Microsoft began paying Windows Phone 7 developers this week according to reports.
CNET News.com spoke with a number of developers who confirmed payments have started to reach their accounts. Developers claim their experience developing for Microsoft has been entirely positive with the only complaint being the number of users and devices available. CNET spoke to one developer, René Schulte, who created Pictures Lab–a $1.99 photo editing app that was featured by Microsoft during the Windows Phone 7 launch. Schulte explained that sales have been “OK,” but that he couldn’t make a business out of it. “I’d be happy if Microsoft sells 10 times more devices and people continue to buy my app,” he told CNET.
Microsoft revealed earlier this week that it has now shipped 2 million devices to carriers. The figure is controversial as this doesn’t explain exactly how many Windows Phone 7 owners there are. Microsoft previously revealed that the company had shipped 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 units between the October launch and December. Research firm IDC and application platform Appcelerator recently surveyed over 2,000 developers to work out their intent for 2011. Developer interest for Windows Phone 7 rose 8 points to 36% ‘very interested’ according to the results. IDC says the interest was “due to a better-than-expected launch.” Survey respondents also said that “Windows Phone’s improved UI was a critical factor for the increase.”
Microsoft also revealed there are now 24,000 registered Windows Phone developers and over 6,500 applications in the marketplace. Microsoft’s customer satisfaction rates on Windows Phone handsets are at 93% according to the company. Microsoft is promising performance enhancements for its first Windows Phone 7 update, due in February. The update, codenamed “NoDo”, will improve application start-up and resume times and introduce the important copy and paste feature. Microsoft is also expected to hint at a second bigger update in February at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, Spain. Microsoft’s second update will introduce enhanced developer controls for applications and updated Silverlight components.
Joe Belfiore, who oversees Windows Phone Program Management, and is responsible for the design and software product definition of forthcoming generations of Windows phones will keynote MIX11 this year. Belfiore is expected to layout a roadmap for the future of Windows Phone 7 and detail Microsoft’s second Windows Phone 7 update. Microsoft is also working on a major overhaul of the Windows Phone 7 browser. In a job posting, listed in November, the software maker promises a “major overhaul of standard support and new approaches to make significant advances in performance, power consumption and bandwidth utilization.” Microsoft may be ready to detail its future Internet Explorer mobile plans at MIX in April too. Microsoft is believed to be planning Flash and HTML5 support for Windows Phone 7.