Windows phone 7 Developer Q&A: Lukas Lesko, Resco.net
In part two of our ongoing series of Windows phone 7-focused developer articles, this is part two, with Lukas Lesco, Support Manager for resco.net. Resco has made some superb Windows Mobile applications over the years, so I was curious to get their take on what Windows phone 7 brings from a developer's perspective.
WPT: Looking at what Microsoft has announced at MIX10, what's your general impression of their development platform for the Windows phone 7?
Resco.net: On one hand we are looking forward to finding out more about the possibilities that this new platform brings. On the other hand, we are afraid of the restrictions that will be revealed. For example, the limited multi-tasking could bring more available resources, but on the other hand it can limit cooperation between applications. Also, the Marketplace could bring applications closer to users and bring better user feedback, but we are afraid that it will end up like the Apple Store; that is, filled with simple applications like games with no added value.
WPT: As a developer, can you do what you want with Silverlight and XNA, or do you need a native code? What about the APIs Microsoft is providing, and the SDK? Does it give you what you need to create new applications?
Resco.net: We will have to change the way our applications are developed and we are afraid that the advanced features of our applications will have to be dropped, and all future applications will have to be easy to use with limited functionality. But this will take into account the Microsoft's idea of the Windows Phone 7 users.
WPT: Looking at your application portfolio today, how many of those applications can be ported/re-created to run on the Windows phone 7? How much work will be required for this to happen, and do you plan to release those applications for Windows phone 7?
Resco.net: At the moment we can't say which application will be ported and how much work it will take, of course we would like to continue to develop as many applications from our portfolio as possible. We would like to stay in touch with the Windows Phone platform, but this also depends on the market, popularity of the Windows Phone devices etc. For example applications like Resco Explorer can't be ported to the new platform.
WPT: For the non-developers out there, which would include me, what's the big difference for the types of applications that your company develops when it comes to managed versus native code?
Resco.net: The main difference for us is that applications written in the native code are executed and work faster, and it enables us to override some system components and add some extra functionality. But managed code offers the ease of use and enables faster development (but this might be at the expense of the application's quality).
WPT: What do you think of what you've seen of the Windows phone 7 so far? As a developer, do you see potential in the product for you to make money?
Resco.net: The platform has got rid of the main functionality admired by geeks and the business segment and is friendlier with users that are new in the smart-phone market, or to users that are interested in cool looking devices and that don't care about the advanced functionality. It is of course a logical step, especially when comparing to the iPhone's success because the target market is a lot bigger than the current Windows Mobile one.We believe that there is a potential in this platform, but we will have to wait for the final specifications and development tools.
WPT: If you could ask Microsoft to make three developer-related changes to Windows phone 7 - either the on-device software, or the ecosystem as a whole - what would those changes be?
Resco.net: The first change would be including the database API, as the majority of mobile applications are based on a database model. Second would be adding custom launchers and the third one to loosen up the certification severity for developers.
Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, his son Logan, and his sometimes obedient dog. He likes most of what he sees in Windows phone 7.
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