In response to my
technical posting on moving an application from QML to Windows Phone 7 XNA, I
got a private message from a developer who was asking the question, "Why
Should ICare About Windows Phone 7?" If I am going to switch platforms
from QML, why would I choose Windows Phone 7?
application developers, a more relevant question is, can you afford not to care? The phone is visually
appealing, feature-rich, easy to use, and offers such Microsoft exclusives as
Office, Xbox and the Zune music store. The tile interface is truly innovative; it
focuses your attention on, and tells you at a glance, what is happening now —
like pending messages, game and friend status, and appointments — all refreshed
wirelessly via the web. Email sync is also very reliable.
what AllThingsD says: “The operating system is a mix
of elegance and whimsy that’s a treat to use … sprinkled with delightful
animations on nearly every screen. These include icons that swing out like tiny
doors when selected, and little dots that race across the top of the screen
when something is loading onto the phone. The result is a playful yet
there’s the development environment. The Windows Phone 7 Application Platform
is built on existing Microsoft tools and technologies such as Visual Studio,
Expression Blend, Silverlight, and the XNA Framework. Developers familiar with
those technologies have a head start when writing new applications for Windows
great advantage is Microsoft’s position in on-line mobile gaming, the fastest
growing applications market in mobile phones. Games generate more revenue than
any other application genre. With their support of XNA and XBOX Live in Windows
Phone 7, Microsoft is well poised to lead this lucrative market and attract
customers in the highly prized 14-to-25 year old demographic. More young owners
will lead to more ad revenue from both games and traditional data driven
users can benefit from Windows Phone 7’s support of Microsoft’s .NET framework
for integrated business applications. Support of .NET simplifies the task of
integrating mobile phones with core business services. Much of the client side
business logic can be reused in Windows Phone 7 mobile applications.
perhaps the biggest feature is Microsoft itself. Over the
years, the company has shown enormous staying power in markets in which it
wants to win — like games. Windows Phone 7 may only be Microsoft’s latest foray
in the mobile phone space but that’s just more evidence of Microsoft’s commitment
to what most industry watchers see as the future beyond PCs.
— given Microsoft’s huge resources, commitment to the market and a well-executed
product — it’s safe to assume that Microsoft will become at least number two in
the market, after Android (which, like Windows Phone 7, comes on many phones)
and ahead of iOS (which only comes on one).
Serious Land Grab
now, the biggest thing slowing Windows Phone 7 adoption is a relative lack of
third-party apps. On the one hand, while WP7 may not have as many as Apple,
Google or even the Ovi store, it does have all the mainstream apps you would
expect. On the other hand, if you are an app developer yourself, that is
probably the best reason to care
about Windows Phone 7. Who wants to be the third or fourth developer to market with
a particular kind of application? In today’s environment, numbers 1 and 2 tend
to win big and quickly while everyone else gets overlooked. Given the
advantages in gaming and business applications, now is the time to invest in
Windows Phone 7.
arrivals can also expect more help from Microsoft. As it populates its catalog,
Microsoft will look to fill in the gaps first and worry less about having
multiple offerings for each type of app. Developers looking for help may wish
to consider partnering with their own experts in porting applications across
mobile platforms. What we’re seeing now with Windows Phone 7 may be the last of
the great mobile “land grabs.” Anyone who’s serious about getting their share
should start moving.
In a few days, I will start a series on moving a Twitter application from QML to Silverlight on Windows Phone 7. I plan to show how the transition can be straight forward.