Microsoft and Nokia are to invest €18m in a new joint venture promoting application development for the Windows Phone operating system (OS).
A so-called AppCampus will be set up at Finland's Aalto University, running for the next three years.
The money will be used to drive young developers to create apps for the Windows Phone and Symbian operating systems, offering participants mentoring and business coaching from industry veterans.
"The announcement today is about driving the creation of innovative mobile applications and foster a new generation of mobile start-ups for the Windows Phone ecosystem as well as Nokia's Symbian and Series 40 platforms," a Nokia spokesperson told V3.
The programme is the latest attempt by Microsoft to increase developer interest in its Windows Phone and Windows 8 operating systems.
The AppCampus programme comes hot on the heels of Microsoft's efforts to entice developers to its forthcoming Windows 8 OS, by making it easy for Apple developers to translate their work to Windows 8 Metro-style apps.
Ovum principal analyst, Tony Cripps told V3 that a more effective tactic for Microsoft would be to unify its mobile and desktop efforts, targeting Windows’ existing developer base as a whole.
“The greater target is the broader Micorsoft developer programme. A lot of the effort needs to be pushed onto that community not just mobile,” he said Cripps.
The news comes as Microsoft's Windows Phone OS continues to under perform when compared to the number of phones running Apple's iOS and Google's Android.
According to Kantar Worldpanel statistics, over the 12-week period ending 19 February 2012, Windows Phone only accounted for 2.5 per cent of the smartphone market, compared to iOS and Android's 28.7 and 48.5 per cent shares respectively.
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