Microsoft is determined to earn itself a place in mobile, a space dominated by Apple and Google. And one new tactic could be paying as much as $600,000 per app to third-party developers in order to expand the offerings for Windows Phone, the New York Times reports.
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Microsoft’s desperation is understandable. For the first time, smartphone shipments exceeded PC shipments in 2011, and smartphones are expected to account for 62 percent of total worldwide smart connected device shipments by 2016, according to IDC. If tablets are included in these estimates, mobile devices will have a 72 percent market share in four years.
IDC expects the number of x86 Windows PCs to account for only 25 percent of connected devices by 2016, dropping from last year’s 35.9 percent.
Web vs. App
As mobile device shipments rise, so will the amount of time people spend consuming digital content on different devices, including smartphones and tablets.
All of this indicates that apps’ importance will surpass the Web’s, if it hasn’t already. But are they necessarily mutually exclusive? Native apps work great on mobile devices because they leverage the small screen’s real estate and touch-based interaction. Websites and Web apps are normally too cluttered or cumbersome to navigate on a small screen.
Like many others, I prefer using a native app to perform tasks on my smartphone. I use Flipboard to read online articles, Jango to play music, Facebook to check my friend’s status, TweetBot to see what the world is up to, and iReddit to kill time.
When I’m at my desk, I do all of the above using a Web browser.
Until mobile devices are powerful enough to replace my PC, I don’t see myself abandoning the open Web. And I don’t see that happening in the next few years. My usage may decline a bit, but I’ll still use my good ol’ PC.
Photo: Yutaka Tsutano