Sources close to Microsoft have confirmed that the tech giant is determined to prop up its Windows Phone 8 App Store, and it’s willing to bust out the big boy checkbook to do it. According to Business Insider, Microsoft has offered several top tier developers upwards of $100,000 to bring key apps to its mobile platform.
This is on top of offers to pay $100 per app, up to $2000, if developers publish an app before the end of this month.
The payment aims to entice developers to create apps for Windows Phone 8 as Microsoft play catch up to other app stores for Apple, Android, and BlackBerry.
Windows Phone chief marketing office Thom Gruhler told Bloomberg that Microsoft currently has around 145,000 apps and games in the Windows Store, although versions of Pinterest and Instagram are still missing for Windows Phone.
Although Windows Phone 8 is missing these two particularly popular apps, Gruhler explains that the store does still contain 48 of the 50 most-downloaded apps across all platforms.
While some may argue bribing developers is cheating, this is exactly the level of support we expect Microsoft to provide for the ecosystem, and of course Google and Blackberry both used the same strategy in their early years.
Last year, Google announced that Google Play had 600,000 apps, matching Apple’s App Store.