Windows has had previous attempts to make its mobile OS the best choice when buying a mobile device, but in the past it seemed to have lost the fight against Apple and Google; the IT giant wants once again to try and win the hearts and minds of mobile enthusiasts all over the world with the WP 7.5 operating system. Does it stand a chance? Is WP an OS worth taking into consideration? One of Qubiz's WindowsPhone developers answers some questions ment to shed some light on the matter.
Why choose WindowsPhone for your mobile application?
WP is a new, very fast, emerging platform which is based on existing technologies - Silverlight - so everyone's wondering what it is gonna be like, they want to try it. Then comes the advantage of the potential clients for the application you're developing, Windows' marketplace is the fastest growing one out there. Today mobile OS's are about features and easiness of use, but there are many times when users get frustrated because no matter how good the OS is from the point of view of what it can offer, it crashes; WP is very stable and snappy - a word I like to use to describe how smooth the navigation through the menu is.
We all know Microsoft is a powerful company which offers a large suite of applications and WP offers integration with one of its most popular ones, MS Office.Another great thing about this OS is the fact that it manages hardware resources very well; when switching between applications, the inactive ones are frozen and do not use resources.
The gaming industry has seen great advancement with each passing year so it's natural that gaming is an important aspect for mobile devices as well, thus WP offers integration with the most popular gaming network - Xbox Live.
The last reason, but not the least, for which to choose WP, is the confidence that Microsoft gives through its history of OS's and software applications and, in the case of WP, also the standards that it sets for the device manufacturers.
How does Microsoft encourage WindowsPhone development?
I think the most important ecouragement you get from Microsoft is the complex SDK they offer for development. When developing for WP, there aren't any big issues concerning different API versions, Microsoft makes sure the versions resemble each other.
Microsoft has a great strategy of promoting the mobile OS development by offering partner companies development devices before they're even officially out and offering developers from countries that do not have Windows marketplace, the opportunity to publish their applications through intermediaries - the Global Publishers.
I wanted to leave the greatest encouragement last, the fact that developing applications for WindowsPhone means combining the well known C# language with Silverlight technology. If you have previous knowledge in these two, you can get to work almost immediately. In Qubiz for instance our experience with these programming languages is very vast, so we really stand out when it comes to developing anything related to them, even WindowsPhone solutions. Also due to Silverlight, the device's screen resolution is not an issue, the layout adapts to the device's resolution.
What does WindowsPhone bring to your application?
WindowsPhone offers integration with the Windows Live account, MS Office, Bing Maps, Xbox Live for gaming and MS Push Notifications, which makes it possible to deliver the user with latest bits of news straight to his home screen even if the application is closed.
When it comes to gaming, there's the XNA framework, which is used for developing Windows, Xbox 360, and lately WP games. The framework also allows easy portability of games from one platform to another, for instance from Windows Desktop to Xbox 360.
As Microsoft got us used to, the OS is backwards compatible, which means that applications developed for a prevoius OS version should work on a new version as well.
What is the learning curve for WindowsPhone development?
Knowledge in C# and .NET is very useful, everything you have previously learned about these two will be used here, and if you know Silverlight and XAML as well, it means you can get into WindowsPhone development right away, you just need to get used to the API's and controls specific to the platform.
Developing UI on the other hand needs Blend knowledge, which makes UI customization very easy.
Integration with services can be done easily through WCF or by de-serializing JSON/XML stright into objects.
As mentioned before, here in Qubiz, we had a very smooth transition from developing web solutions to developing WP solutions as well, our previous experience with the technologies needed makes us one of the best suited WP solution providers.
What solutions does Qubiz offer on WindowsPhone?
Qubiz offers mobile solutions for enterprise applications, BI and reporting, gaming and entertainment. We develop solutions that FIT the business needs of the client.