Microsoft Offering iPhone Developers "Buckets of Money" to go Zune?

iPhone BSOD + Laughing Ballmer

Has Microsoft been approaching successful iPhone developers, offering "a bucket of money" for them to port their popular apps over to the new Zune HD platform? That's what Daring Fireball is hearing:

I got an email from the developer of an iPhone Twitter client. He was contacted by Microsoft a few months ago, with an offer to port his app to the Zune in exchange for “a bucket of money”. He turned them down, but assumes, as I do, that Microsoft reached out to the developers of multiple popular iPhone apps.

Smart move by Microsoft, since they're trying to compete directly with the iPod touch and apps are a huge part of the iPod touch's appeal.

Since the iPod touch has had a public SDK and apps since version OS 2.0 was announced and subsequently released over a year ago, Apple's platform has a huge lead and Microsoft is again left more competitive with previous years' offerings.

(Here's hoping Microsoft does release a public Zune HD SDK of their own at some point -- and that they finally, finally, decide to share a consistent platform between Zune and Windows Mobile 7...)

No way of knowing

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Microsoft Offering iPhone Developers "Buckets of Money" to go Zune?

23 Comments

I wish I could say that I was surprised by this move, but lets all be honest, It's nothing new from Microsoft. I will admit that Microsoft has had unmatched success with their software in Home and office use. Apple, however, helped them along this path, wether you like it or not. Guess who came out with different fonts, Apple. Guess who came out with the Mouse, Apple. Over and Over, Apple has been ahead of the curve with Microsoft, and the only way Microsoft can keep up, is to steal the idea, and give absolutely no credit to Apple.
Fast Forward...
Apple releases the iPod, Microsoft sees that this, could well be a huge problem, And so it has been ever since. Then the iPhone. Wow. This was an even bigger problem. Sure Microsoft was already into the smart phone game when apple entered, but It's not always about who was there first, as much as, who in there is the best...
So now they have sunk so low as to, try to steal away apple developers, instead of trying to come up with ORIGINAL IDEAS OF THEIR OWN.
Good job Microsoft, You have done the same thing over and over again, No one likes a cheat You Ignorant Bastards.

I for one welcome it. More competition is better and perhaps that will make Apple shape up too. I have no sympathy for Apple, especially with how they've been handling things as of late.

Lucero: "So now they have sunk so low as to, try to steal away apple developers"
Are you even aware of how M$ and Apple got started? Both companies have lied, stole, and done other unethical things to get where they are at today. This is nothing new. It's simply business as usual.

I know we joke on this site about the "fart" apps. But it's the general fun, totally random/unpredictable nature of the AppStore that keeps me coming back.
Yup, having something seemingly pointless/childish like "pull my finger" and "Interrupting Cow" is what gets me into the AppStore - then I get hooked/interested, and buy some more serious applications. I mean there is water-slide simulators for heavens sake!
I'm not sure Microsoft, perhaps anyone, can copy the "feel" of the AppStore anytime soon!

If that's true, why wouldn't this supposed app developer take the "buckets of money" and port his app to the Zune? That's what devs do right? Build apps for money? That part of the story doesn't check out in my book.

If you read the quote in Rene's story, it is not clear who would get tho money and who would do the porting.
Was Microsoft offering a porting SERVICE where they would port the app if the dev paid Microsoft? If so what's wrong with that?

Why they are calling it stealing. All my life, I am a MS developer. Now due to iPhone's popularity-- I start making software for Apple. It's just business. So, I welcome Microsoft's approach and it can go other way too.

What's the reason the dev turned it down?
My response would have been... "How big is this bucket?" and "Who's face is on these bills?"

@Lucero Pot meet kettle. It's best to not accuse others of ignorance if you yourself are. Apple didn't invent the mouse, nor the GUI. They copied it from Xerox PARC, just like everyone else.
Offering incentives to developers is a common practice. Microsoft does it, Adobe does it, even Apple does it. But don't let facts get in the way of a good rant.

@Lucero Apple did not invent the MP3 player, so that pretty much voids your whole comment.
Stop acting like Apple does nothing but invent invent invent. Apple didn't invent fonts, get over yourself.

@ Carl
The only thing Apple invented is how to market a feature phone as a smartphone that just recently got copy and paste.

Paying top notch developers to come to your platform is nothing new at all, this happens all the times on Video Game consoles.

@Truth
Apple marketed a phone that was a phone, web browser, and media player, then added 40,000 apps which make it many other things. The main reason people by it is Apple unlike most companies, focuses on the user experience and not just techie features.
I never missed cut and paste on my Iphone. At all!!! And I'm A.D.D. so I'm glad I can't leave programs running in the background when I take a call. I would never make it past lunch on a single charge if I had to remember to close them myself.

If you look at this from a developer's prospective, this is good business. As a developer, I'm being paid up front to code an app. So I don't have to worry about using my own resources before I submit an app and then have it rejected by the powers that be at an app store.

All I have to say is the pure ignorance coughLucerocough is staggering. That is all.
But this is good for business. Developers are getting money on both fronts if they choose. From Apple and Microsoft. They need to get to it. I know I would.

microsoft shouldstop trying to copy apple, but not because it is "wrong" of them to do so.
they should stop trying to copy apple because microsoft is actually pretty good when it innovates. my friends love their xboxes. they love the netflix support and the minigames you can buy and they love xbox live.
i think that microsoft should get the xbox team working on mobile products. i'd love to see what they would come up with. we don't need a zunePhone, we need an xPhone.

The 360 arcades will be comming to zune!!!!! That will be awsome. Probably Microsoft wants more apps and that's why they are trying to get the good ones out there.

So lucero, apple invented the mouse eh? Then how come they never got it right. The "mouse" was invented at Stanford in 1962, Xerox Palo Alto Research Labs invented the "ball" mouse in 1972 (the modern mouse). So apple stole that..
Anyways I call BS on the claim that a independent developer refused to port a twitter app (like there arent tons of those - in fact I have one on WM 6 phone) for a bucket of cash. If true why? maybe because he was afraid his iphone apps would all get rejected by apple due to him making a app for their competition. I can see the new agreement.
If the undersigned makes a application for a competing device, then a bunch of guys in blue shirts will take said person or persons and throw them to a slobbering mob of apple zealots to be torn to shreds. Oh and apple will also reject all current and future apps from said person or persons.
Go competition !!