Monday, June 18, 2012

Hours before Microsoft is set to make its huge, mysterious announcement in Los Angeles, a researcher has delivered some good news for the company: It’s having some success wooing developers to Windows Phone.

At the moment, Apple and Google don’t appear to have much to worry about, but the beleaguered RIM does since project starts for Windows Phone are outpacing those for BlackBerry by a four-to-one margin. That, at least, is by the reckoning of Flurry Analytics.

The firm, which provides analytics for app developers, looked at project starts over the past year. According to Flurry, Windows Phone now has 6% of all new project starts vs. 1% for RIM’s BlackBerry. While the latter has remained flat over the last 12 months, Microsoft’s share grew 600%.

Moreover, in June there was one Microsoft Windows project start for every Android project starts.

“Considering the much smaller Windows Phone installed based compared to Android, Microsoft is currently over-indexing,” Flurry wrote on its blog. “From Google’s point-of-view, this must move Microsoft from a mobile app ‘also-ran’ to a competitor who has kicked started momentum and is mounting a campaign to reel in the second place player. Time will tell.”

This chart shows how Microsoft is making a dent:

The change in momentum didn’t come by accident. According to a recent Wall Street Journal story, Microsoft hosted more than 850 sessions for Windows Phone developers, triple the number the year before. The company has also has “sped up the process of launching apps, expanded ways app makers can make money from selling their wares on Windows Phone and cut checks to some developers to help pay for apps.”