Windows is losing ground among enterprise developers as Android gains

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Enterprises are increasingly interested in developing apps for Android-based smartphones and tablets, showing how Google's OS is becoming more accepted, according to a poll. At the same time fewer are willing to spend resources on Microsoft's OSes.

For the second time, cross-platform tool company Appcelerator has queried IT directors, CEOs, development directors, CTOs and people in a number of other roles what their priorities are in the mobile market. The results hint at how the enterprise arena is slipping away from Microsoft, while at the same time acceptance for Android is growing and iOS is the number one priority.

As part of the survey, Appcelerator asked the 804 participants how interested they were in developing consumer and enterprise apps for the various mobile platforms. Apple was on top, with 80 percent saying they were very interested in developing applications for the company's smartphones and tablets, which is roughly the same response elicited by the first quarter version of the survey.

The third-highest priority was Android-based smartphones, which 71 percent of the respondents said they were very interested in, an increase of 7 percentage points from the first quarter. But unlike Apple, Google and its hardware partners have so far failed to convince enterprises that Android-based tablets are as important as smartphones based on the OS. Fifty-nine percent stated they were very interested, though that was an increase compared to 52 percent during the first quarter survey.

"Android interest is increasing ... there are probably a few reasons for that. One could certainly be because of Android's strong overall market share and with BYOD enterprises have to build apps for multiple platforms," said Nolan Wright, co-founder and CTO at Appcelerator.

After that there is a big gap down to Windows-based smartphones and tablets, at 26 percent and 25 percent, respectively, compared to 29 percent and 30 percent in the first quarter study. To add insult to injury more than 60 percent thought that Windows 8 would ultimately fail as a mobile platform.

"That is probably a reflection of market demand. I think Windows hasn't done too well in the market, and the interest for developing apps is following that. It will be interesting to see what happens with Nokia," Wright said.

Earlier this month Microsoft announced it would buy Nokia's Devices & Services business in an effort to beef up its mobility push. Wright thinks the deal could help change Windows' fortunes.

"From what we hear there is a genuine interest in the enterprise for Microsoft to have viable products. So it certainly still has an opportunity," Wright said.

But Microsoft isn't the only vendor struggling to drum up developer interest for its platform. Only 12 percent said they were very interested in developing apps for BlackBerry phones, which is two percentage points better than in the first quarter study but still a much smaller share than competing OSes.

On Friday, BlackBerry said it would as part of its efforts to stay alive refocus on enterprises. To succeed the company will have to convince them to use its devices, and an important part of that is making sure apps are available.

For enterprises that want to build applications for multiple platforms at the same time, HTML5 is an option. Sixty percent of the respondents said they were very interested in developing mobile, HTML-based Web apps, making them a higher priority than native applications for BlackBerry and Windows devices as well as Android-based tablets.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com.

This story, "Windows is losing ground among enterprise developers as Android gains" was originally published by IDG News Service .

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