Microsoft Marketplace magic good for Nokia

I’m starting to think Nokia’s smartphone partnership with Microsoft isn’t so bad for the vendor after all.
While the pair’s alliance initially looked a better play for the software firm than device maker, Microsoft is gradually coming good, announcing this week that the number of apps in its Windows Phone Marketplace has hit 9,000 and are growing at the rate of 100 per day.
The firm has signed up 32,000 developers, and its development tool has been downloaded a million times, Todd Brix, senior director of Windows Phone product management, revealed.
To put all that into context, the firm had 1,245 applications from 1,325 developers in February 2010.
“We’re seeing strong results across several fronts; from the number of available apps and popularity of our tools, to more tangible developer benefits stemming from monetization opportunities that drive downloads and sales,” Brix states in his most recent update.
Brix unveiled a scheme that allows developers to submit apps to Marketplace through global publishers, in a bid to glean content from additional countries, and announced that 95% of ad-funded apps currently in Marketplace make use of the firm’s own control functions.
There were also some interesting stats regarding trial applications, with Brix stating that paid-apps offered with a free trial are downloaded 70 times more than those without try before you buy, and are converted into purchases in one out of ten cases – typically within 24 hours.
So, everything’s good and Microsoft is progressing well in the world of smartphone operating systems, right?
Well, not quite. Recent data from comScore reveals the software firm is losing share in the US – something not even Nokia can address as its scale doesn’t extend to the country – while Bloomberg reports Microsoft could end up paying the device manufacturer $1 billion (€719 million) as part of their partnership agreement.
Final details of the deal are still being worked out, however the news site quoted two sources who said the figure was accurate and covers Nokia’s WP7 development and marketing costs.
The sources claim Nokia and Microsoft are also thrashing out a royalty agreement that will see the vendor pay a fee for every copy of Windows installed in smartphones.