In a market dominated by iOS and Android, many people wrote Windows of in their early attempts to break into the smartphone market. But after a slow start, it is growing in size and reputation, with 25,000 apps released in the eight months between October and May, to hit 145,000 available apps. That short burst put it at least level with BlackBerry in the battle for third place, with many Windows app developers created in the process.
The Windows Phone SDK 8.0 includes a stand-alone Visual Studio Express 2012 edition, or an add-on to Visual Studio 2012 Professional, Premium or Ultimate. It includes emulators and a variety of tools so you can develop and test your app in real world conditions. Using the SDK, you can build apps using native or hybrid code.
Microsoft has been very eager to encourage coders more familiar with iOS and Android to become Windows app developers. At the start of 2013, they offered developers $100 for each app they submitted (subject to approval, and with a maximum of $2000 available to each developer). The cash incentive must have worked, with a bump in the number of apps available.
However, it could be said that the scheme encouraged quantity rather than quality. It does mean, however, that there is lots of room for quality apps on Windows, and the fact that there are only 145,000 apps for Windows also means that Windows app developers will enjoy a greater market share than if they put their app alongside millions of others in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
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