Mango Checks in At //Build

Mango Checks in At //Build

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What an amazing time for Microsoft developers! The buzz down here at the //build conference has been truly inspirational. It also reminds those of us in Windows Phone just how far we’ve come in only 18 months. It was not so long ago at MIX10 that we pulled the wraps off of the brand new developer platform for Windows Phone, introducing you to a new take on the mobile developer platform. We opted to take a fresh look at mobile app development; one that combined the powerful and familiar Microsoft tools with well understood and widely used languages. You responded in kind, creating one of the fastest growing mobile ecosystems in history in terms of the rate of apps published.

Just 6 months ago at MIX11, we introduced the development platform for Windows Phone 7.5, code named Mango. There we demonstrated your next wave of capabilities and opportunities on the Windows Phone platform. While the first introduction of Windows Phone was a clean sheet, Mango expands the capabilities of the phone to enable you to build even richer experiences via proper multi-tasking via Background Agents and expanded Live Tile capabilities, to name a few. Mango also broadens the opportunities for you to build a business, or just get noticed with 19 more markets and an innovative new way of connecting apps with consumers via App Connect.

Using the free Windows Phone SDK (which includes Visual Studio 2010 Express, and Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone), you can target the Windows Phone Runtime to build Metro apps for Windows Phone. The developer tools we provide are without question the best on the market, which means you can spend more time focusing on your app experience. More and more of you seem to be showing your support for the Windows Phone RT every day. Over 50K of you have registered as Windows Phone developers, and have built over 30K apps to date. Stats are great, but here’s what some of you have had to say about the platform (source: Why Is Windows Phone 7 Winning Over Some Indie App Developers?)

Geert van der Cruijsen, developer of Social Lookout, said that “Windows’ Metro UI is really adding something.”

Pieter Voloshyn, developer of Thumba, said “Microsoft came late in the game but came well, and I see a lot of gas for WP7 to compete.”

You aren’t the only ones excited about the long term potential of the Windows Phone platform. Following the announcement of our partnership with Nokia with its beautiful hardware and 190 market footprint, IDC *predicted that Windows Phone would be the number 2 position worldwide by 2015. Gartner agreed, **forecasting end users open OS sales in excess of 600 million units by 2015 for Windows Phone. This ecosystem is building, and Microsoft and our partners are committed to making Windows Phone a success in the market.

In the end, the voice that matters most, though, is that of the customer. Here’s a word cloud made up from all of the user reviews of the Rowi app (a Twitter client):

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The words which jump out are “great”, “best”, “live” & “tile”, “love”, “notifications”, “awesome”, “clean”, “simple” and “smooth.” Those are the types of experiences you can build when you target Windows Phone. Here’s another example, this time of the Cocktail Flow app:

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“Great”, “beautiful”, “best”, “nice”, “love”, “awesome”, “amazing”. Customers love the apps built for Windows Phone.

Yesterday, we saw the first look at the Metro style apps on the PC. As the Windows Phone Runtime evolves, we plan to align the PC and Windows Phone platforms as much as possible. For example as demonstrated yesterday, developers will soon be able to easily share XAML and C# code between the PC and Windows Phone. And for developers building Windows Phone apps today, those apps will work on Mango and on the next major release of Windows Phone as well. Any app that you have built, or build today, will just work.

The time to get your Mango apps into Marketplace is now. AT&T announced their Mango lineup on Monday, and existing customers will begin getting their OS update this fall. At a minimum it’s worth updating your existing app now so that when customers experience Mango they benefit from “fast app switching” multitasking, which requires little more than a recompile of the app.  If you want to stand out from the crowd, get your apps updated to take advantage of other Mango features like Live Tiles and App Connect.

Part of our plan for Windows Phone and this community has been to ensure that we build a great platform and sell it to a lot of customers. With the recent addition of Nokia as a key ecosystem partner, you will see even more handsets in even more markets. We have already announced the doubling of the supported markets for app ingestion, but you can also expect a wider range of price points across the Windows Phone portfolio to ensure more phones are sold to more customers.

