They say to never mix business with pleasure, but with all the gaming apps coming up for the Windows Phone 7, business might soon be the furthest thing from your mind.
Microsoft has always had a reputation as being a company with the worker first in mind, but by broadening the horizons of their apps in the Marketplace, WP7 is achieving balance in their offerings, in no small part to the expanded selection of games available for download.
And why shouldn’t they? Because Microsoft’s Zune software allows users to access their content on their phones, PCs, and even on their Xbox 360s, Microsoft is able to bring users content anywhere and everywhere they play games. It’s a level of cross-platform penetration that no other platform can match.
Back in August, Microsoft sent developers a list of 41 categories and sub-categories that they want third-party apps to fall under. While for the most part the listings are what anyone would expect for a mobile device — e-reader, travel tools, productivity, photos, social networking, etc. — the full range of games is quite striking. Action/adventure, shooter, sports, racing, Xbox companion; these are the kinds of games that are meant for a powerful console, not a rinky-dink device that seems more suited to Tetris and solitaire. Yet, there they all are.
Of course, the other apps are here too: apps that give mobile versions of websites, apps with entertainment info, apps for translation, even apps to help with hangovers. But the common thread here is fun: fun in a variety of ways, and fun across all formats. And as the number of developers for WP7 grows, the number, and more importantly, variety of apps will grow too. There are still plenty of niches to be filled, though, so it remains to be seen what future developers bring to this still-evolving mobile platform.
Want to see what WP7 developers are currently working on? Check out the ideas section on the Great Canadian Apportunity competition site.