When Microsoft showed Windows Phone 7 Series, there was very little talk about the app ecosystem around it. Microsoft had said that building apps for Windows Phone would be talked about at their MIX10 event, as the event draws closer details are emerging. With Zune HD and Zune Apps Microsoft was facing a challenge of which app store to pitch to developers and how to make developers code apps for both Windows Mobile and the Zune platform. Microsoft with Windows Phone 7 Series has streamlined their apps platform. The apps that work on Zune will work on the Windows Phone 7 Series and vice versa.
However, this comes at a price that Microsoft is willing to pay. A couple of days back I wrote about Microsoft’s intentions of not allowing an upgrade path for any Windows Mobile device, now there is confirmation that Windows Phone 7 Series devices won’t run Windows Mobile applications. While this might be a bit disturbing for some developers, it’s for the greater good for the entire ecosystem around Windows Phone.
Microsoft is going for a full reset, no legacy support, which is good. Of course the immediate challenge it presents is selling Windows Mobile devices till Windows Phone 7 Series devices are released. While there will be no backward compatibility, details for the future were detailed by a Charlie Kindel, Microsoft engineer working on Windows Phone 7 Series. Developing applications for Windows Phone 7 Series depends on the following:
Silverlight, .Net and the XNA platform are well known technologies within the coding fraternity.
According to a re-tweet by Charlie Kindel, Windows Phone 7 Series games will be demo-ed at the Game Developers Conference. Here’s what the tweet says:
RT @shawnhargreaves: Oooh oooh – I’m allowed to say this now! My GDC demo is made with XNA, and runs on a Windows Phone device. w00t!