Microsoft Seeks Out Toronto Apps

by Jordan Richardson on October 18, 2010

A Canadian developer will play a key role with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7. Polar Mobile, a development outlet based in Toronto, will build a pile of new software for the newly-released 7.

Microsoft has been charging full steam ahead with Windows Phone 7 and is trying, some say futilely, to chase the storm of Apple, Google and Research In Motion. Microsoft has been banking big time on the mobile O/S and some analysts say that it may make or break their company. If Windows Phone 7 doesn’t burn rubber as the company expects, they may be forced to admit defeat in the mobile sector.

That makes their choice of partners all the more compelling, as Microsoft has to show an incredible amount of faith in the area of development. And that means that Polar Mobile has its work cut out for it.

Polar will build Windows version of almost all of its existing 350 current apps for BlackBerry, iPhone and Android-powered phones. Windows-compatible apps for other content providers to be named later will also be a part of the deal.

This deal is one of the largest ever for Canada’s burgeoning app development industry. Polar plans to make it a good one by having at least some of the apps ready to go by the time Windows Phone 7 handsets are unleashed on the market. Getting the jump is key, as the other app stores are already roaring with tens of thousands of apps. The Apple App Store alone has just crossed the 300,000 app mark.

Polar Mobile is unique in that it doesn’t custom develop apps from scratch. The company uses a template model that creates apps automatically from customer requests. Consumers fill out a digital form listing requirements and content feed information and Polar works from there to develop the app. The process allows for quicker app development.

Microsoft says it has plans to pair with other Canadian developers in the near future, so this deal with Polar Mobile looks to be just the beginning. With so much riding on Windows Phone 7, these opportunities could be key for an often underrated and unnoticed industry in Canada.

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