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8/6/2009
01:22 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Microsoft Encouraging iPhone App Ports To Windows Mobile

Microsoft knows it has serious competition with the iPhone, and as the launch of Microsoft's Windows Marketplace for Mobile nears, WinMo project team members are helping developers port their iPhone applications to Windows Mobile with a few tips.

Microsoft knows it has serious competition with the iPhone, and as the launch of Microsoft's Windows Marketplace for Mobile nears, WinMo project team members are helping developers port their iPhone applications to Windows Mobile with a few tips.The Windows Mobile Blog has a post that gives an overview of porting an app called Amplitude to Windows Mobile. There are more details at this MSDN article if you are really serious about learning more about this process.

Windows Mobile and the iPhone may not be as dissimilar as you might think. I am no developer, but having done a bit of reading, it seems that a lot of code for an iPhone can be recompiled and run on Windows Mobile just fine, or visa versa. Now, I understand the user interface has to be totally redone, but much of the core functionality can be recompiled with relatively little effort. I ran across this discussion a few weeks ago comparing WinMo, the iPhone and WebOS (Palm Pre) and the developer, a long time WinMo programmer, is in the midst of porting his app to the iPhone. A lot of the code just works. For the Pre however, you'd almost have to start from scratch.

This could be good for both the iPhone and Windows Mobile platforms. Developers would have their base code that did whatever it is their app does and they then add the UI for each platform. Yes, I understand that is an oversimplification, but it beats a ground up rewrite any day of the week.

Right now the iPhone has the advantage. Although there are the absurd iFart class of apps in the App Store, there is no doubt that Apple has all of the attention when it comes to mobile apps and anything Microsoft can do to make it easier for developers to help MS regain some of that limelight will help the WinMo platform.

Go ahead, write your own "Hello World" app for one of the platforms and tell me how much recoding you had to do for it to work on the other.

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