Apps held back by lack of support

Mobile applications for Microsoft's first smartphone, the SPV, are being held back in the UK by a lack of developer support.

Mobile applications for Microsoft's first smartphone, the SPV, are being held back in the UK by a lack of developer support.

In the past week a number of users have complained to Computer Weekly about the lack of SPV applications. Until recently, mobile software developers had difficulty "unlocking" SPV handsets to allow them to download and test their software. For security reasons, applications running across the Orange network need to be signed digitally.

Jessica Figueras, an analyst at Ovum, said, "Mobile developers are getting a ridiculously raw deal." She said mobile operators are obsessed with the whole value chain in the mobile market. Along with having to pay for development tools and unblocked handsets, Figueras said some operators' profit-sharing initiatives take as much as 40% of revenue for third-party applications running on their networks.

Annemarie Duffy, EMEAmarketing manager at Microsoft's mobile devices division, said, "Application digital signing was added to the Windows-powered smartphone based on feedback from our operator partners, who want to provide the best customer experience while maintaining the integrity of their networks." But problems in getting approval for applications has been a key factor in the lack of SPV applications.

One mobile phone software developer was so frustrated by the lack of co-operation by Orange and Microsoft that his company pulled support for the SPV to focus on the rival Symbian operating system instead. He said, "I don't know how Orange and Microsoft expect developers to develop if they cannot install their applications."

Users bemoan lack of SPV apps >>

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