In a recent blog posting, Microsoft's Charlie Kindel wrote about the Windows Phone 7 Series application development and he explains that Microsoft had to change its strategy to accommodate what developers have been asking for. Specifically developers told Microsoft to focus on the end user experience and take more responsibility for delivering integrated end user experiences, invest more deeply in the developer platform and developer experience as well as driving a standardized hardware platform creating a simpler ecosystem and a larger - consistent - opportunity. And therefore Windows Phone 7 developer experiences will build upon the following technologies:
- Silverlight: Developers and designers want a separation between design and code, and a lightweight markup language that allows the quick delivery of rich, well performing applications that can provide experiences on multiple screens. Microsoft Silverlight is a robust, mature, and popular runtime that meets these needs, and our developers have been asking us to bring this to mobile for some time. With Silverlight and Microsoft's Windows Phone development platform, developers will have effective development tools and platform for creating and deploying high performance, compelling mobile applications.
- XNA: Many developers want to expand their portfolio to include 2D and 3D games, but are not equipped to handle the expense of modern game development. XNA give more developers the opportunity to bring games to the phone.
- Microsoft's developer tools
- Web 2.0 standards
However, this new technologies mean change and for Microsoft, the cost of going from good to great is a clean break from the past. To enable user experiences you've seen in the Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft confirmed that it has to break from the past because to deliver what developers expect in the developer platform it was necessary to change the way how apps were written. One result, and maybe the most important today, is the fact that previous Windows Mobile applications (from Pocket PC to Windows Mobile 6.5.3) will not run on Windows Phone 7 Series anymore!
While Kindel made clear that Microsoft will continue to work with its partners to deliver new devices based on Windows Mobile 6.5 and that Microsoft will support those products for many years to come, Windows Phone 7 will be a completely different story and new opportunity for developers.
Microsoft will unveil more information at its upcoming Mix10 conference, which Microsoft holds end of this month.
Cheers ~ Arne