It’s a great time to be a developer. Mango will start landing on phones this fall. What are you going to build?

Sincerely,

Matt Bencke,

General Manager, Windows Phone Apps

*Source: Worldwide Smartphone 2011–2015 Forecast and Analysis, Doc # 227367, March 2011.
**Source: Gartner Inc., Forecast Mobile Communications Devices by Open Operating System, Worldwide, 2008-15, Roberta Cozza, April 5, 2011).

21 Comments
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  • "few months, few weeks, few days, ***rolling out***..........Let's go over the DICTIONARY definition of the ubiquitous word "few":

    few (comparative fewer, superlative fewest)

       (preceded by another determiner) An indefinite, but usually small, number of.

           I was expecting lots of people at the party, but very few (=almost none) turned up.

           Quite a few of them (=many of them) were pleasantly surprised.

           I don't know how many drinks I've had, but I've had a few. [This usage is likely ironic.]

       (used alone) Not many; a small (in comparison with another number stated or implied) but somewhat indefinite number of.

           There are few people who understand quantum theory.

           Many are called, but few are chosen.

       (meteorology, of clouds) (US?) Obscuring one eighth to two eighths of the sky.

           Tonight.. A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness overnight.

           NOAA definition of the term "few clouds": An official sky cover classification for aviation weather observations, descriptive of a sky cover of 1/8 to 2/8. This is applied only when obscuring phenomenon aloft are present--that is, not when obscuring phenomenon are surface-based, such as fog.

       (meteorology, of rainfall with regard to a location) (US?) Having a 10 percent chance of measurable precipitation (0.01 inch); used interchangeably with isolated.

    [edit] Usage notes

       Few is used with plural nouns only; its synonymous counterpart little is used with uncountable nouns.

       Although indefinite in nature, a few is usually more than two (two often being referred to as "a couple of"), and less than "several". If the sample population is say between 5 and 20, a few would mean three or four, but no more than this. However, if the population sample size were in the millions, "a few" could refer to several hundred items. In other words, few in this context means a very very small percentage but way over the 3 or 4 usually ascribed to it its use with much much smaller numbers.

    YOU'LL BE GETTING YOUR MANGO "UPDATE" IN A "FEW", FOLKS ;))

  • @carusen - you can publish your apps even if you are outside one of our current MP countries by leveraging one of our 3rd Party Publishers.  As Todd Brix wrote in his blog on March 8th (windowsteamblog.com/.../an-update-on-windows-phone-marketplace-new-tips-policies-and-regional-access-program.aspx)  and  outlined new additions in his MIX 2011 presentation (channel9.msdn.com/.../DVC05) you can leverage one of our regional partners to publish your app.  Hope this helps and happy publishing!

  • Erny
    5 Posts

    Don't waste your time for waiting Mango update, it not deliver anything special. Yes, phone work smoother, but still have lags. I don't use social features, so i cannot see any significant improvement in Mango update. Still no VPN, no RDP, no TeamViewer. And after all - latest news - some operators planing Mango update to SPRING. We learn from NoDo update too, update can be delayed for a long time. Relax, guys.

    As developer i not planning to release my app for Mango. Too little percent of users got mango, so we can wait.. month, season, year...

    Microsoft too late, too late with WP7, too late with Mango, too late with first Nokia phones

  • dfap
    2 Posts

    Does anyone know when WP7 will get the Bluetooth Serial Phone Profile (SPP)?

    There are plans for integration of SPP in WP7?

    There is support for SPP in the Mango RTM version?

    Thank you!

  • @carusen you might want to check out http://www.yallaapps.com I am sure Matt can give out more info on global dev rollout.

  • carusen
    23 Posts

    I wanted to say programmers, instead of programs.

  • carusen
    23 Posts

    If you want apps, you should make your App Hub available in all countries. For example, developers from Romania cannot create an account and upload their apps. Why? Beats me... and we do have lots of good programs.

