Over the next three years, Microsoft and Nokia have agreed to invest $12 million each in AppCampus -- a new development program in Finland’s Aalto University. The goal is to hatch new mobile apps for Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform -- the operating system that powers Nokia’s newest smartphones -- as well as Symbian and Series 40 platforms. Microsoft’s app marketplace now includes about 70,000 apps, but, as The Next Web reports, is still some way behind both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Play app stores, which account for over a million apps between them.
“Recent reports have bemoaned the lack of premium titles on the Windows Phone Marketplace, and Microsoft and Nokia are looking to do something about it.” TNW writes. Expected to begin in May, the program will be directed by Aalto University, which has a close connection to Nokia, and worked with the Finnish mobile giant many times in the past. The new program “will enable new and existing developers to create next-generation mobile apps and unique user experiences,” Kai Oistamo, executive vice president at Nokia Corp., stated. “The partnership will allow developers to ideate and monetize business opportunities globally, via both Windows Phone Marketplace and Nokia Store.”