With the use of mobile devices increasing exponentially, the need for applications to run on these mobile devices will increase as well. The power of devices like PDAs and smartphones, some having the computing power of a desktop PC, will enable the development of rich, elegant applications, such as applications that can transfer data from a mobile device to the Internet. Never to be left behind in the software development arena, Microsoft is getting ready to release a new development suite that will help developers churn out full featured, interoperable mobile applications.
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At the recent Microsoft Mobile DevCon in San Francisco, Microsoft released an early version of "Whidbey", or Visual Studio 2005. During many of the conference's keynotes, Microsoft stressed the ease of mobile application development in Visual Studio, citing the capabilities of both the new and past versions. This arena of development is interesting for Microsoft because the applications that can be built are not exclusively usable on Microsoft operating systems. Microsoft believes the future of computing is to create a seamless computing environment integrating desktop, Internet and mobile technology into one environment. They believe that this vision starts with mobile interconnectivity. You can learn more about "Whidbey" on Microsoft's Web site.
The basis for Mircosoft's mobile application development in Visual Studio is the .NET Compact Framework. The .NET Compact Framework enables developers to build, debug, and deploy client-side mobile applications on a broad range of smart devices running the Microsoft Windows CE operating system, such as Pocket PC 2000, 2002, 2003, or Phone Edition, and devices running Windows CE .NET 4.1 or above. You can read more about the .NET Compact Framework on sister site SearchWebServices.com.
Another, less prominent announcement that Microsoft made at Mobile DevCon, was the rebranding of SQL Server CE as SQL Server Mobile.
Whether or not you are a fan of Microsoft or are interested in their development tools, it is hard to deny their track record. Microsoft's commitment to developers and Visual Studio 2005 advances in making code more reusable make them a good choice for your development needs. If you are a developer and you haven't already, it might be wise to invest in tools that can help you develop mobile applications for your wireless users.
Benjamin Vigil is a Technical Editor at SearchMobileComputing.com