Developer interest for Windows Phone 8 remains high while RIM's plummets

71% of developers are optimistic about Windows Phone 8

A new survey today from RW Baird shows some promising news for the Windows Phone platform.  Despite some recent setbacks and still less-than-stellar adoption rates, devs are keeping their eyes on the prize with Windows Phone 8 and Microsoft’s future.

The poll shows that since the June 20th Windows Phone Summit, 71% of respondents had an increased interest in the platform because of the new Windows Phone 8 capabilities.  That’s quite a high number and we believe a smart move as the promise of overlapping development for Windows 8 Desktop, Surface and Windows Phone 8 will offer some tantalizing opportunities for increased revenue.

Regarding developers long term outlook for Windows Phone 7, devs were less enthusiastic with a noticeable decline from 6.3 (out of 10) back in Q2 2011 to just 4.2 in Q2 2012.  Why the drop? It’s actually hard to decipher as it is far from clear just what devs understand as “the future of Windows Phone 7”. From a technical standpoint, the platform is winding down but Nokia and Microsoft have promised long-term support. Microsoft has also ensured that Windows Phone 7 apps will work on 8—so are devs turning from WP7 and looking to WP8 instead? That seems to be the case.

The worst news though is aimed at RIM and their upcoming Blackberry 10 platform. Developer interest for their next gen OS is precipitously declining with only a 3.8 (out of 10) now hopeful for its long term success. RIM has responded to this report noting that they’ve published 15K apps since January and their dev camps have had robust attendance. All of that may be true but image and perception are everything and people's view of RIM’s future looks negative—that is never a good thing and hard to turnaround. (But see Crackberry for an alternative analysis).

Perhaps it’s not surprising that iOS and Android remain strong with 9.3 and 8.7 scores for developers’ faith in their long term potential with Android taking a very slight dip.  The survey data comes from 200 developers culled from a sample set of 4,300 making the numbers seemingly reliable.

The takeaway from this news would be developers clearly see Windows Phone 8 as the third ecosystem for smartphones while webOS, Symbian and RIM’s future OS are clearly either dead or floundering. That's something to be hopeful about.

Source: RW Baird; via Crackberry, All Things D

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • This is an interesting read, I was actually just reading something sort of similar on another site if anyone is interested to read it the link is below:
    This sort of follows the same lines but definitely is more focused on devs for business vs consumer being the way that MS can really challenge apple and android in the mobile arena.
    I am excited to see the surface tablets as to how they will stack up with iPad.
  • Hopefully this will shut the "regulars" up
  • I love how WP's photo viewing makes it possible to see what the new start screen will look like on our phones.
    Regarding the article, I would expect developers to view Windows 8 more highly
  • I'm a little concerned that developer confidence in WP8 has dropped slightly from the last quarter, but at least it's stronger than the rest.  Really hoping Microsoft has a smart, cohesive advertising campaign that ties Win8, WP8, Surface, and especially the XBox360 console (Games on smartphones is a big plus I think, and XBL is fantastic IMO) together in a huge push to generate interest.
  • The slight drop was for dev outlook in wp7 LTS.
  • Does this really make any difference to the end consumer and ultimately sales when it seems you still have to wait for a WP release at least months after the same app is out on ios and android? Maybe that will change but if it doesnt I'm not sure this chart makes any difference when it comes to the apps that matter.
  • Android still plays second fiddle to iOS--e.g. the Nike+ Fuel app is not on Android. They always get apps after iOS and it didn't hurt them. This argument loses more and more bite everyday Windows Phone is out.
  • These projections don't do anything when it comes down to hard sale numbers,RIM and Microsoft are flopping,and maybe WP8 and BB10 will get them off and running.Like a said before last thing any of us want is two choices IOS and Android.l
  • But I think it's more than clear and non-controversial that dev interest = more apps = more sales. Windows Phone as an OS and even hardware has been fairly successful. The largest complaint is "lack of apps and games". If dev interest is high for one and low for the other, which platform has a better chance of success? More over, WP already has many more apps that BB10 and will launch earlier.
  • Windows Phone market share is increasing significantly around the world, especially in many countries in Europe, as well as Australia and China. In Russia and China Windows Phone market share is already ahead of iPhone.
    The same cannot be said for RIM. RIM's market share is decreasing significantly everywhere in the world. The two companies are not in the same boat at all. Windows Phone market share is growing and developer interest is increasing. Blackberry market share is decresaing signficantly and developer interest is decreasing. Not to mention RIM has serious questions about it's future whereas Microsoft obviously does not.
  • Damn that new start screen is sexy.  I love the original WP7/7.5 style but this is seriously 100x better.  I can't wait.
  • Only problem for me is the colors, I want the same color scheme as windows 8. The ones we have now are too pastel/crayon. Ever better would be to have different colors for different tiles.
  • Your wishes will be granted with Windows Phone 8
  • I would like to see metallic-effect tiles. Then we're talking sexy
  • The only thing you have to do is closed your eyes and dream, you will see all the colors you like. :-P
  • I can't afford drugging myself everytime I use my phone. The colors should be buildt into the OS, no hallucinogenic needed.
  • Interesting, devs clearly hadn't read the memo, MS is not cool and whatnot. Some one please send these guys the note and a pair of Diesel jeans.
  • I LOL'd.
  • @Daniel agreed.
  • I wish you'd take a better quality photo, its all blurry.. Hope thats not a windows phone..
  • New to photography? It's called shallow depth of field...the top is focused and the lower is blurred for an effect. It's shot with a 50mm F/1.8 on a D700 and I happen to like it, thank you.
  • +1
  • My interest kinda drops when it comes to more sales, yes I want more apps, but sales..., it's cool and all, forum bs and whatnot, but it doesn't do anything to me, does it ?
  • Here's the real question- in 3-4 months from now when Windows 8 (not WP8) is launched and your average consumer actually sees one upclose or owns a W8 device, how do those consumers act? How does this reaction impact developers reaction? 
    If Windows 8 is a success, like I think/hope it really will be, I think developer interest will soar to iOS/Android levels extremely fast. If it's just okay in the general publics eyes, I think developers will take WP8 more seriously than WP7, but it will only be that #3 OS. If it's a dud, I think the WP7 developers will stick around, but many of the WP8 ones won't... although Microsoft and maybe Nokia will throw money at them to port their apps, so who knows. Does interest mean you're willing to port your app if you're paid to do so?
  • My question is how did you get that focus 2 to run what looks like WP 7.8?
  • Just an effect. Loaded up some 7.8 sample screen in the pic viewer. 
  • Webos? Is this more "in the coming months" news? All jokes aside, projections are just that. They could be as accurate as me saying I project a trip to the moon in the coming months. No one will know for sure until the day comes I strap in a rocket. Although I could potentially take my entire family on this trip. So really anything can happen. All we can do is have faith, help promote WP, and continue to enjoy what we have now. Not worry about what we may or may not have in the coming months.
  • These aren't projections though. This is a survey of 200 developers picked from 4,300 candidates. So it's how those devs feel about the various platforms i.e. are they willing to support it because they feel it has potential. I'd say your analogy was more accurate if these were just strangers in the world but dev's opinions on the platform is very important, I'd argue. 
  • I think the reloaded metro design for WP8 is truly bold, a stunning new take on the smartphone interface, and will revolutionize the market.
  • Rim who? Windows phone killed it already.
  • We have to stop talking about rim... DONE... RIP RIM... GO WP8...
  • I feel so sad for RIM. Jokes no I don't actually
  • U know what I just had a thought. Since Microsoft is making surface then they should make themed ones like they do Xbox ones that would be awesome and smart