The big news today is that Nokia and Microsoft have created a partnership, and that Nokia will start selling smartphones based on Windows Phone 7 (WP7).
As an app developer, I think this is a terrible idea. Having to support two phone ecosystems is annoying enough. If WP7 actually does manage to get any market share to speak of, I will have to consider porting my games to a third platform – one that, at the moment, doesn’t support native development, so instead of just having one set of source code that I can port to multiple devices, it would take almost a complete rewrite.
Not to mention the fact that Android is getting significant consumer mind share at this point. I’m not sure how Nokia could snap their fingers and get consumers to buy WP7 phones; they’d really need to be much better and/or much cheaper (but no worse), and it’s hard to imagine how they can even achieve “no worse”.
Android has a market with a strong ecosystem of apps and developers; WP7 has very little to nothing in comparison. The early adopters of WP7 would likely be people who aren’t as interested in buying apps, which would be yet another reason for people to not develop apps. Android got bootstrapped by the early adopter crowd; unless Nokia produces a truly awesome phone that’s To Die For, the early adopters are likely to be sticking with new Android phones.
Had Nokia adopted Android, as I’d fully expected them to, they would have had a chance. As of this announcement, I’m writing them off.
Maybe two years from now I’ll be eating my words (and writing WP7 games), but until time proves me wrong, I’m sticking with Android and iPhone.