A quick glance at the Windows Mobile Developer Center clues you in to the fact that we’ve done a complete overhaul of the site. For years, our “bread and butter” has been delivering you content on Smart Device Development which most often included articles on building apps with the .NET Compact Framework and SQL Server CE/Mobile/Everywhere/Compact. While we will still do that, we’re now making a concerted effort to expand the diversity of our content to cover an ever-growing mobile developer audience.
The biggest thing you notice when you come to the site is 4 big boxes. Think of these as 4 concurrently running worker threads delivering more content on more topics than ever before.
1. From the “Applications for Smart Devices” box, you’ll see content that targets native, managed, and SQL Server Compact topics. Don’t worry. It won’t be 100% enterprise development 24/7 anymore. We’ll tackle more and more consumer scenarios like Peter Foot did recently with his article on Mobile Facebook. We’ll also go the other direction too and provide content on working with low-level APIs with C++. And yes, we’ll even start talking about creating better device drivers.
2. The “Mobile Web” box will unleash wave after wave of new content that covers the explosion that some are calling “Mobile 2.0.” You’ll learn the nuts and bolts of building web sites designed for mobile devices as we talk about things like the new .MOBI standards, W3C Mobile Web best practices and the XHTML Mobile Profile. Don’t forget AJAX on Internet Explorer Mobile. Jim Wilson and Mel Sampat have blown everyone away with their coverage of AJAX on our favorite mobile platform.
3. In the “Mobile Games” box we’ll resurrect a topic that we used to give a lot of coverage to several years ago. Based on the way this segment of the market is taking off, teaching you how to build games for Windows Mobile devices could turn out to be just as important as the work we’ve done in teaching you how to build mobile apps for the enterprise. We do in fact have a portable gaming runtime for all our devices called Direct3D Mobile that can be programmed via another portable runtime called the .NET Compact Framework. We also have Direct Draw or you could just chill out and create a casual 2D game with simple Sprites using NETCF and maybe a little GDI+.
4. The “Rich Internet Applications” box is a bit of a mystery and looks to be pretty vacant place at the moment. Don’t think of it like you would an “Under Construction” web site. Think of it as the big tease that it is. Who knows for sure what’s to come in the RIA space for Windows Mobile devices?
Now that I’ve covered the 4 big boxes, take a look at the “Getting Started with Windows Mobile” section on the top-right hand side of the page. This place is a tour de force of readiness to get you going with Windows Mobile development. Labs, Webcasts, Videos, Solution Accelerators, Wiki’s, SDK’s, runtimes, and Power Toys oh my!
Stay on the right side of the page and drop one section down to give props to our Device Application Developer MVPs. We all owe so much to these great folks! They single-handedly created the Windows Mobile developer community back at the beginning of this decade by answering questions in the NETCF newsgroup, writing books, speaking at conferences (with the highest scores) and creating amazing organizations like OpenNETCF.org. They also identify a disproportionally greater number of bugs in our beta software than any other individual or group.
If you move back beneath the main boxes on the page, you’ll see a section on the left that completely displays the content of the latest Windows Mobile Team Blog. The section on the right displays the latest blog posts from Jim Wilson, Loke Uei, Me, Visual Studio for Devices, the NETCF team, the SQL Server Compact team, Steve Lasker, Jason Langridge, Mel Sampat, Constanze Roman, and Frank Prengel. The real-time information delivered by these blogs will keep you abreast of the latest developments in the Windows Mobile community.
Last but not least is a section at the bottom that lists all the Forums that help make up the Windows Mobile ecosystem. Get answers to some of your toughest questions from Microsoft employees and the community at large whether you’re building apps with C++, C#, VB, and/or SQL Server Compact.
As a Mobile Developer, Architect, Marketer, Planner and former Embedded MVP, it’s been my vision to create a one-stop resource for all my Windows Mobile needs. I believe this new Windows Mobile Developer Center is a big step in that direction. The multiple, concurrent streams of content that follows the launch of this new site will represent the proof in the pudding. It’s been my great pleasure to deliver fresh content on a monthly basis to the Windows Mobile developer community. As always, I look forward to your feedback so that I can better equip you with the information you need to get your job done.