Microsoft and Nokia effectively 'one team' before acquisition

App developers at TechEd appear unfazed by Nokia sale

The acquisition news coincided with the launch of the Nokia Lumia 1020. Credit: Nokia

The acquisition news coincided with the launch of the Nokia Lumia 1020. Credit: Nokia

App developers at TechEd Australia said they don’t believe they will be much affected by the Microsoft acquisition of Nokia’s handset business.

Microsoft and Nokia announced the acquisition earlier this week.

From a developer relationship perspective, Microsoft and Nokia have “kind of been the same organization for at least the last 12 months,” said Warren Tobin, CEO of Altaine, which has developed a Windows 8 app for Pizza Hut.

Ticketek head of product, Greg Fahy, said: “Our experience with both Nokia and Microsoft has been really great and it’s almost been like working with one [company] already.”

Project Tripod, a startup developing a photography app for Windows Phone 8, was similarly upbeat in a startup panel yesterday. “For us it can only mean good things,” said co-founder Jordan Knight.

Microsoft director of business evangelism, Chris Bright, agreed with the developers. “Effectively, we do work as one team already. I mean, I’m in their office as much as I’m in my office… It’s business as usual for us.”

Nokia head of developer experience, Nick Abbott, said he’s “very excited” about the acquisition. “But it’s very early days.”

In the meantime, Australians will have new ways to buy cars, pizza and event tickets after the launch of several Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 apps at TechEd.

Ticketek and announced apps for Windows handsets, while Pizza Hut revealed a Windows 8 app. In addition, PageUp People revealed an upgraded app for Windows 8.1 and startup Xpreshon launched an extreme sports video service for Xbox and the mobile and full versions of Windows.

While Windows Phone is still a less popular platform with mobile users than Apple and Android, the businesses said the OS was important to support.

“For us, it’s about being where the customers are,” said Carsales senior product manager, Ben Austin.

Pizza Hut wants to be “across all mobile devices,” said the restaurant chain’s marketing director, Brad Richter.

“Like pizzas, everyone’s got a different flavour and a different brand that they like to use,” he said. “We want to be in front of as many consumers as possible.”

Xpreshion brought its extreme sports app to Microsoft because it wanted to be on the Xbox, said the company’s co-founder Jason Webb.

“We really saw our demographic largely being on the Xbox side of things, but also having that connected Microsoft experience across the different platforms is a real winner for us.”

Pizza Hut and Ticketek said a growing number of their orders are coming from mobile devices.

“Over 50 per cent of pizza searches are done on mobile or tablet devices these days,” said Richter. Mobile apps also have a higher conversion rate than using the website on a desktop, he added.

More than 30 per cent of its visitors to the Ticketek website are on mobile devices, said Fahy. For certain events skewing to younger audiences, including Justin Bieber and One Direction, about 45 per cent of ticket sales came from mobile devices, he said.

Adam Bender travelled to the Gold Coast for TechEd as a guest of Microsoft.

Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Techworld Australia on Twitter: @Techworld_AU

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