At Itude Mobile, we have a lot of devices for testing purposes. Two weeks ago, I was testing with the HTC Trophy running Windows Phone 7 with the latest updates. The goal was to test some mobile websites we developed. But I was really surprised about the user experience; it is really responsive. Although, it is sometimes hard to keep track of where you are. So, at day two of the Mobile World Congress, I was eager to talk to the people of Microsoft.
We all know that Windows Phone is the last resort for Microsoft. They really needed something completely different from Windows Mobile. Of course it took some time to come up with a new architecture and user experience. In fact, they needed to come up with some user experience. So, during the growth of the iPhone, Android and next the tablet devices. Microsoft was still developing their mobile alternative. How are they going to catch up with Google and Apple? Other important aspects are the development tools and application deployment.
To me, the Microsoft stand was a little dull. Admittedly, Microsoft has not that much to offer as they are merely the provider of the operating system. Anyway, I did have an interesting talk with one of the Microsoft employees. He said that the number of applications available in the Marketplace is growing fast. He didn’t really answer the question about the strategy to catch up with Apple and Google other than that Windows Phone is a great operating system. Which, frankly, I can’t deny.
Development is of course done by using Visual Studio and the development kit is free for download. The Marketplace is actually a fusion of the Android Market and the Apple App Store. There is an annual fee of one hundred dollars. After submitting your application, Microsoft will verify the application like Apple does.
Yay or nay
We will not start application development for Windows Phone soon. Personally, I’m quite impressed with the platform Microsoft created and would like to create a simple application to experience it as a developer. However, business wise, we will have to wait until customers are asking for Windows Phone applications. Which I don’t think will happen that soon. After two days of talking to people on the Mobile World Congress; not once I heard someone asking if we make applications for Windows Phone. So, for now: it’s a no go for Windows Phone at Itude Mobile.