Brandon Watson, Microsoft’s developer evangelist, last week caused a stir within the industry when he announced that the Windows Phone 7 toolkit had been downloaded 1.5 million times. He also then went on to state they were adding 1200 developers every week.
Buzz around Windows Phone 7 peaked in February following the announcement of a strategic partnership that would see the OS used in Nokia handsets (due in 2012). But as cited in recent posts the true litmus test for the sustained growth of a platform is appeal to the enterprise market.
The platforms enterprise features were showcased at launch, with Brandon Watson strong SharePoint and Office integration, remote wiping and support for multiple Exchange Server accounts being just a few of them.
But as we know these aren’t the features that resulted in the growth of Android and iPhone use in enterprise, having to appeal to the consumer is essential. Appealing to the “Bring Your Own Device” enterprise, that many IT departments dread, the finger friendly interface, form factor and hardware specifications has gotten consumer hearts racing.
However, to speed up the adoption of Windows Phone 7 by enterprises, albeit through consumer channels, Microsoft will need to ensure that there are enough phones to attract app developers and boost the revenue that apps can bring in.
So far the company has shipped 2 million Windows Phone 7 devices in the last quarter of 2010 compared to 14.1 million Apple iPhones, 33.3 million Android devices and 14.6 million BlackBerry units.
Windows Phone 7 market share is still insignificant compared to its strongest competitors. However, it is a great achievement for the five months in which the platform has been around and I expect to see further growth in its popularity with app developers, both consumer and enterprise alike.