While the .NET Compact Framework and its Windows Forms library supports high productivity when building typical LOB applications (data entry, inventory management, …), the UI you can build with it out of the box starts to look a bit dated – gray rectangular buttons and little dropdown arrows just don’t cut it anymore for consumer apps, especially, in 2009…
In desktop development, apart from alternative Microsoft technologies like WPF or Silverlight, there are lots of nice-looking 3rd party controls & libraries that make your life easier, and your UI a bit more user friendly, and attractive. While the former alternatives are not available for Windows Mobile as of today, few people are aware of the fact, it seems, that there are a growing number of 3rd party controls & frameworks for Windows Mobile which allow for the development of finger-friendly, nice-looking mobile applications. Here is a (non-representative, non-exhausting) list of products that I am aware of, which you might want to evaluate:
I’m sure there are a lot more great controls for Windows Mobile – if you know of one that I missed, and you think it should be included in this list, please let me know.
Thanks, and start building great mobile applications! :-)