This is a long list of apps, from most of the big brands that still don’t have a presence on Windows Phone. There is also a conscious effort made to utilize some of the unique features of the Windows Phone UI like Live Tiles, to differentiate the apps from the other platforms. As a Windows Phone user, I always smile when a developer uses Live Tiles to provide at-a-glance information, or allow me to create secondary tiles to get deep links into the app (like a flight boarding pass in an airline app, or my home commute in a public transport app).
Nokia obviously is pouring a lot of money to get these brands to build the apps, and I think it is justified to a certain extent. Nokia, and Windows Phone in general, needs to have more users buy their devices. One of the stumbling blocks for Windows Phone has been the lack of top-tier apps. Microsoft has tried both “depth” and “breadth” developer evangelism but obviously more work is to be done. Nokia, with its own great developer network, can also provide help in the area.
Another good thing in this announcement is that despite some of these apps being exclusive, none of them are “permanent exclusives”. In other words, because of Nokia, the entire Windows Phone ecosystem will ultimately benefit. Unfortunately, the other OEMs have shown little or no such intent. I think I finally get what Stephen Elop meant when he said that Nokia is the real Windows Phone maker.
Are you a Windows Phone user? Are you happy seeing this, especially if you have a non-Lumia phone? Let me know!