Reflecting on 2012: scale and opportunity

Reflecting on 2012: scale and opportunity

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As the year draws to a close, I can’t help but reflect on what we’ve accomplished together in 2012. Our big goal this year was to establish a new, scalable platform on the phone and in the cloud upon which we can better achieve our mission: to provide a confident, convenient and customized app experience for our customers across the world, and enable developers to rapidly innovate and realize opportunity.

We literally set a new foundation this year with the deployment of all-new infrastructure – new client platform, new developer toolset, new Dev Center, new catalog infrastructure, and all-new global service. I know transitions can be frustrating, but it is now complete and customers and developers are already beginning to reap the benefits with a better app and store experience, faster performance and more robust tools.

Focus on customer experience

As a direct result of our investments, Windows Phone customers now download, buy, and use more apps than at any time since we first launched Windows Phone 7 two years ago. On average Windows Phone users have downloaded 54 apps each to personalize their phone experience around the people and information they care about most.  This high and growing level of customer engagement reflects our focus on 3 key customer promises:

  • Confidence. Establish high confidence level in the store and the apps it offers.  Confidence is built by testing and certifying every app and game to help protect customers from malware and viruses.  Over the last year we’ve certified and published over 75,000 new apps and games (more than doubling the catalog size) and over 300,000 app updates. In addition, this year we added the capability for customers to tell us if they have a concern about an app.
  • Convenience. Make app discovery and purchase convenient.  Over the last year we’ve made a lot of discovery enhancements including Bing-powered search and smart lists, as well as new collections and recommendations for Windows Phone 8 customers.  We’ve also made the purchase experience easier than ever by expanding payment options to include PayPal and Alipay, and doubling the number of carrier billing connections.
  • Customization. Enable users to create their own app experience. Live Apps are an example of this, surfacing information from the app right on the Start screen.  Based on customer feedback, 85% of Windows Phone 8 users indicate they would choose Live Apps over those without. It’s our job to empower you with the tools and APIs to build these unique experiences.

Create opportunity for developers

The release of the new developer platform for Windows Phone 8 and its shared core with Windows 8 significantly expands the opportunity for innovation, customer reach and monetization for developers across the globe. Even though Windows Phone 8 just started shipping in the last 7 weeks and most developers are still creating new or updated Windows Phone 8 apps, we have already seen an increase in developer revenue month over month, up 40% in the 30 days since the SDK release. We anticipate that to grow with new hardware sales and as apps with the new capabilities like in-app purchase begin to reach customers. Our commitment to creating opportunity for developers is focused on 3 key tenets:

  • Innovation. Establish Common UX Design Language. With Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, Microsoft has created a common, compelling user experience design to accelerate and simplify how users interact with their devices. And we have added a rich set of shared APIs and a consistent toolset, so developers can create innovative experiences for both Windows and Window Phone users.
  • Customer Reach and Engagement. Create a global distribution opportunity. Over the course of 2012 we expanded the number of markets where users can get apps and games for their Windows Phones by over 5x, from 35 markets at the start of the year, to 63 with the spring release to over 95 and counting with Windows Phone 7.8 (testing isn’t complete, the final count may increase) and finally to 191 markets with Windows Phone 8, representing over a 90% increase in addressable market for your apps. We have also invested in giving developers access to better reporting and deeper insight into customer feedback.
  • Monetization. Support multiple business models to create a diverse app catalog. In 2012 we added in-app purchase capabilities (for both durables and consumables) in addition to the existing advertising, trial and paid app business models already available. Enabling new business models isn’t enough; the payment options customers prefer must also be available. This year’s expansion added some of the most popular including PayPal, Alipay and a large expansion of carrier billing (six new carriers in the last 3 weeks alone). Carrier billing when offered, for example, is preferred by 75% of the Windows Phone users who have access to it and drives over 2x paid downloads compared to credit card billing.

We exit 2012 with a new foundation firmly in place, a huge expansion in developer opportunity, and a great new product in Windows Phone 8, which is receiving acclaim by both industry and consumers. There has never been a better time to develop for Windows Phone. If you haven’t already, we’d like to invite you to visit the Dev Center to download the new SDK and for those of you who have made the journey with us, I want to say thank you on behalf of the entire Windows Phone team. Your feedback drives us and your apps inspire us.

Thank you and Happy New Year!

