Such is the Irish appetite for apps that Holmes yesterday had to relocate a workshop to Vienna Woods Hotel, having oversold in a smaller Cork hotel. Since moving from the US to Dublin in February, Holmes has seen Microsoft’s BizSpark programme soar to 600 start-ups and around 170 Irish-created Microsoft apps hit the market.
“The technology industry in Ireland is really exploding,” he said. “I moved here from the US because I saw the number of Irish firms looking to get into this business. Nonetheless, the response in Cork was surprising.
“We hope to see more companies like Zartis, a Cork-based company, using social networks to recruit people. They launched a few months ago and they have already become a genuinely international company, with clients everywhere from Ireland to Brazil.”
Holmes was in Cork to offer insights and answer questions about Windows Phone 7 and Windows.
Independent reports by IT market analysis firms IDC and Gartner predict good things for Windows Phone 7, including becoming the mobile technology world’s No 2 phone by 2015, second only to the Samsung Android.
Holmes notes: “The crux is that it is more profitable to build your business on the Windows 7. At our recent Irish events, we are finding that some people are businesses who wanted to augment an existing product. Others are going into the app space itself.”
Prior to joining Microsoft in 2006, Holmes was a consultant working with clients including large Fortune 500 firms in the US.