Right after HP announced that it would be discontinuing webOS operations, effectively killing the TouchPad and webOS phones, Microsoft made a very smart move.
Brandon Watson, Director for Windows Phone 7, immediately tweeted this:
To Any Published WebOS Devs: We’ll give you what you need to be successful on #WindowsPhone, incl.free phones, dev tools, and training, etc.
With Windows Phone 7 still not as popular as Android or iOS among developers , this was a great initiative by Microsoft to strengthen the numbers of its army of developers.
Soon after he tweeted this, there was a deluge of replies from published webOS developers who had applications on the webOS store.
Today, Brandon confirmed that he had received more than 500 emails from webOS developers about the Windows Phone 7 offer, in less than 22 hours after the first tweet.
I have >500 emails in just the last 22 hours. Had to rethink the algorithm for responding to all.
With webOS dead, Android and iOS are the only two major platforms out there. However, iOS is locked on to Apple devices, and Android may now be perceived as impartial, thanks to Google’s Motorola acquisition. Windows Phone 7 may be the only major platform available for hardware manufacturers who don’t want to develop their own software.
Lately, Microsoft has been getting along really well with the developer community. Moves like these will help Microsoft, which has an improved image now in developer circles. Microsoft may be the greatest beneficiary of the untimely demise of webOS.
Update: Over 1000 webOS developers have contacted Brandon now.