Mobile applications are big business. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) are betting a lot on the future as they announced their plans to create an educational program for future mobile web developers. Both companies plan on contributing $9 million euros each for the AppCampus program, which is set to be located at Aalto University in Finland.

The program was designed for anyone from everyday college students to budding app developers to hone in their skills in web application development. The goal here is to teach them how to create apps specifically designed for Microsoft and Nokia smart phones.

According to Kai Oistamom, Nokia’s executive vp, “We are proud to announce this new program, which will enable new and existing developers to create next-generation mobile apps and unique user experiences. The partnership will allow developers to ideate and monetize business opportunities globally, via both Windows Phone Marketplace and Nokia Store.”

The smart phone industry provides tough competition for most if not all cell phone makers.  Apple and Google’s Android are currently dominating the market with their smartphones and it’s hard for most companies to achieve the level of success these two companies have.  One of the most appealing facotors about these phones is the wide variety of app to choose from. People don’t buy a phone just to make phone calls or send text messages anymore, they use their phone to surf the net, take pictures, record or watch videos, play games, or listen to music. Mobile apps make phones more useful and fun.

 Microsoft’s first attempt in the smartphone market was with the unsuccessful Windows Phone and Nokia’s Symbian phones been forgotten about a long time ago. Since then, both companies have joined efforts to create Windows Phone Lumia smartphones. Unlike their predecessors, some Lumia phones have sold successfully in the United States and Europe. While it doesn’t look like that either company will dominate the market anytime soon, it does appear that they could become a choice alternative for people who don’t like the iPhone or Android yet still want a solid phone with useful features they can use. The AppCampus program won’t start until late mid-spring.