Will MIX Fix Microsoft's Mobile Mess?
By the time you read this column, the MIX10 conference in Las Vegas will be about two weeks away. Taking place March 15-17, MIX offers an exclusive developer focus on Web, rich media, and dev/design issues and technologies. In the past, technologies like Silverlight, XAML, Internet Explorer and Expression Blend have gotten close attention at MIX events.
This year, the star of MIX is almost certain to be Windows Mobile 7, which at press time was slated to be announced at the Microsoft Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain, in mid-February. Microsoft has promised that MIX10 attendees will "learn about developing applications and games for the next generation of Windows Phone," and while the company refused to say much more, it's clear that excitement over Windows Mobile is high.
As it should be. Even as products like Windows 7, Visual Studio 2010 and Silverlight 4 have impressed industry watchers, Microsoft has suffered a series of setbacks in the mobile market. Competitors like Apple, Google and Symbian have earned steady gains while Microsoft has struggled with point revs of Windows Mobile 6.
Could MIX10 be Microsoft's breakthrough mobile moment? Redmond has been tight-lipped about its plans, so it's been hard to gauge, but analysts I've talked to seem confident that Windows Mobile 7 will represent a major step forward for Microsoft. In about two weeks' time, we can likely make that assessment for ourselves.
Are you planning for Windows Mobile 7 development? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what Microsoft needs to deliver in the next version to make it a viable target platform for your organization.
Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.