Windows Phone team underline highlights from 2012

Todd Brix has published a new entry on the Windows Phone Developer Blog detailing highlights of 2012 for Windows Phone. The goal for the team was to establish a new, scalable platform on the mobile phone as well as the cloud. Providing a unique experience for consumers to enjoy when downloading and using apps from a catalogue of apps.

The Windows Phone team improved the foundations of app development and publication with a new client platform, developer toolset, Dev Center, more markets supported and more. But just how active are Windows Phone owners when it comes to downloading apps from the store? It's reported that on average Windows Phone users have downloaded 54 apps each.

The Consumer 

The 54 apps downloaded are from 75,000 new apps and games (as well as 300,000 updates) that were published in 2012. To help improve confidence when browsing to store, Microsoft also added functionality for consumers to get in touch with the team should they have a concern about an app. The catalogue is growing steadily and more big-brand apps are being made available.

To further improve convenience, both app discovery and purchasing have been enhanced through a number of implementations. These include Bing-powered search and smart lists, collections and recommendations. More payment gateways have also been opened up to enable more options for consumers, including PayPal and Alipay. This is on top of carrier billing being enabled at more network providers.

Lastly for consumers are Live Tiles. A reported 85% of Windows Phone 8 consumers (based on customer feedback) would choose Live Apps over those which don't sport such functionality. So that's new options for developers and features for consumers covered, what else was pretty huge in 2012 for the platform?

Money makes the world go round, and unfortunately that's what increases developer interest in a platform - particularly those who wish to work a business and make a solid ROI. The shared core in Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 significantly expands the opportunity for consumer reach and monetisation. Developer revenue is up 40% month-on-month in the month since the SDK was released.

We expect this to continue rising with in-app purchases, etc. All this comes leads to more apps heading to the platform, which is always a positive point for consumers.

Store PayPal

The Developer

As well as improving the experience of the consumer in Windows Phone 8, Microsoft also paid enough attention to developers - both are interlocked in some implementations applied (as mentioned above with developer revenue). The Windows Phone team has focused on innovation, customer reach and engagement, as well as monetisation.

The first point is accomplished by establishing a common UX design language, say hello to the new UI in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. This brings with it a set of shared APIs and a consistent toolset enabling developers to create unique, innovative experience. We've also witnessed the company pushing for more markets to be covered. This opened up new locations for both consumers and developers to access the store.

At the start of the year, the market count was at just 35 with Windows Phone 7, and is now at 191 with Windows Phone 8. That's quite an increase, 90% on what's now available to developers. With the new Developer Center and other enhancements, developers can engage with customer feedback and view better reporting.

As was mentioned above, Brix goes into developer monetisation. Supporting more business models, Microsoft implemented in-app purchase functionality. This adds to what's already available - in-app advertising, trial and paid options. Carrier billing is being offered by more network providers as Microsoft looks to continue pushing companies to offer such options for subscribers. Carrier billing itself is reportedly preferred by 75% of Windows Phone users who have access to the functionality.

It has been quite a year, and one to remember as the year when Windows Phone foundations were constructed. This puts the Windows Phone team in a strong position to continue pushing on with Windows 8 integration and new features being included in future platform updates.

What are your highlights of 2012 for the platform? Here's to an eventful 2013 for Windows Phone.

