Microsoft courting stranded webOS developers

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Microsoft is looking to capitalize on HP's webOS failures by offering free phones, developer tools and training to developers left stranded by the demise of the platform.



Just one day after HP announced plans to pull the plug on webOS-based mobile devices, Brandon Watson, director of developer experience at Microsoft, leapt at the opportunity, issuing a public offer of assistance to webOS developers.



"To Any Published WebOS Devs: We'll give you what you need to be successful on #WindowsPhone, incl.free phones, dev tools, and training, etc.," Watson wrote on Twitter.



Interested developers were instructed to email him in order to get connected with a Windows Phone team member for "personal attention."



Microsoft's goodwill gesture, however, may not receive many takers, as a lack of developer interest in webOS was a major contributing factor to its downfall. When the TouchPad tablet launched last month, there were 6,200 total webOS apps, with just 300 optimized for the tablet. That's compared to the more than 425,000 iOS apps available on the App Store as of early July.







HP announced a series of bold moves on Thursday meant to change the company's course to be more like IBM and focus on software and services. The company admitted that the "tablet effect" has been real and sales of webOS devices have fallen below expectations.



The world's largest PC maker is now looking into strategic options for its PC business, such as spinning off the unit into a separate entity or selling it off to an interested buyer.







Sales of the TouchPad were reportedly so poor that Best Buy was left with more than 90 percent of its inventory. HP took a $100 million charge in order to write off unsold inventory of the TouchPad.



For its part, Microsoft is fighting to establish its Windows Phone 7 platform as a viable alternative to Apple's iOS and Google's Android. The software giant will release a major update to the OS this fall. Nokia, which has abandoned its Symbian platform for Windows Phone 7, will launch its first WP7 devices later this year.







Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted last month that sales of Windows Phone 7 devices have been low. "Phones, we've gone from very small to very small, but it's been a heck of a year," he quipped. "And you're going to see a lot of progress in that market competitively as we move forward."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,147member
    Frying pan to the fire?
  • Reply 2 of 48
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    WP7 must *really* be crap for them to do this.



    All we see is "Microsoft courting." Why do they need to court developers? Aren't their products and platform enticing enough on their own?
  • Reply 3 of 48
    hp tpuchpad...now $99 at best buy. sad
  • Reply 4 of 48
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Having just been burned, I'm sure their instinct will be to move to the biggest platform.
  • Reply 5 of 48
    Ballmer was sitting around having a few brews with the sales boys at the end of the day (around 4:00-ish). He said to one of 'em: Where are we going to find suckers to come in and develop for our mobile platform? And the guy says, "Well, HP just shut down their tablet business..." And Ballmer says "That's FCKN BRILLIANT! Think they'll be expensive?" "Nah, we can get those losers for a free phone and some beads."
  • Reply 6 of 48
    vadaniavadania Posts: 425member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post


    Ballmer was sitting around having a few brews with the sales boys at the end of the day (around 4:00-ish). He said to one of 'em: Where are we going to find suckers to come in and develop for our mobile platform? And the guy says, "Well, HP just shut down their tablet business..." And Ballmer says "That's FCKN BRILLIANT! Think they'll be expensive?" "Nah, we can get those losers for a free phone and some beads."



    I don't know... Android is looking more and more like a re-inactment of the Titanic, and other posters here could be right. Win 7 or 8 could be the next best thing if Android licensee's decide to switch to a platform they can not get litigation from. May only be second overall in the long run, but the next best.
  • Reply 7 of 48
    And all three WebOS developers declined Microsoft's offer. Seriously though I would assume at this point if I were an exclusive WebOS developer I'd be a bit gun shy. MS to me seems like another sinking ship......regardless of whether it's warranted or not.
  • Reply 8 of 48
    vadaniavadania Posts: 425member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crawdad62 View Post


    And all three WebOS developers declined Microsoft's offer. Seriously though I would assume at this point if I were an exclusive WebOS developer I'd be a bit gun shy. MS to me seems like another sinking ship......regardless of whether it's warranted or not.



    Exclusive? I don't know. In college they were teaching us to develop for quite a few platforms. WebOS was not one of the major ones. I suppose when school starts next month it will be dropped. However, I'll see what they have for me. I'll take the phone(s), but it doesn't usually work very well unless connected. If they pay the bill, then I'll keep developing for it. It's quite a bit different, but not really different. It's hard to explain...
  • Reply 9 of 48
    vadaniavadania Posts: 425member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crawdad62 View Post


    And all three WebOS developers declined Microsoft's offer. Seriously though I would assume at this point if I were an exclusive WebOS developer I'd be a bit gun shy. MS to me seems like another sinking ship......regardless of whether it's warranted or not.



    Forgot to add, I don't think MS is a sinking ship. However I think they are at a very real turning point in the industry. They put way too much into this for them to fail. They also have very close ties to

    AAPL, believe it or not. When MS cuts out their tablet OS (granted they don't really have one), then I'll say that AAPL has the "Monopoly". Until MS gives up, it's still a race in my mind. ...and MS only does software! There's a lot of hardware makers out there waiting for an eco-system. That's what's MS should have been investing in (and not shutting down) year over year.



