The good news for Microsoft is that mobile app developers are interested in Windows 8. The bad news is that, with Microsoft not yet competitive in the mobile space, most developers are giving Apple a big lead as to who will win in the enterprise.
That’s according to the results of the most recent quarterly survey from mobile platform company Appcelerator and research firm IDC.
“The big news is that Apple’s iOS took a dramatic lead over Google’s Android in the enterprise app space,” Scott Ellison, IDC’s vice president of mobile and connected consumer platforms, said in a news release. “For developers, Android appears to be evolving more towards a consumer play, which in turn provides a key competitive opening for Microsoft in the enterprise mobile app space.”
According to the survey of more than 3,500 Appcelerator developers worldwide, 53.2 percent say Apple’s iOS will win in the enterprise marketplace versus 37.5 percent saying Android will win. Only three quarters ago, the two operator systems were even at 44 percent each.
Appcelerator and IDC attributed this change to the growing strength of Apple in the enterprise — particularly with the iPad, frequent reports of Android malware and Android fragmentation, among other factors.
As for Microsoft’s great hope for moving to mobile — Windows 8 — the survey finds developers “cautiously optimistic about Windows 8 tablets, and find Microsoft’s Metro UI especially compelling,” according to the survey.
“Android’s perceived weakness in the enterprise is a key Microsoft opportunity. Developers’ dropping interest in Android in the enterprise is a key opportunity for Microsoft to displace Android as the Number Two mobile OS in the enterprise as Microsoft pursues its aim of becoming Number One,” the survey says.
Here’s a chart from the survey, showing percentage of developers “very interested” in creating apps for each operating system:
Some other Microsoft-related findings from the Appcelerator/IDC survey:
* Microsoft will have to stir interest in Windows Phone 8, as the survey found that developer interest in Windows Phone 7 dropped sharply, from 37 percent who said they were “very interested” in the first quarter of 2012 to 25 percent in the second quarter. That wasn’t surprising given the lackluster sales of Windows Phone 7, which will soon be superceded by Windows Phone 8. (The survey was conducted in May before Windows Phone 8 was announced in June.)
* Only 18.6 percent of the developers surveyed said they plan to work with Microsoft’s Azure developers’ cloud platform. In comparison, 50.4 percent said they plan to work with Apple’s iCloud and 49.1 percent said they plan to work with Amazon’s cloud platform.
* Windows 8’s distinctive, tile-based Metro user interface will be its strategic differentiator, with 43.8 percent of developers surveyed finding it “beautiful and different compared to iOS and Android” and 28.5 percent of developers saying that “that is helping them rethink how to engage more effectively with their users.”