  • @Nater: Okay I have been using Windows CE based products since PPC 2002 as well. No on disagrees that WP model is restrictive. Hell you could do just about anything you wanted with PPC 2002 till WM6.5. It was the most open development model.

    Why did it die a slow death ???? because the UI was not as fancy ?? The UI !!! right.. I am a developer that thats one of the least things i usually worry about. Other problems were similar to sort of issues you have on PCs where you can do anything.. you can choose to write your programs in whatever language you please... this means that OS doesn't keep thing control over the programs. As the power of phones / devices rocket, true multi tasking becomes questionable.. specially if you compare the ability of WM6.5 phones running 50+ apps at the same time...

    So what did microsoft do ??? Silverlight is decent in terms of UI look and feel. C# and CLR over all reduce the issues with memory leaks etc..CLR can control individual processes and kill them / suspend them at will...

    Tell you what.. the debate is unending... it took me close to an year to jump onto Windows Phone purely because of the limitations.. i have only used it for 6 months not 9 months but a compared to before.. i dont feel the need to change the phone much.. i dont keep jumping from ROM to ROM just to get a marginally faster performance.. i even started building my own ROMs with CPU clock control reset to get better performance.

    Those who like the platform will live with the deficiencies.. WP is pretty responsive and yes it might have taken microsoft over an year to get update out by hold on this is a new mechansm for them. Only apple in past has kept most devices up to date with latest version of OS.. not even android.. individual manufactures are busy pushing new phones out with latest OS not updating older phones..

    It time you made up your mind .. if you like Android go for it. If you like apple, go for iphones.

  • Nater
    147 Posts

    Addendum:  I actually should have said an OS from 2002, because you could do more on WM6.0 and even PPC2003 than you can with this OS.  And I'm speaking from a consumer point of view, because I don't hack, mod, or deeply customize any of my devices.

  • Nater
    147 Posts

    Quote: "@Nater Too little and too late?  Are you using the same phone as I am?   Most reviews I've seen don't share your wisdom.  I can't seem to make out what you're trying to say, and I certainly don't agree with it."

    The text got messed up cause the phone auto complete replaced words.

    Most reviewers didn't use this phone for 9 months.  They used it for 9 days or 9 hours.  Reviews don't say anything about what it's like to use these phones over an extended period of time.  There is too much I could do before, that I cannot do with this phone.  It was too little, too late.

    As in:

    1.  Providing Features on par with an OS from 2007 in 2010, and

    2.  Taking almost a full year to get the first major platform update out the door to consumers' handsets

    You realize Apple is releasing the i5/i4S soon.  Galaxy S II handsets are coming to the US.  HTC is releasing Android versions of the Titan/Radar that Rival the WP7 versions, easily?  You seriously think people will care about Titan/Radar/Focus S/Flash compared to those Galaxy S phones which actually run just as good as a WP7 handset with wildly superior specs being way more future proof than these?  Well, I'm being disingenuous.  Some will...  Just not a whole bunch (in the grand scheme of the smartphone market).

    Ask RIM how that worked out with their OS7 handsets.

    I can't send video off my phone.  I can't decently chat on my phone (even IM+ is terrible).  The browser is sort of terrible (but fast, thanks for that at least) and the HTML5 support is so non-existent that many pages mind as well just pop up a 404 cause so many elements are not rendered in many cases.  No Flash or SL support.  No TBT Navigation.  Weak FB/Twitter apps and worse OS integration of those than a 1st Gen Galaxy S phone.  BT File transfer?  Seriously...  Are you blinded by bias or something?

    I'm not going to sit here and let you patronize me.  I brought the HD7 over 8 months ago.  I'm not just sitting here from the outside looking in with my "laggy Android" in my hands talking about something I haven't been using for the past ~9 months.  If the platform was > 50% feature complete on launch, you would not have to read people complaining about the lack of timelines and the ridiculous timespan between launch and Mango.

    Smartphones are not Desktop Computers or Laptops.  This is not a Desktop Operating system.  Stop developing it like it's Desktop Windows.  I don't care about Windows 8.  I don't ever pay for Windows and I don't ever upgrade it outside of buying a new computer.  Update the freaking phones already.

