Microsoft is gearing up for smartphone war with an upcoming flood of Windows Phone 7 apps.
The OS will include a few basic in-house apps that include a unit converter, language translator, shopping lists, weather, and stocks. The Microsoft apps are truly basic, mostly white text on black background. The source code for these apps is posted on Microsoft’s developer website. The apps really are intended for app creators to incorporate them into larger, multifunctional apps.
But now for news about the more entertaining Windows 7 apps. On the Windows Marketplace, a few Windows Phone 7 apps will soon be up. Microsoft’s app selection will include some of the familiar names like Yelp and Youtube, though Youtube is listed as a “Music Hub Add-On” while Yelp is apparently a standalone app. The sneak peak also appears to show an icon for the Bing Translator. This amusing service translates phrases you speak or type into your phone into another language.
Also, last week, Microsoft launched Mobile App Match, a new website which aims to form a community of app developers and consumers. Developers can post their apps or video demonstrations so that users can comment or give other feedback before the apps’ release on the Windows Phone 7 devices. Conversely, users can submit their own Windows Phone app ideas to developers for consideration.
All this is part of a concentrated effort by Microsoft to break into the mobile device big leagues with Windows Phone 7. Recently, Microsoft has been trying to attract mobile app developers from other leading mobile platforms to develop apps for the Windows Phone; the corporation is reportedly paying creators and offering revenue guarantees. Microsoft has even offered its own employees a Windows Phone 7 each and relaxed restrictions so they could easily produce their own apps.
To be competitive, Microsoft recognizes that it will need a strong app base when Windows 7 Phone breaks out of the starter blocks two months from now. The iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry OSes will be stiff, already established competitors with their own hosts of apps. Rightfully, Microsoft is coming in fighting for the mobile app market, two months ahead of schedule.