Windows Phone 7 may have just reached the 70,000 app milestone, but with big name developers like Rovio (of Angry Birds fame) not treating the platform as a priority due to its small userbase, Microsoft and Nokia are launching the AppCampus mobile app development programme. It will be launched in May and managed by Aalto University in Finland with an aim of attracting developers and entrepreneurs from around the world to the Windows Mobile (and Symbian/S40 – yes it’s still going!) programme in a move described as a way to “strengthen Finland’s competitiveness”.
Whilst Angry Birds Space may not be coming to the Windows Phone platform any time soon, this kind of development fund is proof that both companies appreciate the chicken and egg problem of user numbers and app availability – and that they intend to address the situation. €18 million may pale in comparison with Apple’s $200 million iFund, but such direct investment in the ecosystem can only be good for the platform, and therefore good for the general mobile ecosystem as it will increase competition.