Windows Phone apps: interest is picking up

angry-birds_thumb Mobile Along with all the news about Microsoft and Nokia, we’ve been seeing quite a few news items go by that seem to show interest for the Windows Phone developer platform, and interest in Windows Phone apps is picking up.

First up is a report from Bloomberg news that the Nokia announcement had an apparent immediate effect on Windows Phone developers, as tracked by Flurry:

In the four days after the Feb. 11 deal, 4 percent of new app projects started were for Windows Phone, compared with 1percent in the previous four days, according to data from Flurry, which tracks mobile games and programs.

New projects for Windows Phone passed Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry and now ranks third behind Apple Inc.’s iOS and Google Inc.’s Android, Flurry said. Microsoft, which agreed last week to have its Windows Phone software power Nokia handsets, is working to turn around market-share losses to Apple and Google. Apple leads in app projects, accounting for 69percent of apps started in the 4 days since Feb. 11. Android had25 percent. BlackBerry was fourth with 2 percent.

Obviously Windows Phone has a long way to go to catch up to Apple, but any bit of good news is a plus at this point.

Then, some news on what developers may expect coming from upcoming changes in the Windows Phone OS: WPCentral was at MWC and captured some pretty strong hints that the next update for Windows Phone, code named Mango, may well include support for developing to TCP-IP sockets:

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Windows Phone’s Brandon Watson on sockets support

Looks like Mix 2011 is shaping up to be a big one for Windows Phone and Windows Phone developers, of course we’ll be there to bring you all the latest.

And probably the most exciting news, although we’ve been hearing it for months, and still don’t have anything firm to report about timing, is that the mega-popular mobile game Angry Birds is coming to Windows Phone.  Pocket-Lint.com talked to Angry Birds maker Rovio, who confirmed that they are “working on it”.  According to Pocket-Lint and Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka, it has been Microsoft and not Rovio who has been dragging their feet on getting Angry Birds to Windows Phone:

It is also our understanding that it has always been Microsoft holding up the launch of Angry Birds on the platform: “Let’s just say, Microsoft has a lot of lawyers," he said.

And finally, for those Windows Phone developers out there, if you act quickly you can get some free Telerik controls, and help your local User Group out at the same time.  The Windows Phone Developer blog has more.

(update):  Oh, and one more thing, a new app from MSN, MSN Video for Windows Phone 7, just became available:

The free app provides video clips from more than 40 popular sources, including Access Hollywood, Animal Planet, CNBC, Consumer Reports, Discovery, FOX Sports, HealthDay, Howcast, Kiplinger’s, MSNBC, Stupid Videos, TODAY, and more. 

MSN today also unveiled a new mobile site for its popular MSN Lifestyle channel. Mobile MSN Lifestyle has articles and slideshows from publications such as Cosmopolitan, Esquire, InStyle, Redbook, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping.

(via Windows Phone Blog)