Microsoft, Nokia launch $24M AppCampus development program
Microsoft and Nokia will each invest up to $12 million in the AppCampus program, which kicks off in May 2012. AppCampus will offer training, design/usability insight and funding to help students and budding entrepreneurs build businesses designing mobile apps and services for Windows Phone as well as Nokia's legacy Symbian and Series 40 platforms. While AppCampus will offer assistance and coaching to help developers monetize their efforts via the Windows Phone Marketplace and Nokia Store, participants will retain full intellectual property rights for all apps.
Finland's Aalto University will lead and manage AppCampus, providing premises, coaching services and access to academic and business networks. Students can begin applying for grants in May. For more information, click here.
Although Nokia has pinned its turnaround hopes on Windows Phone, the operating system has struggled to gain market share from Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS. Research firm comScore reports that as of January 2012, Microsoft controls just 4.4 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, far behind Android at 48.6 percent and iOS at 29.5 percent.
Analysts contend that Windows Phone's commercial viability hinges on offering a wealth of mobile apps and services to rival iOS and Android, but many developers are still bypassing the platform--a problem AppCampus seeks to remedy. Just last week, Rovio Mobile said it has no plans to port its latest blockbuster Angry Birds Space to Windows Phone, citing cost concerns and technical support challenges. Rovio later reversed course, stating it is working towards bringing the game to Windows Phone devices after all.
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