VB coming to WP7 – “Users, users, users” What WP7 really needs?

WP7, the phone which we have covered many times on the TechBytes audiocast, is in the news again.  There are reports that VB will soon be available for developers for WP7.  Great news?  Well if you read Microsoft-Watch and their quotes from Microsoft, then yes, all would sound well:

Microsoft is allowing third-party developers to create Windows Phone 7 apps using Visual Basic, a capability which could draw more apps to the platform.

also quoted from their article:

This release doubles the developer audience for Windows Phone, by enabling Visual Basic developers to create applications for Windows Phone

Source: Microsoft-Watch

Without making the obvious dig/joke that if Microsoft doubled its developer audience it would have 4 people I’ll resist that urge.

It seems that Microsoft is going to great lengths to try and drag some of those “developers, developers, developers” onto its WP7 device and its even providing you VB code samples to help you on your way. Happy times are here again?

Well no. What I think Microsoft is missing here are users.  Considering developing for WP7?  Who exactly will use your product?  It’s very nice (for some) to be able to use VB to develop apps I’m sure, but rather pointless if you can’t get a user base for your software.  Consider the recent news that Android outsells WP7 15-1 and as a developer tell me which platform is the more desirable?

Microsoft still remains tight-lipped about its sales for the WP7, but then we saw that before didn’t we? with the Kin disaster.

Brandon Watson of Microsoft is reported to have said:

We have to show developers that they can build applications, that they can make money. So we’re really focused on the quality of the applications

And how are you going to do that if people are not buying in the first place?  15-1?  I wonder if Brandon has considered that?  Of course developers can build applications, it’s the question of who exactly is going to use them that is more pressing.  But just like everything was great in the world of Kin until the bitter end, I think we can expect Microsoft to put on the same brave face with WP7.

Microsoft-Watch ends on:

With so much data outstanding about Windows Phone 7’s marketplace health–there’s still no word on how many devices have sold, and developers like Yu are apparently having issues with their demographic reporting–I’m betting any number of third-party developers are biting their nails, waiting to see whether their leap of faith pays off.

To which I would respond, there is no wait.  For me I’ve predicted the failure already. I can’t see the WP7 grasping the market as in my experience of the phone buyer, there is very little interest and probably even less trust in it.  – Disagree? I’d love to hear your view.

The words “borrowed time” spring to mind in respect of Microsoft’s WP7 and apparently judgement day will be Feb 2011.

Ballmer, when you come into work in Feb, don’t take off your coat, you may not need to.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com / TwitterIdenti.ca

You can also contact me on Skype: tim.openbytes

If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the OpenBytes statement, here.


16 thoughts on “VB coming to WP7 – “Users, users, users” What WP7 really needs?

  1. Actually this move makes perfect sense, and it’s probably the best thing Microsoft has done for Windows Phone 7. During the Windows 98/Windows XP era Visual Basic was the most commonly used tool for internal corporate development, at least up until web based apps started to become the new paradigm.

    By supplying a platform that your internal corporate developers can do things with makes WP7 more valuable to corporations. I’ve seen a lot older versions of Windows Mobile with custom applications written for the business using them. Things like lease car inspection, or house inspection (insurance company) beg for specialized applications, and that is what Microsoft is going to give them.

    However it’s also an admission that WP7 isn’t doing well. You don’t make an announcement like this one month into a product cycle. You make it before the product ships, or at the six month point. Making it one month in strikes of desperation – do anything, anything at all to get the sales up.

    It should help. But will it help enough?

    1. I think you are correct and in addition I’d say any steps to increase dev accessability would be good for any platform, however that, is the problem.

      Surely as you say, it could be an example that WP7 simply is not doing well and in anycase, as I tried to highlight in my article, you can make things as happy and fluffy for devs as you like, but if the userbase doesn’t exist in the first place to purchase/use your apps then its all a little pointless.

      Look also to the features that Microsoft claimed users didn’t want, only to announce in the next update they may be catered for…. I don’t think Microsoft has a clue, the Kin proved that to me. I think this is all too little too late for a market that when given the choice is much happier moving away from Microsoft products.

      Kindest regards

      1. They don’t have a clue. The only thing they know is sales are bad, so they are going back to the corporate market, where they hope companies will say to employees, ‘This is what you will use, it’s the only thing that runs our handy dandy in house software’ and of course employees won’t have a choice.

        Of course Microsoft’s big problem with that plan, is that they other language that is used for in-house corporate development is Java, and Android has a long lead on them.

  2. Actually, it’s VB.Net, not VB. And this is a release of tooling support for the VS2010 IDE, rather than language support for the phone (which was already there). Download the MSI to see the truth of this. Your grasp on the facts is as tenuous as ever, Goblin.

    As for your prescience, you were so right about Windows 7 being such a flop. How could you possibly be mistaken about this?

    Good of you to compare a platform that’s been out for just over a month to a platform that’s been out for years. I’m sure all your readers will agree that this makes for a completely unbiased comparison … but that’s because your readers will generally lap up any old hash that you throw at them.

    1. Polite as always and grasping at straws as always. The point made which you ignore was that another attempt is being made to drag anyone to the platform…so sorry I missed the .net, the purpose of the article was to highlight the apparent desperation.

      I’m sure everyone is very happy you are here to highlight such an important discrepancy. I’ll let the other mainstream sites that also reported it as such know your “corrections”.

