to do with that.
The Lumia 900 launch signals the potential rise of the Windows Phone platform, with Nokia, Microsoft, and AT&T looking to make a big push for the phone. Nokia brought New York's Times Square to a standstill on Friday thanks to a quick concert performance by Nicki Minaj, with the area blanketed in Nokia blue and references to its new flagship phone.
AT&T is promising its biggest launch ever. The phone began selling yesterday. Microsoft, meanwhile, is paying developers up to $600,000 to create programs for its platform.
Beyond that, it may behoove developers to cozy up to Nokia in particular. Despite its diminished role in the smartphone world, it retains wide distribution capabilities and relationships and experiences in many local markets around the world.
"Nokia offers more distribution," said Marco Argenti, senior vice president of developer experience at Nokia. "We bring the customer base, and developers see the opportunity."
Apps have long been considered a weakness with the Windows Phone platform. The operating system recently surpassed 80,000 apps, although many of the most popular apps typically launch on iOS and Android first.
Microsoft holds several developer outreach events around the world, and plans to run 600 events around the world. Argenti said in many of them, Nokia takes the lead because of the company's experience in that region.
That experience also benefits the developer community. From country to country, Nokia actively curates the apps marketplace so they are relevant to local customers. That means a local developer or developer looking to fine-tune an app for a specific market has more of a shot of gaining an audience.
Nokia already does it in its own Nokia app store, but is also doing it for the Windows Phone platform too, Argenti said.
In addition, Nokia has a set of application programming interface tools that it offers for free, allowing developers to integrate capabilities from features like its Navteq navigation service. Next up: APIs that will work with its PureView camera technology. The PureView 808 phone with a 41-megapixel camera was shown off at Mobile World Congress in February, but a version would be coming to Windows Phone, Argenti said.
Argenti declined to provide additional details to a potential PureView Lumia phone, but said Nokia was working with developers on building apps using the powerful camera technology.
"The PureView-powered apps will blow your mind," Argenti said.
They may just be what the platform needs: some killer apps.