Windows Phone 7 Will Not Run Current Windows Mobile Apps

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-03-05

The development platform for Windows Phone 7 Series will be different, Microsoft says--so different in fact that previously built Windows mobile applications will not run on Windows Phone 7 Series.

That was perhaps the key takeaway from Charlie Kindel's blog post about Windows Phone 7 Series development delivered on the evening of March 4. Kindel is the Partner Group Program manager for the Windows Phone Application Platform & Developer Experience.

Kindel used the term "different" at least nine times -- all in bold -- in his post to denote the "clean break" the new user and developer experience will provide with Windows Phone 7 Series. Well, to be sure, Kindel said .NET developers' skills will move forward with the new development scheme. And another very key point from Kindel's post is that Microsoft's Silverlight and XNA technology will be integral to Windows Phone 7 Series application development.

Of the overall "difference" of Microsoft's new mobile platform, Kindel wrote:

"For us, the cost of going from good to great is a clean break from the past. To enable the fantastic user experiences you've seen in the Windows Phone 7 Series demos so far we've had to break from the past. To deliver what developers expect in the developer platform we've had to change how phone apps were written. One result of this is previous Windows mobile applications will not run on Windows Phone 7 Series."

Silverlight is Microsoft's Adobe Flash-like framework for creating rich Web, desktop and mobile applications. XNA is Microsoft's game development platform consisting of a set of tools and runtime environment. The XNA Framework is based on the .NET Compact Framework. And XNA Game Studio is an IDE (integrated development environment) for game development.

However, Kindel did not focus very much on what developers must do to build the next generation of Windows mobile applications, or how all the pieces will work together. For that, he said you will have to attend Microsoft's MIX10 Web design and development conference in Las Vegas starting March 15--or at least watch the Webcasts and blogs from the event.

Said Kindel:

"The expertise and familiarity with our tools is not lost. If you are a .NET developer today your skills and much of your code will move forward. If you are Silverlight or XNA developer today you're gonna be really happy. New developers to the platform will find a cohesive, well designed API set with super productive tools."

Moreover, Kindel said Microsoft sought out feedback from developers about what they wanted and came back with three main goals for the Windows Phone 7 Series platform:

  • Enable end users to be able to personalize their phone experience through a large library of innovative, compelling, games and applications.
  • Enable developers to profit.
  • Advance the "3-screen-plus-cloud" vision. 
Rocket Fuel