The Windows Phone 7 platform has been out for just over a year now and promises to be an exciting new platform for both users and developers. The user interface is fresh and new compared to the other existing platforms.
Microsoft created a free, fun and powerful toolset for developers, including an emulator with all the bells and whistles. The improvements in the phones features and developer tools are becoming competitive with other phones.
After a year of personal development, I thought I'd share my top 5 reasons to start building a WP7 application for the New Year.
1. Learn something new
Microsoft provides tons of free resources, like tutorials, blogs, and sample code, to help learn this new platform. If you are a Silverlight or WPF developer, then you have a jump start on learning the platform and you'll feel right at home with the XAML. If you are an XNA developer, the gaming toolset will be easy to dive into.
2. Gain some work experience
Picking up a new technology can help you improve your development skills in general, and the XAML could be useful for a project, whether it be WP7, Silverlight, or a WPF app.
3. Make some money
Sign up for the marketplace and submit a few apps. Even if they are simple free apps, you can sign up for the MS Adcenter and place some ads on your apps to make a few bucks. For the first year (2011), if you created two apps, Microsoft offered a rebate so your marketplace membership fee was free. There are also plenty of contests to enter for prizes or recognition.
4. Buy a new phone
Let’s face it, many of us try to be cheap when it comes to cell phones. With plenty of free choices out there, I always go for the deals and grab a free one. As long as it makes calls, that’s all I ever cared about.
But smart phones can be pretty fun. Especially a WP7 phone if you are an MS developer. The phones can be pricey but there are deals out there. Creating a couple of simple apps gave me a good excuse to buy my HTC HD7 for "testing" my apps. I was able to recoup the cost of the phone over time.
5. It's fun
The Windows Phone 7 platform is cool, new, and fresh. I've been playing around with GPS, accelerometers, and other fun gadgets on mobile devices. The tech is growing fast and it’s not just phones anymore (phones, tablets, etc.) There are plenty of choices to experiment with.
Even if you never intend to join the marketplace and submit an app, why not spin the wheels? It’s free after all. Just check out App Hub, read a few articles first, and if you like what you read, then download the tools.
Have a blast this year creating the next Angry Birds, Mom's recipe book, sports statistics app, or whatever topic you love the most!
Ultimately, most of us work at CQL to provide client solutions. Our clients need to understand that everything is moving “mobile” at this time, and being a developer who can deliver solutions in these multiple platforms makes us more valuable.