In the recently announced partnership between Microsoft and Nokia, the mobile device manufacturer will be adopting Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform as the foundation for new smartphones and mobile devices. The result of the partnership will be to put Windows Phone 7 on a solid footing to take share from the mobile device platform market, with Android and iOS currently commanding leads and HP having recently announced their upcoming entry riding on webOS.
The main news for developers is to look for Windows Phone 7 being a fourth and new important market. Both Windows Phone 7 and the re-entry of webOS (after its days with Palm) constitute fresh development territory where it comes to applications. Windows Phone 7 was only released late Fall of 2010 and according to NPD Group the platform obtained 2% of the smartphone market in the U.S. two months after release.
The Windows Phone Marketplace (Microsoft’s app store) offers 10 million songs sold in several ways, but only boasts around 11,000 apps so far (compared to hundreds of thousands for Android and iOS). This is similar to the early-stage number of apps available for webOS.
Windows Phone 7 applications are based on XNA or a particular WP7 version of Microsoft’s Silverlight platform. Microsoft makes Visual Studio 2010 Express and Expression Blend for Windows Phone for phone app development.
Android and iOS will both have to work harder now with HP announcing their enterprise-wide effort to lean into the mobile platform market with webOS. Microsoft’s Windows 7 was a moderate threat due to their history with Zune, first assuring the community they were very much behind it and then subsequently dropping the project altogether. The partnership with Nokia puts Microsoft firmly in the arena with a highly-motivated partner and a lot of added global sales and marketing teeth.
Microsoft mentioned in their press release regarding the partnership announcement that the mobile market is now a “three-horse race,” however that was before HP made their intentions publicly clear with webOS. Make that four horses, Microsoft. We already predict the winners will be mobile developers and mobile device consumers.
For developers, a great way to enter mobile device app development is through IT training courses with GogoTraining. In particular, the Android Developer Training Program is cost-effective and highly effective.