2012 could be a great year for Windows Phone and its developers
In Plunge Interactive we still remember when Windows Phone was officially announced for the very first time by Steve Ballmer in the Mobile World Congress 2010, celebrated in Barcelona. We were very excited with it. Our first impression was: “this is something very different and innovative on any other thing in the market!”. Its “hubs” orientation and its clean metro design made other platforms look antiquated.
We saw it as a great opportunity for us as mobile software and games developers: The games brought built in free trial before you buy versions (something that still does not exist in other platforms), a marketplace with more reasonable publishing rules, a very powerful SDK based on C# and Visual Studio, all that with great documentation and support behind the scenes.
It was also a new platform, so we thought it should be easier there to get a space and to market our apps and games.
The first generation devices (Windows Phone 7.0) where released on November 2010. The reality was that the new device came to a world dominated by Android and iPhone. Many said it came too late, but Microsoft kept working hard, and made two great things: announced an alliance with Nokia, and a new release, Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango).
Mango added a lot of features that reached any other on the competitors, and even improved many of them. Microsoft even had time to improve the OS performance, and to make the new OS version compatible with first generation devices, so anyone could easily upgrade their existing phones, and boost their user experience. The manufacturers released soon brand new devices to bring the most with Mango (HTC, Samsung, and Toshiba among others).
And Nokia finally arrived with their golden promise: Nokia Lumia 710, 800 and the recently anounced Lumia 900. Three models to conquer the market. Nokia used its very popular brand accompanied by a huge advertising campaign in Europe that has been capable of making Lumia a very popular device right now.
Nokia not only will offer to Windows Phone hardware, marketing and sales, it will also bring with it it’s support to its huge community of talented developers. Nokia also provides its devices with exclusive high quality apps that makes them different from the competitors.
An important market analyst, Morgan Stanley, have suggested recently Nokia has doubled pre-release estimations selling one million Lumia devices as opposed to the 500,000 units predicted by some analysts prior the handset’s official release -and we should remark here that Lumia was released on November 2011-. Analysts have now predicted the former leader of the mobile market will shift an impressive 37 million Windows Phone handsets throughout 2012 with the dramatic increase to come at the expense of the rapidly declining Symbian OS.
So many people now expect an impressive growing of Windows Phone based devices market share this 2012. This will be the year of Windows Phone and its developers.
What is our experience with Windows Phone?
We began our way on the Windows Phone since the first beta SDK was available. We decided to try to develop a little game for it, participating on a development contest in Spain organized by Microsoft, and we get the third prize.
After that we discovered that it was easier in Windows Phone to get visibility rather than in other platforms like iOS or Android. Microsoft was always open to promote good apps and games if they are well coded and bring something new to the platform. This is something that is very difficult to accomplish in other app stores. Microsoft has always been well known for its well documented SDK’s and its support to developers, and to write code with Visual Studio is simply delicious. All that factors pushed us to keep betting for the platform.
We actually have published a number of apps and games for Windows Phone and Kubik Adventures is one of our favourites. But our excitement with Windows Phone is now bigger than ever, and we will celebrate it releasing a new game next February. It’s a game that will create a new genre itself… it is… Farts VS Zombies, and here you can see its trailer: