Many industry watchers argue that software ecosystems now present one of the biggest hurdles to mobile platform owners looking to combat the mobile juggernauts that iOS and Android have become. BGR has been covering the issue for years, and in November 2010 we said that absent apps were a huge barrier for Microsoft as it re-entered the mobile space with Windows Phone. Now, nearly a year and a half later, the Windows Phone platform is being taken a bit more seriously by mobile developers, however the issue of getting premium apps onto the platform in a timely fashion persists. In an effort to combat this problem, Microsoft and Nokia have launched a new program aimed at attracting attention from emerging developers. Read on for more.

Nokia and Microsoft recently announced a new program called AppCampus. In association with Aalto University in Finland, the companies have devoted up to $12 million each that will fund developers at the university who build apps for Windows Phone and other Nokia platforms.

“The AppCampus program has been set up to foster the creation of innovative mobile applications for the Windows Phone ecosystem, and in addition, Nokia platforms, including Symbian and Series 40, to create a new generation of self-sustaining mobile startups,” the companies noted on the AppCampus website.

The program will kick off in May and will be managed by Aalto University, which Nokia has identified as a hotbed for new startups. “We are proud to announce this new program, which will enable new and existing developers to create next-generation mobile apps and unique user experiences,” Nokia EVP Kai Öistämö said in a statement. “The partnership will allow developers to ideate and monetize business opportunities globally, via both Windows Phone Marketplace and Nokia Store.”

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.