    Eco-system is a year-over-year idea. Only an OCD person can achieve it. When the market says no, and you keep saying yes... Well, the schools are starting to teach this approach!
  • Reply 10 of 48
    Well maybe sinking ship is a little strong but at this point I don't see much upside to developing for it. They're just so late to the party. Honestly if I were in the market for a non- iOS phone I'd look at WP7 just because it's enough different to make it compelling to me. Obviously what you've been taught about developing for many platforms is valid and smart, but many just go where the money/volume is and at this point WP7 ain't it.
  • Reply 11 of 48
    vadaniavadania Posts: 425member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crawdad62 View Post


    Well maybe sinking ship is a little strong but at this point I don't see much upside to developing for it. They're just so late to the party. Honestly if I were in the market for a non- iOS phone I'd look at WP7 just because it's enough different to make it compelling to me. Obviously what you've been taught about developing for many platforms is valid and smart, but many just go where the money/volume is and at this point WP7 ain't it.



    They're not 'technically' late to the party. They are waiting for the correct hardware, along with the trailing thought to use Android to disappear. Perhaps that's why they are hindering Android. Right now they are making money off of Android. If they are not already making an eco-system and OS ready for the next revolution a.k.a. 'tablets', then they are doomed. I don't think Ballmer is that bad. No one on this blog is that bad. They are waiting. They don't make tablets, but when Android fails, which I think it will, MS will be there, open arms!



    Personally, I think it will come down to MS VS. AAPL again. Only this time it will be AAPL on top and MS taking second boat.



    The problem may be that MS will have many hardware Mfgs building MS tablet and AAPL only has one.



    Is history repeating itself?
  • Reply 12 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    WP7 must *really* be crap for them to do this.



    All we see is "Microsoft courting." Why do they need to court developers? Aren't their products and platform enticing enough on their own?



    I guess based on your reasoning scouts that go to colleges looking for players for different basketball and football teams shouldnt visit because people should go to the training camps on their own.



    You cant tell me as a developer that if Microsoft came to you and offered you 10k to develop for their platform that you wouldnt accept it.



    Companies seek out the best talent, its what they do.
  • Reply 13 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crawdad62 View Post


    Well maybe sinking ship is a little strong but at this point I don't see much upside to developing for it. They're just so late to the party. Honestly if I were in the market for a non- iOS phone I'd look at WP7 just because it's enough different to make it compelling to me. Obviously what you've been taught about developing for many platforms is valid and smart, but many just go where the money/volume is and at this point WP7 ain't it.



    Over 73% of people dont have smartphones and yet you deem them "late to the party"?



    The party is just getting started
  • Reply 14 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    We'll give you what you need to be successful ... incl.free phones



    depends on what phone they're giving away. can i get an iphone?
  • Reply 15 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crawdad62 View Post


    Well maybe sinking ship is a little strong but at this point I don't see much upside to developing for it. They're just so late to the party. Honestly if I were in the market for a non- iOS phone I'd look at WP7 just because it's enough different to make it compelling to me. Obviously what you've been taught about developing for many platforms is valid and smart, but many just go where the money/volume is and at this point WP7 ain't it.



    One reason is the old reason to develop Mac apps when nobody had Macs. It may be a smaller market but there's a lot less competition. With iOS you already have 425,000 apps to compete with. You basically have 3 days when you launch an app for it to sell while it's at the top of the new apps list. If it doesn't get enough downloads in those 3 days to get to the top of the popularity lists then give up and move onto the next app. With WP7 at the moment your only competing with 30,000 apps, there's a smaller audiance but you will sell to a bigger percentage, plus you can charge more on WP7 for your apps.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    WP7 must *really* be crap for them to do this.



    All we see is "Microsoft courting." Why do they need to court developers? Aren't their products and platform enticing enough on their own?



    MS have always recognised the value in having developers support their platform. What there giving way isn't anything new, dev tools and training have always been free. In fact there free for normal Windows apps to. The free phone is also more likely to be a free phone for a week or at an event, that's what it's turned out to be whenever they've said free phone in the past, and they've always had very limited numbers.
  • Reply 16 of 48
    Microsoft is luring developers into its Windowless Van
  • Reply 17 of 48
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post


    Microsoft is luring developers into its Windowless Van



  • Reply 18 of 48
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jimerl View Post


    depends on what phone they're giving away. can i get an iphone?



    This is all too easy, isn't it. What a week of tech self-imploding.
  • Reply 19 of 48
    arent those things free or next to free anyway? Unless they give them away unlocked....still they're not that precious?!

    You'd have to be a real loser to get enticed by a stupid phone FFS. If m$ wants to get me an a benz AMG, Audi R10 or BMW M6, I'll think about it.
  • Reply 20 of 48
    neiltc13neiltc13 Posts: 182member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Granmastak View Post


    arent those things free or next to free anyway? Unless they give them away unlocked....still they're not that precious?!

    You'd have to be a real loser to get enticed by a stupid phone FFS. If m$ wants to get me an a benz AMG, Audi R10 or BMW M6, I'll think about it.



    You mean just like iPhone is free as well?



    http://www.vodafone.co.uk/brands/iph...hone/index.htm
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