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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.

September 25, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Survey: Developers say Facebook could face mobile disruption; Windows 8 holds promise but far from sure thing

A majority of mobile developers believe Facebook is at risk of being disrupted by a mobile-first social media startup.

Developers believe Windows 8 “holds significant promise but is far from a sure thing” and they are most interested in the shared development capabilities between Windows 8 desktop and tablet.

Those are some of the takeaways from the latest quarterly survey report from mobile platform company Appcelerator and research firm IDC.

The two companies survey thousands of Appcelerator mobile app developers each quarter for its reports.

This time, some findings of note include:

  • Sixty-six percent of mobile developers surveyed said it is “likely to very likely” that a mobile-first social startup will disrupt the market for mobile social apps and take market share from Facebook.
  • Developers believe that by 2015, they’ll be creating mobile apps not just for smartphones and tablets but also for televisions, connected cars, game consoles, foldable screens and Google Glasses.
  • Mobile developers are disappointed with HTML5, including the user experience, performance and monetization.
  • The percentage of mobile developers “very interested” in building apps for RIM’s Blackberry phones fell to an all-time low of 9 percent. (That’s compared with 40 percent in January 2011.)
  • That leaves room for Microsoft to squeeze in with Windows 8, which 33 percent of survey respondents said they were “very interested” in developing for. (That’s compared to 85 percent for the iPhone and 83 percent for the iPad; and 76 percent for Android phones and 66 percent for Android tablets.)

VeryInterested.png

What interested developers most about Windows 8 was not so much Microsoft’s support for the tablet, the report says, but rather “the shared development capabilities between desktop and tablet promised by Microsoft with the launch of Windows 8. We believe this reflects the continuing issues that developers face in supporting so many platforms, so many interaction mediums, and so many different ways that end users will consume an application.”

Developers were “cautiously optimistic” that Microsoft would actually be able to deliver on its promise of a single development environment. But, the report also notes, Microsoft has to deliver a strong showing out of the gate with tablet sales and “it’s obvious that Microsoft has a lot of work to do to convince developers that Windows 8 will be a successful platform.”

Another little tidbit from the report: Of the developers who responded to the survey, 96 percent were male; only 4 percent were female.

The report can be downloaded here.

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