Shortly after Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8, Urban Airship announced the alliance agreement it signed with Microsoft to provide its push messaging services on Microsoft Azure and Windows Phone 8. Urban Airship's APIs already enable push messaging on Android, Blackberry, and iOS; accordingly, Windows Phone 8 makes a natural fit. Scott Kveton, Urban Airship co-founder and CEO, commented on the alliance:
"We are thrilled to work with Windows Azure to offer new experiences for consumers and enterprises across Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices....This will offer Microsoft's customers the confidence of working with the global leader with proven scalability and precision-targeting that enterprises require."
Initially, the solution will remain in beta and limited to push notifications. However, Coleen Carey (Urban Airship Director of Product Marketing) revealed the alliance's goal to offer Urban Airship's entire product set to Windows developers in the first quarter of 2013. Additional features will include rich push messages, analytics and reporting, audience segmenting, and geo-fencing.
Urban Airship launched in 2009 and has quickly become a market leader in push notifications and related services. In just over 3 years, it has signed over 65,000 customers, sent over 35 billion messages, and connected over 750 million mobile devices. Although Microsoft constitutes the household name in the alliance, Urban Airship could offer Microsoft a boost as it seeks to make up ground in the mobile market.
Update: Replaced Urban Airship figures with numbers as of November, 2012.