Greetings from Las Vegas! Microsoft’s annual developer conference MIX 2011 is currently on-going. We’ve also attended to this event to gather some information about recent developments on the planet Microsoft.
One of the hottest topic here is clearly Windows Phone. There’s new version coming up, code name “Mango” a.k.a Windows Phone 7.5. They claim it will introduce around 1500 new API’s, 16 languages and the marketplace will be available to 35 countries. We can confirm these when SDK will be available next month.
What this means for developers? Microsoft is hugely investing in creating the best possible development platform and from our point of view, it really looks like they’re in the right path with it. Developer tools that are now provided for free corporate features that were previously only available in the most expensive tools. I’ve personally worked with quite many development environments from different manufacturers so I’m not easily impressed but what I’ve seen here really look cool. Of course, we have to see how they work in practice.
New API’s bring WP up to the level where it can really compete with others as well. I wasn’t impressed by the first version as it was lacking a lot of important API’s but as they are now introduced in 7.5, I’m actually looking forward to developing for it. On the negative side, lack of native SDK is a disappointment. I’ve discussed with Microsoft guys, and signals I got was that we should not even expect to see it. This means that bigger open source projects like Firefox can’t really make appear on Windows Phone.
However, in the end I can see rise of Windows Phone good thing for developers. It will take some time to get up to the level of Symbian or Android in terms of features or API’s but eventually I can see this platform as a winner.