Microsoft and Nokia are hoping to fund the next generation of apps after setting up an €18m scheme for budding developers.
The Finland-based scheme, dubbed AppCampus, will be led and managed by Aalto University. Successful applicants will develop apps for the Windows Phone ecosystem and Nokia platforms such as Symbian. Both companies said they hoped to receive thousands of applications with the scheme to start in May 2012. Aalto University will provide the premises, coaching services and access to academic and business networks for the developers. Nokia and Microsoft said the developers will receive business coaching but will retain the intellectual property rights for their work.
Windows Phone currently lags behind its Apple and Google counterparts in terms of the number of apps it can offer. While Apple boasts more than 500,000 apps, with Android just behind with 450,000 available through the Google Play store, Windows Phone has around 60,000.
Microsoft Western Europe president Klaus Holse said: 'AppCampus offers an unprecedented opportunity for entrepreneurs to put their ideas into practice and create world-class mobile products. We want to turn a new leaf in the mobile industry and foster Finland’s role as a centre of excellence for mobile technology. Such investment into early-stage concepts has rarely been seen in this sector, and this demonstrates how highly both Nokia and Microsoft value Finnish mobile expertise.'
Kai Öistämö, executive VP of Nokia Corp said: 'We are proud to announce this new program, which will enable new and existing developers to create next generation mobile apps and unique user experiences. The partnership will allow developers to ideate and monetise business opportunities globally, via both Windows Phone Marketplace and Nokia Store.'
Editor: Graeme Neill