      Kindest regards


  3. almost an interesting article but you lost me trying to compare android to a 1 month old platform. your article is too biased, but then again that’s why this is a blog i guess.

    thanks for the effort however

    1. Hi. Yes of course “its only blogs” that put opinion and I’m sure we would all get a balanced view visiting a Microsoft created site championing wp7 whilst having (imho) a rather small notice saying Microsoft. Of course I have a view, but are you challenging the 15-1 ratio I mention, are you saying that I’m wrong and everyone is chopping at the bit for a WP? Are you saying its not worth developers keeping potential customer bases in mind when choosing to develop software for a platform? Intact what here is bias? I didnt even touch on the Angry Birds issue and made the point that up to the bitter end Microsoft put on a brave face with the Kin……. do you dispute that?

      Is it not also reasonable to suggest that after kin et al, should wp7 flop like I think it will, ballmers future at Microsoft would be in doubt.

      That’s up to the readers to decide.

      1. Windows 7 flop? Well if I could be qouted, I would be interested since the OEM point alone ensures most people have to buy it. In respect of being compelling enough to get people away from xp……I would say the repeated extension of xp life is a testament to how compelling 7 has been.

        And remind me, what did I say about the kin prior to it hitting the market?

        I think ill look at these issues further on the next !techbytes show and ill even bring up the points “both” of you two make……of course ill make sure you are both not hiding your id behind insecure proxies.

        I would do it now but I’m on the mobile and wordpress doesn’t show your IP on the client.

        That’s an Android phone by the way, I don’t think you can get WordPress software for wp7…..surprising really since Microsoft relied on linux powered WordPress to take all its live Bloggers…..I think we will look at that too on !techbytes.

        Incase you “two” are lost for words, why not start trying to insult the show……if you are quick enough, I can mention them when we record.

        Kindest regards


        1. It’s been 3 days. Have you found your evidence of nefarious ID-hiding yet, Goblin?

          What’s funny is that you really are so convinced of your own righteousness that you can’t believe that more than one person on the whole internet could ever think that you’re talking nonsense. And if more than one person appears … well, it’s got to be the same guy, pretending to be two people, right?

          What mind-boggling egotism…

          1. Dear Richard I do not condone is hiding behind a proxy, at the time I couldn’t tell if you were, suffice to say your comment now would have got through if you were.

            So I’m wrong Richard, what exactly about? (second time asking) developers can now use vb to code the wp7 and the point of the article (and there’s a hint in the title) was that there’s little point in developing an app if your username is so small you can’t make it with your while.

            You have nothing to say in defense of that, nor any try to question any of the mainstream sites which report this matter with exactly the same views as me.

            Intact all you are doing is trying to make something out of nothing and waste my time. Again as usual, its only you out of all the other readers who thinks there is something there.

            Since you seem to be trying to take the role if unofficial editor of Openbytes, can I assume that all the posts you haven’t commented on meet with your approval?

            How about Richard you come on !techbytes and challenge me directly? I am sure everybody would love to hear how “right” you are.

            Best of British,


            1. And I apologize for the typos, since Richard seems to comment during Monday-friday and office hours, I am having to respond on my mobile.

              Oh and Richard, you better try and make as much out of your “point” as quickly as you can, the comments on all articles close after 7 days. A feature I introduced to deter timewasters and obnoxious people like you.

              For the other readers: if you check back over Richards comment history here, I think you can make your own call on his worth.

              Of course I would welcome him on !techbytes. How about it Richard?

            2. Dear Goblin,

              You’re trying so hard to bait me that it’s becoming … well … obvious. Perhaps you should try to be a subtler troll? Or, at a minimum, attempt to understand the matter under discussion well enough to stimulate my interest. But hey, better luck next time!


              1. No Richard, No bait. Isnt that obvious to even you?

                My choice of words is my own, and you trying to find extra meaning or even a way to slither yourself out of your posts is laughable. The article has been linked by other sites, the article has been read by many and whatever your view on the words I choose to use or how to phrase something, the message in the article (the news if you will is the same) (I’ll give it again just so you understand:

                Developers can use VB to develop apps for the phone. The article then goes on to say that its pointless to consider developing for a platform if there is not a userbase present to purchase/use it. Since you didn’t try your usual tactics with that comment then I assume that you are in complete agreement.

                No its not a bait. You claim to be “correcting me” so lets have a chat on Techbytes. What are you frightened of? Surely you should be jumping at the chance?

                Thanks for the compliments though since this is your first obnox return in months so I can only assume even you couldn’t find anything to pull appart in that time.

                Take your silly games elsewhere Richard.

                The only thing in your credit is that you have not stooped to childish vulgarity like Robotron (who by the way threatened with a “phase 2” and never returned)

                Quote “Perhaps you should try to be a subtler troll?”

                lol – You even understand the concept? Trolling on my own blog? If you feel so strongly scurry away like you did before. Quite simple.

                Bless, you are really trying…..but how can I bait you into anything when it was you who came here with that anti-social attitude. I certainly didn’t invite you and you are certainly free to leave at any time (You never show your web presence do you “Richard”)

                and the reason you don’t want to appear on Techbytes is that you are like the person who shouts insults at the toughest looking person in the street and then hides in a crowd, its easy to try to attack when you won’t put YOUR work, YOUR web presence, YOUR writing to yourself. I’m quite easy to find, here, on the techbytes show, irc and even Skype and Twitter/Identi.ca….why do you conceal these things “Richard”?

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