Microsoft dumping piles of money on Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7Just how much money does it take to elbow your way in between Apple and Google in the mobile market? Remember, you’ve also got to beat back RIM while you’re at it, and hope none of those three develop anything you didn’t expect. Got a number? Is it in the billions? That’s what Microsoft may be betting to make Windows Phone 7 work.

According to TechCrunch, Microsoft could spend into the billions on development and marketing for the new mobile platform. It’s a huge figure, made to look even larger by the estimated expense of marketing the Droid series of Android phones.

The $100 million Goldberg estimates that Verizon, Motorola and Google collectively spent on marketing helped turn the Droid line of phones into a serious stable of competitors against the iPhone. (Compare that to Google’s fizzled Nexus One launch, where the search giant pinched pennies on marketing.)

To spend 10 times that amount could be either a great idea or the world’s worst gamble. Microsoft has completely scorched consumer bridges with its previous mobile offerings, none of which will transition to the new system very smoothly. Even with a billion dollars behind it, Windows Phone 7 could be too late.


Twitter developers should stop plugging holes

Twitter logos.Fred Wilson laid out an interesting post at the Business Insider this morning. For those who don’t know, Wilson is a partner at Union Square Ventures and one of Twitter’s top investors. Wilson’s basic point was that current Twitter development focuses on plugging holes in the service, not creating new things with what the service can offer.

Consider this – not terribly long after Twitter launched people realized they needed a way to share long URLs in a compressed format. Along comes with its URL shortening service. How bout TwitPic for sharing pictures. The examples continue from there. Point is, though, that none of these things take any sort of interesting advantage of the Twitter platform or concept. They’re just methods by which people share the shortened versions of information encourage by Twitter. As Wilson says it, these are things Twitter should have had built in to the service at launch.

Maybe you didn’t hear him correctly. These are things Twitter is going to do. Just like Facebook did with all of the crazy apps that just filled the gaps, Twitter will be rounding out its own feature set to compete with and provide the services of third-party developers. In some cases, as was the case with FriendFeed, that could mean acquisitions. Wilson didn’t say it overtly, but his message is loud and clear.

It’s time for developers to do something great, like the social gaming apps for Facebook. Analysts estimate social gaming will hit $1.6 billion in revenue next year, and Wilson thinks that number is too low. That’s a pretty nice pie to slice up.

Source: Business Insider