Microsoft’s turbo-charged app development strategy

Microsoft Canada is opening two more retail storefronts to augment its flagship operation in Toronto. This announcement points in the direction of expansion from a brick & mortar perspective for Microsoft Canada.

But I think Microsoft is going a bit deeper. It did not escape me that the first Microsoft store in Canada was right next to an ultra-swanky Tesla Motors dealership inside Yorkdale mall.

Think about Microsoft Windows Embedded in what people are referring to as the world’s smartest car; the Tesla Roadster. Microsoft a day before the Build conference announced a further partnership with the Ford Motor Co. As of today, more than five million Ford automobiles are shipped with the Sync in-car infotainment system made by Microsoft. And, according to Ford about 70 per cent of its drivers adopt Sync from day one.

Is Ford not cool enough? Well, what about the sporty Fiat 500L? Microsoft forged a deal with Fiat to produce a Windows Embedded system called Uconnect. The five-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio and voice recognition will enable drivers to drive and text (which I do not support in its current form) but what else do you think it will do?

It will be another platform for app developers. It’s not out of the question that people will download apps for their car. Microsoft is making Windows 8.1 a unified experience throughout all its platforms: desktop, notebook, tablet, smartphone, Xbox and Windows Embedded which is cars.

If you are a channel partner with an app development team imaging cooking up an app and it’s now ready for more than five device platforms.

Microsoft also is incenting apps developers with a flexible monetizing system whereby developers get 70 per cent revenue share from all apps sold. It escalates by 10 per cent when those app developers hit the $25,000 threshold.

One quick hit before I go. Online social gaming vendor Zynga has dropped its founder, Mark Pincus as CEO in favour of for Microsoft Xbox executive Don Mattrick.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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