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

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