Microsoft Supports PhoneGap

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2012-03-12 Print this article Print


Microsoft, which continues to evolve its Windows Phone developer strategy, also is supporting PhoneGap and HTML5 for mobile development. PhoneGap is an HTML5 app platform that enables developers to write native applications with Web technologies and get access to APIs and app stores.

In a blog post from September, Jean-Christophe Cimetiere, a senior technical evangelist for interoperability on the Windows Phone team at Microsoft, said, "We're very excited to join Nitobi to announce availability of a PhoneGap beta supporting Windows Phone Mango. This new option to build applications targeting Windows Phone gives more choices to developers. In particular, Web developers will be able to easily leverage their HTML5 skills to target Windows Phone."

Microsoft made a commitment to provide developers with a platform that would allow them to take advantage of existing skills and technologies to quickly build apps. The company remains committed to that strategy as it evolves its developer platform to be known as the Windows Phone Runtime, Microsoft said.

For this article, Microsoft gave eWEEK a statement saying: "Microsoft is deeply committed to the components that make up the Windows Phone Runtime, and this includes the components that make up solutions based on both Silverlight and HTML5. Microsoft is making tremendous investments in these underlying technologies."

However, HTML5 will not become the single solution for client application development on the Microsoft platform. For Windows Phone, HTML5 support comes to the phone with Internet Explorer 9, but the Windows Phone development platform enables developers to build rich, immersive apps and games that run locally.

In addition to Nitobi with PhoneGap, Sencha is another provider of HTML5 frameworks and tools. "Sencha products have been a major driver of the increased interest in HTML5 because we give developers, for the first time, a way to harness emerging HTML5 technologies and create highly functional Web applications that erase the line between native apps and Web apps," said Michael Mullany, CEO of Sencha.

Sencha Touch, a tool for touch-enabling apps, is the company's flagship product.

"Sencha Touch is built from the ground up to leverage HTML5, CSS3 (Cascading Style Sheets) and JavaScript, enabling us to build rich Web applications that look and feel native right out of the box," said Craig Walker, CTO of Xero, an online accounting software firm.

"Relying on the extensive set of UI [user interface] widgets, layouts and animations, we were able to start building features immediately from day one rather than worrying about the underlying architecture. Plus, we were able to leverage our existing skills and use open Web technologies."


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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