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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 20, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Survey: Developer interest in Windows Phone remains steady, declines for Android

While mobile developers are most interested in developing for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms, interest remains high in developing for Windows Phone, despite weak sales.

That’s according to a new survey, being released today, conducted by research firm IDC and mobile development platform Appcelerator.

The survey of 2,173 Appcelerator developers around the world found the jump in interest in creating apps for Windows Phone that occurred in the fourth quarter last year is holding steady, despite Microsoft’s share of smartphone subscribers actually declining. About 37 percent of developers said they are very interested in creating apps for Windows Phone — enough to keep it in third place in the survey behind iOS and Android. (The percentage of developers very interested in Windows 8 tablets was also 37 percent.)

“Microsoft has always done a good job of wooing developers,” said Michael King, principal mobile strategist at Appcelerator.

But King also believes “it’s not so much what Microsoft is doing well as what others are not doing well. RIM is doing a lousy job wooing developers. Android is fragmenting like crazy.”

Indeed, the percentage of developers surveyed who said they’re very interested in Android is declining, dropping 4.7 percentage points from the previous survey to 78.6 percent. Interest in Android tablets dropped 2.2 percentage points to 65.9 percent.

iOS remains on top, with 89 percent of respondents saying they’re very interested in developing for iPhone, and 88 percent saying the same for iPad.

Among the study’s other findings:

  • Developer interest in BlackBerry OS takes another plunge, declining from 20.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 15.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012.
  • In terms of incorporating social aspects into mobile apps, developers see big potential in Google’s network effects, especially in comparison with Facebook. Facebook may have had a huge head start over Google in social networking but the developers surveyed by Appcelerator are still struggling to understand and leverage Facebook’s social graph.

    On the other hand, they readily see the integration possibilities for Google’s network of assets (including Google search, Gmail, YouTube, Google+ and more).

    “This translates into a big competitive opportunity for Google – and potential significant risk for Facebook – especially because developers perceive Google as innovating faster than Facebook,” Scott Ellison, vice president of mobile and connected consumer platforms at IDC, said in a news release.

  • 79 percent of the Appcelerator developers surveyed said they would integrate HTML5 in their apps this year – much higher than many industry observers had anticipated.

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