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  • The most expected mobile phone features in 2013

  • a salat on the side ,,

    the big mistake on getting developers on bord ,,

    you shood never have put xbox live on the phones ,,

    normal small town developers can not compeate with this,, and when you search the tablet and phone

    you allways present the xboxlive games ,, big mistake

    xbox live is for consoles,,ONLY

    and we all now ,, it is just matter of time before you got to pay a xbox live few just to play games on phones and tablets

    that is allso why people do not buy the phone and tablet

    the world is in a recession

    if you called it xbox live , but the games can not delever the quality that is need it

    sony has called these mini games , a work around ,, but there shares are allso falling

    allso people will not buy phone and tablets , games ,,

    becourse you and EXLUSIVE DEAL ,, not all the apps are avilibe to all

    they are on apple and android

    your mistake


  • A little for you to sell more devices

    first the 7 million post when you(jim) killed xna and silverlight

    more silverlight ,, all these people talk to frinds and farmely ,,

    do not buy windows 8

    and the licens you have sold is to OEM ,, no really people

    thay are in some warehose som where

    and yes you claim you have sold 400 million ,, well there where no compatision

    but there are now,,

    i now you read all my posts here ,, go back you where killed by amazon , and nexus 7

    your tablet was 150 to high on price,, allso when you sell a product to normal people , NOT OEM

    people wood like to now the price and where to order , or taking pre orders over the web

    big mistake you did , no one cood order your tablet, not even online

    here is the deal


    this is what happen when you abaonden developers, and kill frameworks , wicth work perfect well

    let the the phone 8 ,, nothing new NOT SOFTWARE REVELUTION at all

    you just renamed silverlight

    xna hidef profile ,, is directx 9.c and you called now directx 11,, bad mistake

    upgrade the xna framework to hidef and let us run it on your phones

    allso make a public apology to developers , blame it on steven sinofsky,, and his team andy lee

    do you now how manny small town developers you have bankrupt in trick them into a BETA TEST of you products

    just to get dump to side of the road

    i bet when the numbers come out THERE HAS BEEN SOLD MORE LUMIA 800 AND 900 PHONE , THAN WINDOWS 8 PHONES

    now you listen ,, when your new xbox come out it will fail ,, the cost of making these games are to high

    compared to wat normal people are playing,, on android and ipad,iphone

    the market will be verry small ,, and with all the shooting,, a law will prevent this

    here is the trick ,, US WILL RUN OUT OF CELUAR BANDWIDTH IN 2015 ,, with the speed that android and apple are unlocking there devices

    and just the othere day in denmark "elgiganten" i was lokking at some windows 8 devices

    thay are to theck and heavy compared to google chromebooks, and apple products

    and the price iin over 1000 dollars for a labtop

    well the chromebook in around 250 to 350 dollars,, the apple stuff is around 1000 dollars

    then people buy apple, QUALITY

    the world is in a recession and that is the problem,,

    make a public apology to developers

    and say you will contunie to support and upgrade XNA AND SILVERLIGHT




    Michael Hansen

  • I like WP.I like to make a feedback. I want see a better page navigation within an app. Can it be so that if a user presses and hold the back button for few seconds within an app he or she should see all the pages of that app that he has visited or navigated.

  • HenrikH
    0 Posts

    Browsing the WP appstore reviews I cannot help but notice how buggy and non-working many apps seem to be. This is a real danger, how can buggy apps get through to the store? There is nothing more frustrating than software that doesn't work. I suspect there has been a hurry to get apps to the store to compete with Apple and Android, but quality has suffered, and that is a big mistake.

  • toybook
    0 Posts

    Many of those Apps are already working in Windows Phone, and many more yet to come. Lets b hopeful.

  • anatolyl
    19 Posts

    AppHub was a disaster with many bugs and timeouts.

    Current DevCenter has still visible bugs and timeouts. It is not well designed and not comprehensible.

    couple of examples:

    1) There is no option to add release notes when I submit an update so users don't know what's new and why they should download the update. This is something basic.

    2) Since WP8 is not backward compatible with WP7 there is a need to handle multiple xap files and it is not done well on DevCenter: i.e. when I update one of the 2 xaps - both xaps are submitted and the UI is not comprehensible.

    3) Animated UI during upload doesn't give any indication on the upload progress and adds a lot of clutter especially when devs work from virtual machines, etc.

    My rating for 2012 for DevCenter for WP is 2/10

  • Kise
    0 Posts

    that's nice and all.. but that only apply to US store, for example the Kuwait store for Windows Phone 8  doesn't even have the official twitter app, and the app selection there is way too limited, i wish there is an easy way to switch store region so that we can download apps like in android/iOS from other markets such as US/EU

  • naWi
    0 Posts

    Glad to hear that, at least now Windows Phone start to be a competitor of iOS and Android.

    But, When I see large custom apps developed by Nokia, Samsung or HTC. Seems WP does not have consistent default apps features. You have to keep old features still exist on the future of new WP update. Not, removing the old one but only adding or improving! Again, not removing. But adding/improving. For example, the support of old SIM Card Toolkit/Application (USSD) or MMS, Call Diverting, Forwarding etc..

    Please get more dependent from 3rd party apps. If possible, please acquired some good apps and make it as default apps or features in the next WP release.

    I am a Windows user since Pocket PC (Compaq) and then Windows Mobile (Treo 750 & Pro) dan leaving for Palm Treo 600, 650, 680, then go WebOS (Pre & Veer), then go get Android (Ginger, ICS, JB), and finally try to catch a new WP7 and WP8 over the Lumia 820. I switch back to WP since watching and feel the dramatic amazing performance/speed from Lumia 800. From here, I see WP has a good future. And I hope the 2012 reflecting all the better future, better support and better customer oriented, not MS oriented!! :)