Microsoft, Nokia will spend $24 million on university program to boost app development

Developers who accept grants have to commit to exclusivity for six months

Microsoft and Nokia will invest up to €18 million (US$24 million) in a new mobile application development program at Finland's Aalto University during the next three years, with the goal of helping create applications for Windows Phone, the two companies said on Monday.

The program is called AppCampus and will kick off in May, at which time interested entrepreneurs can start applying for grants.

The two companies will split the bill in half. How much they will eventually invest will depend on the quality of the applications, according to Kai Öistämö, executive vice president at Nokia, said.

"We aim to attract thousands of applications from students and entrepreneurs from all over the world," said Öistämö.

The participants will get financial backing without the need to give any equity interest to investors and also will receive coaching on technical issues and how to commercialize applications.

At first, only grants for Windows Phone apps will be accepted. Also, applicants who have developed mobile applications based on AppCampus grants have to commit to exclusivity for six months.

Besides Windows Phone, it will eventually also be possible to apply for grants for Symbian and Series 40 apps. The latter platform is, for example, used on Nokia's Asha family.

"It just goes to show the importance Nokia and Microsoft are placing on app development. Both companies are playing catch-up with Apple and Google," said Paolo Pescatore, analyst at CCS Insight.

Today, there are about 70,000 applications in Microsoft's Marketplace application store, compared to an estimated 50,000 applications in December last year.That compares to more than 550,000 in Apple's App Store in the beginning of March.

A report from development platform vendor Appcelerator and market research company IDC last Tuesday said that 37 percent of developers are very interested in developing applications for Windows Phone and 18 percent exclusively for Nokia's Lumia phones.

That compares to 89 percent for iOS and 79 percent for Android-based smartphones, according to the survey.

The key to changing that is to sell more phones, according to Appcelerator.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?