One of the biggest complaints with Windows Phone 8 is the weakness of the Windows Phone app store. In response, Microsoft announced that it would pay $100 to any developer whose app gets published in the Windows store this month, with a cap at $2,000 per developer. However, according to reports from Bloomberg Businessweek and Business Insider, Microsoft is secretly paying some developers as much as $100,000 to bring popular apps to its mobile platform.
Microsoft has already demonstrated it’s ready and willing to spend serious amounts of money to stay competitive in the mobile market, it allegedly pays Nokia $250 million per year to keep the company faithful to Windows Phone, but hardware can only go so far without the apps to keep users engaged. It makes sense that Microsoft would throw money at developers to get popular apps onto its platform, but the fact that the company kept these deals under wraps suggests it also realized there would be bad press if the story got out.
Microsoft’s strategy appears to working, though relatively slowly. Microsoft claims Windows Phone 8 boasts 48 of the 50 most downloaded apps across all platforms, though Pinterest and Instagram are still unavailable. However, if Microsoft can’t blame the disappointing adoption rate of its mobile OS on a lack of apps, then the company may have to take a hard look at its own software.