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Microsoft Gets Back into the Mobile Hunt

As reported by Redmond Magazine executive editor Jeffrey Schwartz, Microsoft today officially launched Windows Phone 7. The new phone platform has a decidedly consumer bent, with social networking and other features that will appeal to non-enterprise users. However, Windows Phone 7 offers intriguing SharePoint integration. As IDC Analyst Jeffrey Hammond told Schwartz after the launch, SharePoint integration could be a key differentiator for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 against the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry platforms.

IDC's Al Hilwa, program director for Applications Development Software, described himself as "quite impressed" by the scope of the launch. He also praised the development environment (kind of important for VSM readers), which he said "raises the bar for productivity for mobile developers."

Mobile gaming could prove a powerful vector for Windows Phone 7 adoption, said Hilwa. With its game savvy and hooks into Xbox Live, Hilwa thinks Windows Phone 7 could entice a lot of .NET developers to begin coding for the platform. The approach doesn’t surprise me. Microsoft has always known that the surest way to win a platform war is to win the developer battle. This is something that Apple, until just a few weeks ago, showed itself to be shockingly tone deaf to.

By arming developers with familiar tools and frameworks, and giving them the ability to do really cool things with those tools, Microsoft immediately makes itself a player in a sector that, quite frankly, it should have no business playing in. Microsoft is so late to the smartphone race that it's not even funny. And yet, here we are. 2011 is going to be a veryinteresting year in mobile development, that's for sure.

Posted by Michael Desmond on 10/12/2010


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