Source: Microsoft on Spending Spree For Windows Phone Apps

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How much does Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) want to boost the app selection for its Windows 8 Phone? Apart from offering $100 gift cards to developers who deliver apps before the end of June, Microsoft is reportedly offering as much as $100,000 to companies that can help build the popularity of the Windows 8 device, according to a report by Bloomberg.

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There are several encouraging signs for Microsoft as it continues investing in the Windows 8 Phone. The number of shipments for Nokia (NYSE:NOK) phones running its OS beat out BlackBerry’s (NASDAQ:BBRY) in the first quarter of the year, though it still trails Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android by wide margins. As further proof the Windows Phone interface is making waves, observers have suggested Apple’s new iOS 7 owes it a debt of gratitude. Yet Microsoft is fully aware of the challenges.

“There are no delusions here,” said Thom Gruhler, who is chief marketing officer for the phone division. “There are no champagne corks popping yet.” Some analysts believe the Windows Phone is headed for bigger and better things in the coming years, though Microsoft knows the Windows Phone will only go as far as the apps take it.

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