John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

My Kid Is an Honor Student at Windows Phone AppCampus

Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform has some slick hardware in Nokia’s new Lumia line, particularly the ridiculously low-priced 900. But its mobile application ecosystem continues to lag behind those of its rivals, so Microsoft is teaming up with Nokia to give it a boost.

On Monday, the two companies announced that they will together invest nearly $24 million in a new mobile app development program. Dubbed “AppCampus,” the effort will be held at Finland’s Aalto University over the next three years and, according to its proprietors will not only offer funding, but will also provide coaching in app design, usability and commercialization.

Best of all, participants will retain full intellectual property rights for whatever they create while attending.

An interesting initiative and one that demonstrates the urgency with which Microsoft and Nokia are approaching the deficits in the Windows Phone ecosystem. Currently, there are only about 70,000 applications in Microsoft’s Marketplace application store, with some glaring omissions, like Angry Birds Space and Instagram.

That’s a paucity compared to the more 550,000 Apple’s got in the App Store right now. But with this sort of commitment and some luck, Microsoft could begin to close the gap.

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— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle