webOS devs jump ship to Windows Phone 7

Devs jumping off the sinking webOS ship are hoping Microsoft can throw them a Windows Phone 7 life-preserver. 

Indeed, Microsoft’s Brandon Watson recently tweeted that smartphones, tools and training would be made available to “any published webOS devs.”

“I’m floored at # of @ replies and emails of webOS devs looking for a home.  [No], this isn’t a case of unfortunate downtime. They [HP] abandoned the platform. Lives are impacted,” Watson wrote on his Twitter feed. 

“[But] we [are] offering an alternative. Who cares how many webOS devs there are? They made a commitment. They deserve to have a canvas to create on, no matter the #.”

Unsurprisingly, thousands of devs have already responded to Watson’s offer about switching over to Windows Phone 7.

Utterly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of mail in his inbox, the MS rep penned and sent a form letter to the masses of clamoring programmers.

“First things first. Thank you so much for reaching out to the Windows Phone team to signal your interest in bringing your talents to our platform. To be honest, we didn’t expect this level of response, so we were caught a bit flatfooted,” Watson acknowledged in the form email obtained by WP Central.

“It took a few days (on the weekend) to pull all the mails together into one place to allow me to respond in a smart way and not retype every mail by hand. Consider this a first step in building a relationship with the Windows Phone team. We are psyched to have you aboard and to see what your imagination can do on the Windows Phone canvas.”

Of course, it remains unclear if webOS devs are jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. 

Although Microsoft obviously won’t abandon its mobile platform anytime soon, Windows Phone 7 has yet to claim significant market share.

Nevertheless, a number of analysts have high expectations for Mango-enabled handsets in the wake of Microsoft’s recent deal with Nokia. 

According to senior IDC researcher Ramon Llamas, WP7 is likely to benefit from Nokia’s “support, scope, and breadth” within markets where the Finnish-based company has historically maintained a strong presence.

“Assuming Nokia’s transition to Windows Phone goes smoothly, the OS is expected to defend a number 2 rank and more than 20% share in 2015,” he predicted.

While 20% may be somewhat optimistic, Microsoft is clearly committed to the rapidly evolving mobile platform.

Significant resources have already been shifted to promote its development and HP’s decision to effectively ditch webOS is likely to benefit both Microsoft as well as former webOS developers.