Development for Windows Mobile RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Windows Mobile is undoubtably the best mobile OS available today, however, the ability for people to develop applications for it is terrible.

    Although there are express editions of Visual Studio, none of them support mobile development from what I can tell.  I consider myself to be a well educated Software Engineer, but trying to figure out which version of VS I need for mobile development has proven incredibly hard.  Now I have that figured out (for those who aren't sure, it is the expensive version), I don't know what other steps are required for me to develop against which SDK and run the app in an emulator.  Way too complex!

    Java is poorly supported.  Although there are a number of JVM's available, the documentation for each is very poor and the compatability between JVM's is worse.  MS should provide one and document all the API's that it supports.  The ability to manipulate the device hardware should also be supported (i.e. keep the backlight on).

    Also, I use Ubuntu Linux in my personal environment.  I know MS would prefer people to use Windows, but wouldn't it be better to broaden your audience and provide a development environment that supports Linux?  If not, when a viable OSS alternative hits the market, I bet many will be willing to switch to it in the mobile space too.

    Thursday, September 20, 2007 11:17 AM

All replies

  • Seconded. I'd be keen to play with development on WM devices, but I'm not going to switch to Windows to do it. A free tool-chain for *nix/Mac could well tempt me however. Even adding a device emulator and touching up Mono for .NET Mobile could serve the purpose with a little work.

    With Palm self-destructing and Symbian plain clunky there's been little choice but WM. Now that we're getting some new entrants like Apple it would be very nice to see MS encouraging non-Windows users to stick with WM.
    Friday, September 21, 2007 3:04 PM
  • I don't know but I have none of the problems with development that you have - I have a totally different set.  I had no trouble getting the free SDK (more than enough to develop apps) and buying Visual Studio 2005 Professional was relatively inexpensive compared to other development tools I've looked at, particularly with the good return on the investment.  The MS documentation for .NET is excellent too although there's some important things missing from the compact framework which need to be added or at least available to 'optionally install' in the PDA's GAC.


    I understand why Microsoft don't ship a JVM: they are prevented from doing so by the Sun lawsuit from a while back and Sun themselves haven't made a Windows Mobile version of their JVM to run Sad


    My gripes are that deploying to various different (Windows Mobile) hardware platforms is an utter nightmare if you use .NET.  Windows Mobile was meant to standardise everything but getting the latest version of the compact framework onto some manufacturers PDAs/phones is utterly impossible which constrains you to developing against 'the old version' so as many people as possible can run it.  Maybe it's just the manufacturers skimping on storage, or not providing updated images for their devices but it gets on my nerves.


    If Microsoft could add support to deploy the framework and other changes using windows update to PDAs I would be happy.


    Yes, I know that would mean:

    - Either tying Windows Update on the PC to detect the PDA and use that.

    - Or using windows update on the windows mobile device.

    - Adding loads more storage to the min spec so updates can be installed.

    - Standardising the way drivers and everything are loaded, so that the updates don't meddle with manufacturer supplied features.

    - A large number of arguments with carriers that like to tie down their phones and control everything installed (which holds back updating them),


    So I don't hold much hope Sad

    Saturday, September 22, 2007 7:58 AM
  • I just recently got into the world of windows mobile developement (having bought a Dell Axim), and like you I diddnt want to have to switch from ubuntu to do so. After looking around for a bit I found a couple of solutions that dont require you to switch to windows:
       Pelles C (yes, its a windows program, but it runs fine in WINE)
       PocketPC-GCC: an ubuntu package for cross-comilation on ubuntu
       CeGCC: Another cross compiler which comes with the pocketpc sdk (my preferred toolchain)
    You can see the article I wrote about them Here.
    Friday, December 28, 2007 11:13 PM