Microsoft is really trying to increase the appeal of Window Phone to developers, and a new tool just released adds a small, but very useful feature: instant translation of user reviews from one language to another. Microsoft is calling this one a “fun surprise,” but it could actually be a very helpful convenience feature in helping developers understand their audience.
A lot of developers I’ve spoken with have had success in markets where English isn’t the primary language, despite no efforts to localize on their part. A quick and easy way to understand what it is people like about the app in those areas where performance is surging (or flopping badly), without having to go to Google Translate and manually input content, could make it easier to translate success to other markets or correct failures.
This is a small feature addition, but one that reflects a growing need for Microsoft and others fighting for third place in the smartphone platform wars to cater to developers in as many ways as they possibly can.
Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software. Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured. Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market. Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products such as the Zune and...