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • all this is great but, why cant they get facebook app working properly, to many complains about an app that is the first app people download when they buy a windows phone. i think microsoft should stop everything they are doing and fix, facebook, get instagram because, personally i dont care so much but everyone does, all i read online is this app works better on iphone
  • I've had no problems with the FB app or any of the apps I use. Oh, not true. I couldn't get the nokia ringtomne maker to work but other than that, I haven't had problems with the apps I use.
  • I have been hearing this stuff too much lately"personally I don't care too much but others do". Well taking in account I think most of the people dont care so Y is this fuss about instagram.
  • Fb is perfectly integrated into WP, there is no need of a dedicated app. The fb Store app is optional ;)
  • Not perfectly integrated. If it was you can do everything you can do on the site, but you can't through the people hub. Far from perfectly integrated, what it is good at is seeing feeds nice and easy and chatting.
  • FB got updated for WP 7.x. Its now from older Hope WP 8 gets it too.
  • It's at 4.1 for WP8
  • Though Belfiore touts Windows Phone FB integration, there are still some BASIC feature deficits, for instance, being able to "Like" individual Comments or Pictures! The optional FB app by Microsoft still takes me back to the 1st Notification when I return to the Notification list after Liking or Commenting on postings causing me to have to swipe back to where I left off. I try to endorse the platform enthusiastically, but flaws or lack of thoughtfulness to these complaints makes me embarrassed & pensive...
  • Dude!!! Fbook app for iPhone is not an app its a fucking shortcut to the web!!! Y dont you try typing and you will see what im talking about.. Me my self don't use the app at all..well I agree with you on perfecting Facebook app but as far as im concern WP has the best looking fbook app.. Instagram my big black ass
  • Hear Hear...getting fed up with people want fb and instagram...this phone has a lot more to offer than those 2 apps.
  • True, but Microsoft wants to appeal to a mass audience. You may not care but there are people why won't buy it if it doesn't get the same apps as their friends. Deal.
  • keep thinking like that and you'll never get a decent FB app. The problem with most WP users is that they're very quick to settle for mediocrity or that they have extremely low standards.
  • Agree with the "settle for mediocrity" part.
  • You mean like others trying to cover for every single defect on their plataforms? 'Holding it wrong' comes to mind!
  • So many meaningless figures. Simply tell us out of those 120,000 apps how many were updated for Windows Phone 8?
  • They aren't meaningless stats.
    The 2 big things in all of this, is a common core (WinRT) and the UI being the same on Win8 and WinPhone8.
    It means its not too hard to jump from desktop to mobile. Its why we waited 2 years, to essentially get the same phone experience again. I have a 7.5 phone, and my GF just got a Lumia 820. Its not that much different to my phone.
    (The new hardware, such as the Lumia 920 is what I am waiting for)
    The other big thing is carrier billiing. My GF does not have an MS account with credit card details, yet she has been downloading apps which will get added to her next mobile phone bill - she thinks this is really neat!
    What MS need to do now is give us MORE CUSTOMIZATION, and more matury (PROFILES, I don't need a notification but others do --- And DO NOT DISTURB MODE  ---- AND LED indictator lights for mail/SMS/phone calls/Social updates.!!)
  • Actually the 820 is way better then a 7.5 device and it is alot different such as having a memory card slot, it has a dual core chip S4 1.5ghz plus it shares the same core as windows 8 while 7.5 doesn't so on the surface ir may seem like it's the same but really it's not
  • Which translates to: it is different, only you are not going to notice. Which means it is not different.
  • Having over 64GB of storage as an option is unnoticeable? Having a far superior chipset allowing for 1080p support and much faster loading times does not matter? Support, possible interoperability and better ecosystem going forwards don't either?
    And on top of that, your reasoning for "not different" makes absolutely zero sense.
  • You go that all wrong. You see the difference when apps launch faster, when her phone receives more support, and when she can use apps you won't be able to use.
  • I've had to switch back to my focus from my 920 (got bricked and I need to send it in to Nokia) and after using wp8 and going back to 7.5 the difference is really drastic 7.5 doesn't hold a candle to 8
  • People, maybe 2 million don't care about Facebook apps but 15 million do care and that's what is important when your trying to recommend a new phone, think about the sales person who knows issues with Facebook app an a buyer ask how is the Facebook app, is the sales rep suppose to say yes it has Facebook app but iPhone Facebook is way better. Or is yes suppose to say yes Facebook is good on windows phone only to have the buyer return to the store say hey the iPhone Facebook is better why didn't u tell me. People need to wake up Microsoft and fix these problems are more important then if you have 75000 apps or 95000 apps who cares if the main apps don't live up to other platforms
  • one of the issues i have is that alot of the much touted apps have limited functionality,  for example, the slacker app is missing  most all of my premium membership features hats available on every other OS!, the CNN news app from CNN is missing half of the functions thats available on android & ios, the kindle app is missing 2/3rds of the features thats available on IOS, and Android. IMDB is missing half its ios features,Netflix is missing some features thats on my ios devices and some on my android phone,facebook is more limited than on ios,  these arent obscure and lesser used apps! these are supposed to be the foundation or flagship apps for the operating system and every single one of them are signifigantly hampered by placeholder apps.  when it comes to the ecosystem microsoft has made claims that they cant back up!.   dont get me wrong i love my nokia 822 and the windows operating system, but frankly the ecosystem SUX, i REALLY hope things pick up soon  because if they dont people that are looking for an alternative to ios and android will start looking at blackberry 10
  • This is exactly how I feel. And to be honest I would never recommend Windows Phone as an alternative to Android or ios! It's got a beautiful UI, but it's got a shithole for an ecosystem!
  • shit hole? lol i have all the apps i need and i am from andriod n IOS platform and i seriously don't think you own a wp8 phone at all..
    whats the use of having 750k apps in a play store when about 1000 of the apps is doing the same thing?
  • try other FB apps in WP8 market.. they do exactly better then IOS. 
    BB10 is a joke 
    WP8 ecosystem is growing as long as Apps developers see the buying in market happening.
    and i seriously don't think you own a WP8 phone at all
  • You can't honestly think they aren't working on a fix as well as the one million other projects they have going. Microsoft aren't a fly by night company, they are in this for the long run. Many fixes and updates have come since Windows Phone began, be patient and you will see what you desire. Personally I don't use Facebook much but I only use it from the people app and other areas of the phone. The app works very well since the last update.
  • Now I want a lumia 920 white one.. Shit!!
  • So they fixed all the Xbox music & video sync issues, right? Provided a decent PDF reading experience? Or are they just patting themselves in the back for meaningless numbers?
  • yeah, kinda like that big talk about working through the holidays to approve app submissions.  I sat through the holidays and didn't see ONE app update and the new apps available on my Surface were a trickle (and all rubbish)
  • I had 2 app updates pushed to me on Christmas Day...
  • What a load of manure.  All those fluffy words about the consumer experience are complete PR BS.  They are doing very little to help/coerce/force developers to bring the apps into feature parity with other platforms.  Oh yes, WP has "the top 47 apps" but those apps are a joke compared to versions on other platforms. 
    I think you forget that the Apps does not belong to WP8 or W8 and they have no control over it.. so if you want a specific app sooooooo much, please go scream at the developer blog or email n make they make a app for the platform.. so they know there is a demand from their users.  
  • Quite a few of those apps are made by Microsoft because the companies themselves did not want to invest into wp8.
  • Wrong... The developers are listed for these apps, and none of the top 47 apps are put out by MS.
  • +1