App developers are less enthusiastic about supporting Windows Phone because of the “dominance and ecosystem extensions offered by iOS and Android” and the end of Nokia’s outreach programme following the sales of its devices arm to Microsoft, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics.

Nokia’s efforts to support the platform from 2011 to 2013 was “the most cited reason for enthusiasm to support Windows Phone”, but this ended with the Microsoft deal, the study noted (click image below to enlarge).

micrsoft developers graph

According to the ‘Will Developers Declare Windows 10 DOA?’ report, Microsoft has disappointed Windows Phone developers by failing to provide the expected users and revenue it promised. As a result, respondents to the Strategy Analytics survey ranked the importance of Windows Phone well below alternatives such as HTML5 and at less than half the level of iOS and Android.

What’s more, developers are giving up on Windows Phone, with less than 2 per cent planning to primarily support the platform next year.

Joshua Martin, author of the report, said: “Microsoft needs apps to be competitive and it needs users to get apps.”

The decision to offer Windows 10 OS upgrades for free will help achieve market share, but in his opinion users also need to be interested in downloading, buying and using apps.

“The realisation of the long promised unified Windows across PC, tablet and phone is a compelling reason for developers to give Windows a second look but to truly win support Microsoft must offer engaged app users and a return to Nokia’s robust developer outreach. Microsoft only has one more chance to get this right,” he added.