  • I have been using HTC Mozart for 6 months now and have done about 4 apps so far. It is a fantastic product with a significant departure from earlier model. I remember my first PocketPC freebie i got from microsoft Viewsonci v37 and my first windows mobile phone. Sagem myS7..

    I am enjoying Windows Phone and development model. The model is a bit restrictive but i dont mind "dont do anything without user interaction" (the task model). I just hope you guys make tasks more streamlined. Provide a singular way to interact and expose the same / similar events for each of those.

    Maybe at some point in future you will allow 3rd party keyboards and give hopefully make it public so people like me can plug our standalone in app keyboard emulation into fully fledged keyboard.

    Keep up the good work.

  • @John - stay tuned, the next few weeks will be exciting!  I look forward to seeing your Mango app!

  • @StevieBallz - we are working directly with our OEM and Mobile Operator to rollout Mango in a timely and efficient manner.  As we announced late in August, we've already initiated rolling out Mango in Japan with HW from our OEM Partner KDDI.  Also announced this week, HTC and Samsung announced new Mango phones coming to AT&T - allthingsd.com/.../att-takes-another-bite-of-windows-phone-adding-three-mango-devices-to-lineup.  With any big launch, you want to have a big marketing push that coincides with your product launch, so divulging exact dates, takes away from our market impact, thus the vagueness of release dates.  As I stated above, "The time to get your Mango apps into Marketplace is now."  It's an exciting time and we are excited to see what you're building Stevie!

  • @Strider_Auz - Thank you for your feedback.  We learned a lot of lessons from the NoDo rollout that we've applied to how we are rolling out Mango and future versions of our O/S.

  • John
    26 Posts

    I'm waiting for the final Mango dev tools to be released. I'm not going to install beta software on my main developer machine, so I still have not yet the Mango tools. Release them and I'll update my app.

  • Most developers won't submit their Mango version unless they know approximately when Mango will ship because they loose the ability to update their Nodo version. So if someone has a Twitter App and Twitter changes it's APIs in a way that makes the App incompatible he would not be able to correct it for a large portion of his user base.

    Even for new Mango Apps it is complicated as with release you can create Buzz for it through Blogs, Forums, etc. but if that happens before people can actually install it, you lose all this excitement because then the App might be just one of 30 000 already in the Marketplace.

    Just wanted to let you know what some Devs are thinking on this.

  • Leigh
    89 Posts

    @Nater Too little and too late?  Are you using the same phone as I am?   Most reviews I've seen don't share your wisdom.  I can't seem to make out what you're trying to say, and I certainly don't agree with it.

    Windows Phone will be big.  It may take time, but I'm in this for the long haul.  I'm not going to some shiny thing I see in a store that has the fastest CPU (and reportedly TERRIBLE battery life), because I don't need it.

    Windows Phone runs great on processors from 1.0GHz, when the other guys need faster hardware with more power suckage.

    Enjoy Windows Phone 7.5!

    -e

  • Sheeds
    205 Posts

    Matt - with AT&T's service committment (to be amongst the 1st in the world to push Mango) - and the Aussie Vodafone blog yesterday comfirming they have already approved Mango - it is looking like Mango will be released with MS having already worked with carriers to minimise any delays.

    www.wpdownunder.com

    This will be awesome MS.  Congrats on rectifying all the NoDo experience (I expect and hope)!!!

    Exciting.  C'Mon Mango!!!

    :D

  • Nater
    147 Posts

    Most Polly will sell the hd7 and upgrade back to android before then.  Sorry but you guys are way too little definitely way too late.  Embarrassing.  Thanks for healing me waste money though...

  • @OndraSter - thanks for your excitement, we'll get there shortly, stay tuned and we look forward to your bug and feature feedback!

  • "and existing customers will begin getting their OS update this fall. "

    Still no preliminary, at least really, really preliminary, approximate day? OEMs are surely done so let's release it for unbranded phones already so we can send you bugs and missing key feature requests? :)

    Thanks :)