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Microsoft, Sony: go shopping for iPhone developers

All crazy for iPhone. In this hot summer of the 3GS series, two giants of the caliber of Microsoft and Sony are gearing up to attract as many iPhone developers as possible in their field, directly or indirectly.

The move to deforest the Apple ecosystem and transfer it in some way to that of other platforms obviously starts with Microsoft, of which it was learned a few days ago that it is studying conversion systems for iPhone applications for Windows Mobile. The fact that there is the opening of the Windows Mobile Marketplace around the corner, the market for apps for phones based on Microsoft's code (scheduled for autumn), actually hinted that something would happen.

Now everything is clear: by showing "school cases" to programmers, Microsoft tries to convince that making the conversion of iPhone software on Windows Mobile simple and fun. Aside from the interface, which never returns, transparency, shared management of processes and so on. But these are details that the single courageous programmers who think they will make the "somersault" will try on their skin: Xcode does not invent itself in an afternoon. (Yes, Visual Studio and MSDN, we are talking about you).

Instead, Sony's approach is different. The Japanese manufacturer has the launch of its PSP Go, a version identical to the current Japanese console but without slots for games on Umd optical drives. In practice, all downloads or perhaps even on memory sticks. Be that as it may, the Japanese house yearns to have that slice of Apple's "cheap" games, which are driving iPhone users crazy.

The simple move: Sony moves in the first person and with all-Japanese determination looks for the various programmers of most interest to her, approaches them and asks them to do the conversion. Various sources on the net report of European or American companies, as well as Japanese, contacted for this operation. The games will end up on the PS Network store, where they will have prices set by Sony but kept very low (1, 2 or 5 euros).

Unlike Apple's system for approving apps, which however leaves a series of decisions to the developer (price, which markets to tackle etc), the decisions are all made by the Japanese, including the launch window and any promotion , not to mention that the "slice" that is up to the developers not 70% without additional costs.

In short, the iPhone is driving everyone crazy. Nintendo itself, which with GameBoy, GameBoy Advance and Ds finally dominates the world of walking consoles, observed a few days ago that in fact the iPhone is significantly damaging its business, causing sales to decrease. The answer is to "go hunting for developers", in order to rebuild the ecosystem in your own home. The idea is not bad but tragically wrong for three reasons.

First of all, the agreements between Apple and the developers are the same for everyone and fairer (70% 30 for the turnover, no additional cost even if the application is free). Second, iPhone is a more innovative platform on which to develop, thanks to both the device itself and the attention for developers from the point of view of tools (Xcode really considered a system that makes school). Finally, third, the developers who are blowing up the world of iPhone and iPod touch come "from below", while those typical of Microsoft but above all of Sony are large corporations (now also present in the iPhone area).

IPhone developers are not used to a certain type of "corporate" relationship and do not react well to pressure from industrial relations. Even amid a thousand "family" controversies, in reality the App store is very different from the competition's projects. Hardly the end of this strategy will be the one hoped for by Sony and Microsoft.