There’s a new release on the official Windows Phone Team Blog (which I’ll put in full below) but look what we have here…fragmentation. They mention that the Nokia market is “a channel that will complement the existing Windows Phone Marketplace experience.” Compliment…as in not be merged into. He also states “I won’t promise that there will be no work required to ensure that apps and games look great on these new phones.” What’s clear here is that there will be a Nokia line of Windows Phones that are unique and this is the first sign of some fragmentation to Windows Phones. Microsoft’s goal has to be to diminish that as much as possible to keep the lines together so we’ll see where it all goes. Here’s the blog post in full:

By now you’ve likely heard about the announcement of our partnership with Nokia. I’m incredibly excited about its long-term potential and how it could enable us to innovate, differentiate, and combine strengths to build a new global ecosystem that creates opportunities beyond anything that currently exists today. We’re creating an entirely new ecosystem of possibilities for developers. For our part, Microsoft is first and foremost a platform company which means that nearly everything we do begins and ends with the developer community in mind. This deal is no exception. I want to share with you what I think this alliance means for Windows Phone developers.

In simplest terms, this alliance can dramatically increase the customer base for Windows Phones, and, by extension, your apps and games. This equates to both a larger and more localized consumer market for apps and games on handsets, as well as an acceleration of innovation in back-end services and core infrastructure. For example, Nokia already has strong relationships with operators in more than 190 markets. Nokia also manages an application marketplace that delivers 4 million downloads per day; a channel that will complement the existing Windows Phone Marketplace experience to bring Windows Phone developers and Nokia customers together. We will have more details to share about the marketplace strategy in the future, but our intent is to build upon the best of what both companies offer today.

From a tools and platform perspective, we’re working to make it as easy as possible for developers to take advantage of this new opportunity. Nokia’s Windows Phone portfolio will support existing Windows Phone applications, while Nokia’s existing developers can now enjoy an application platform that was specifically designed to make building amazing apps and games for Windows Phone quick and easy. This means that Windows Phone apps and games will continue to use the free Windows Phone Developer Tools; comprised of Visual Studio 2010, Expression 4, Silverlight and the XNA Framework. There are still significant details to work out with Nokia around exactly what types of devices are delivered, and when, so I won’t promise that there will be no work required to ensure that apps and games look great on these new phones. What I can promise is that we will work hard to give developers the tools, guidance and information to take full advantage of this great opportunity.

We are extremely proud of the way the Windows Phone developer community has stepped up already, with 8,000 amazing apps and games, 28,000 registered developers and more than 1 million tools downloaded. We’ve also long been impressed with the creativity, passion and size of the Nokia developer community, and we will do all we can to bring that energy to Windows Phone. Our developer ecosystem has become one of our strongest assets and I couldn’t be more excited to share this new opportunity –both with Windows Phone developers, as well as a new community of Nokia developers that we now welcome to our platform. We’ll have much more information to share in the coming months as we work out the details of the partnership and gather questions and perspectives from the developer community.

In the meantime, keep funneling your creative energy into those amazing Windows Phone apps and games you have been building. The stage on which you can shine just got bigger.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Lab rats. Oh boy I love it. This just confirms my deceision to go to Android from Windows Mobile. I’ve done the fragment Windows moblie phone thing before and I don’t want to go back. Android may have there issues but MS is back tracking one of their original goal (no fragmentation) in order to gain customers (more lab rats). This is selling out to the highest degree when you change objectives when shit don’t go as planned. What blind mice is leading these lab rats. Windows Phone 7 users (lab rats) are being trained to pay more for apps than other smart phone users, accept what MS gives you as a phone, and now a different platform on Nokia high price crap.

    Like the black guy on CNN said years back “This is going to be a fucking disaster.”

  2. Well, look at the OEMs. LG didn’t even try. HTC is too full of themselves. Samsung plays both sides of the fence, the top, underneath… Maybe MS just said we need someone as dedicated to the platform as us. If Nokia will steer the ship, the others just have to follow. Developers will have to adjust to a Nokia down philosophy.

  3. I didn’t get that impression.

    Let’s look at the original thought behind accelerated WP7 development:

    “Write it in Silverlight or XNA, then put it in a WP7 wrapper and serve.”

    Maybe this ‘fragmented platform’ will be nothing more than a way to create a different wrapper for Nokia’s mid-range collection (smaller screens and weaker processors), but still allowing the use of the existing Silverlight and XNA code.

    It’s not fragmenting WP7… it’s allowing developers an easy way to repurpose the backend code with as little fuss as possible — letting the apps run independent of the WP7 UI.

    My 2 cents… I’m sure several people will now pile on and tell me why I am wrong…

  4. @Ike: Well no one knows yet. And I mean that. I don’t think MS or Nokia know yet. I think Nokia wants to be able to do things if MS takes too long. So if MS fails to provide a landscape home UI they may jsut build one for example. If MS fails to give drives for front facing camera, they will. So it’s all a question of Nokia pushing MS and where that goes. I don’t think they’ll move beyond XNA and Silverlight to native apps unless MS agrees to because that’s too cemented in the paltform. I think we’re talking about additional features and possible screen resolutions for lower end phones.

  5. I wish we all could just substitute “fuck up” for fragment. It’s easier on the ears, you know? Also it’s underused because we’re all worried about saying that word on this site.

    :)

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