Microsoft Leaves Windows Phone Devs Wondering

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2012-04-08 Print this article Print

A recent Microsoft post to Windows Phone Developers leaves more questions than answers for devs looking for direction.

In a post aimed at informing Windows Phone developers about developing on Windows Phone 8, it appears Microsoft has managed to raise more questions and concerns, rather than simply reaching out to developers starved for information.

The post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog by Larry Lieberman, a senior product manager at Microsoft, was meant to shed a little light on the direction and allay developer concerns about the future of the development platform by ensuring them that their existing skills will be usable on the platform of the future, which will be Windows 8-based.

In short, Lieberman said:

"With regard to existing applications: today€™s Windows Phone applications and games will run on the next major version of Windows Phone. Driving application compatibility is a function of Microsoft€™s commitment to its developers. Regardless of what we release in terms of new developer features and functionality, we have made a large investment in protecting your existing investments.

"We€™ve also heard some developers express concern about the long-term future of Silverlight for Windows Phone. Please don€™t panic; XAML and C#/VB.NET development in Windows 8 can be viewed as a direct evolution from today€™s Silverlight. All of your managed programming skills are transferrable to building applications for Windows 8, and in many cases, much of your code will be transferrable as well. Note that when targeting a tablet vs. a phone, you do of course, need to design user experiences that are appropriately tailored to each device."

Lieberman added, €œMicrosoft is committed to creating an ecosystem that maximizes your investments.€

However, that was not enough. The mention of an €œevolution€ from Silverlight, Microsoft€™s once popular plug-in for writing and running rich Internet applications seemed to set some developers off.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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