During the 10th Microsoft Professional Developers Conference, Microsoft's Mobile Devices Division unveiled plans to deliver a new set of tools, technologies and service offerings, including support for Microsoft Visual Studio "Whidbey", Microsoft .NET Compact Framework "Whidbey" and managed-code APIs, as well as expanded support for various screen resolutions.
These updates will enable Windows desktop developers to embrace new opportunities in the growing wireless software industry and apply their existing skills to develop wireless applications for the Windows Mobile software platform. In addition, Microsoft announced an upgrade to the Windows Mobile Smartphone Device Developer Kit for developing applications for Windows Mobile 2003 software for Smartphones. The company also revealed enhancements to its Mobile2Market program, which facilitates accelerated delivery of mobile applications via distribution channels including retailers, e-tailers and mobile operators.
"Our Windows Mobile platform has experienced very positive growth over the past two years, in terms of unit volume and a broader range of Windows Mobile-based products available to customers. There has never been a more attractive addressable opportunity for developers," said Juha Christensen, corporate vice president of Mobile Devices Division at Microsoft. "We've built Windows Mobile software with the future in mind, to evolve as the market expands, enabling desktop and mobile developers to take advantage of the volume opportunity for smart devices and deliver innovative applications and services to market."
Corresponding with the innovation by device manufacturers, the Windows Mobile development platform will expand to support screen resolutions including square screen, portrait and landscape, VGA, and QVGA. The continued focus on providing a standard software platform coupled with various device form factors will enhance the application development environment and create more choice for end users and mobile operators.
In line with Microsoft's overall investment in the upcoming version of Visual Studio, code-named "Whidbey," Windows Mobile developers will benefit from a familiar environment and the highest developer productivity. More specifically, Visual Studio "Whidbey" will be the first development tool for Windows Mobile developers that unifies the development environment to include the native Microsoft Visual C++ development system, managed Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Microsoft Visual C# development tool, and Web ASP.NET Mobile controls -- all in a single integrated development environment.
The success of the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework should accelerate in the future with major enhancements planned to the core run-time environment and the base class libraries. .NET Compact Framework "Whidbey" will include execution environment enhancements to improve overall performance, as well as better native interoperability with COM interop functionality and a richer set of base class libraries.
The Windows Mobile development platform will continue to increase its overall investment in .NET by further building out the platform with a managed code API set including support for the following: messaging, telephony, multimedia and gaming, connectivity, and personal information management (PIM).
To meet the demand for native support of Web services in Windows Mobile software for Smartphones via the .NET Compact Framework and Visual Studio .NET, Microsoft is providing an upgrade to the Smartphone Device Developer Kit. This kit offers developers everything needed to build, test and deploy Window Mobile-based Smartphone applications, including a precommercial Windows Mobile-based Smartphone with 2003 software and accessories, a null SIM card, and development tools and resources.