Today at Microsoft Corp.’s third annual Mobile Developer Conference (DevCon) 2004, Microsoft continued to deliver on its commitment to mobile and Microsoft® Windows® developers by unveiling the new Windows Mobile™ 2003 Second Edition software focused on enabling unprecedented hardware innnovation and application development. In addition, Microsoft delivered the Visual Studio® 2005 Community Technology Preview that provides valuable developer resources and announced a Mobile2Market contest to assist developers with application promotion and distribution opportunities. This year’s event has been designed to help both mobile and PC developers take advantage of the opportunities that Windows Mobile is delivering.
“The convergence of the mobile and PC development environments represents a tremendous opportunity for software innovation. Microsoft is proud to support our hardware partners and the developer community by providing innovative software like the new Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition software,” said Ya-Qin Zhang, corporate vice president of product development for the Mobile and Embedded Devices Division at Microsoft. “At this show, we are also focused on providing the best integrated tools and technical resources that will ignite application development and bring new value to customers and the mobile industry.”
New Customer-Driven Software: Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition
Today, Microsoft showcased Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition software, the newest version of the Windows Mobile software platform, which offers new functionality and fosters device and application innovation. The Windows Mobile platform adds support for dynamic screen switching between landscape and portrait modes and square screen resolution support that enables smaller devices with keyboards—both of which are platform firsts. Additional features include VGA and QVGA that support high-resolution displays for Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs and Smartphones, respectively.
“The Motorola MPx with a unique, compact dual-hinge design is one of the first devices that take advantage of key capabilities enabled by Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition software,” said Michael Tatelman, vice president and general manager of the MOTOPro group, Motorola Mobile Handset Business. “Microsoft’s continued commitment to drive innovation and engage with the developer community is beneficial in providing our customers with a robust set of applications and solutions that, when combined with the MOTOPro Innovation Platform, deliver a powerful wireless experience.”
With this release, Microsoft is focused on enabling hardware diversity while preserving platform consistency. Hardware diversity facilitates creation of exciting new form factors by device makers to address specific market needs. Platform consistency enables developers to reach a large addressable market with a single code base. Also benefiting developers is Microsoft’s updated Windows Mobile Developer Resource Kit, which allows developers to easily create new applications and services based on the new software and thus benefit directly from the new functionality expected, such as higher-resolution screens and new form factors.
This kit includes eight new white papers focused on Windows Mobile development and new and updated code samples, Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition emulators, embedded Visual C++® 4.0 SP3, and Windows Mobile 2003 SDKs.
“Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition software creates an opportunity to bring our existing solutions to a new generation of innovative devices,” said John Psuik, president and CEO of Developer One. “Microsoft’s new software has enabled us to build new, innovative solutions for our customers that take advantage of new display functionality like support for landscape orientation and high-resolution screens.”
Platforms and Tools That Empower
Today at the event Microsoft released a Community Technology Preview version of Visual Studio 2005 to provide developers with a glimpse of future tools. This preview version includes the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework 2.0, which enables smart device development. It is the first deliverable in a series of prebeta Community Technical Preview versions of Visual Studio 2005 that will be distributed to target segments of the developer community and are intended to help developers plan for future projects, evaluate Microsoft’s development tools, and provide feedback to Microsoft throughout the development process.
In addition, Microsoft highlighted great momentum around the .NET Compact Framework, launched at last year’s conference. This includes a growing partner roster and positive feedback from partners and customers that have realized the benefits of the combination of the familiar Visual Studio development environment and the .NET Compact Framework for building smart device applications. Customers are seeing cost reductions and increased productivity benefits with this combination of tools. Landmark Graphics Corp., for one, has cut its development costs by 40 percent to 50 percent using Microsoft .NET technology. The combination of Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Compact Framework has proved to be an efficient and very productive environment for building Windows Mobile-based applications.
Continuing to Foster the Ecosystem
Microsoft’s Mobile2Market program is designed to help commercial developers connect with multiple distribution channels including retailers, e-tailers, original equipment manufacturers and mobile operators. To date, 40 distributors including 22 mobile operators have requested and received access to Microsoft’s catalog of applications for Windows Mobile-based devices.
Building on the current success of the Mobile2Market program, Microsoft announced the $100,000 Mobile2Market application contest. Four grand prizes of $25,000 and application promotion and distribution opportunities will be awarded to four independent software vendors in the following categories: Smartphone Work, Smartphone Play, Pocket PC Work and Pocket PC Play. More information on the contest can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/information/devprograms/mobile2market/contest.mspx.