This was a common question I read this last week in the wake of the Nokia announcement about Windows Phone becoming their primary smartphone platform. It was also one I had to answer for myself.
As I have mentioned, I was already looking to get into QT development and writing apps for my N900 and future Symbina and Meego devices. Suddenly, Symbian and Meego are not the primary smartphone platform. I am a .Net developer professionally, but haven’t developed much using Silverlight, or anything at all for mobile.
I had people at work suggesting i should be looking into android development – after all, that’s where the application explosion is right now, and new handsets are appearing so fast for the platform it is hard to keep up. I was also intrigued by the new version of WebOS and thought about being in at the start there.
Well, I have decided, obviously – else this blog would be called something else, to stick with Nokia for several reasons:
- I have a N900 – i can develop for an platform and use it right away on my phone.
- Nokia is hoping to ship 150million devices using Symbian before retiring the OS. They alse have no plans to retire S40, their “dumphone” OS, but do plan to push QT down to it.
- I’m still interested in Open source.
- I’d like to learn something new.
- I can also develop in Silverlight
- I’m a WPF developer so Silverlight should be easy to get in to for me
- Nokia has good busy boards and blogs and basically lots of support through Nokia Forum, and the Meamo and Meego communities.
- 150 million Symbaian devices to be sold still
- Windows Phone should grow
- And lastly, and most importantly….
In the end I had to decide if i trust Nokia when it comes to QT/Symbian/Meego, and if i trust that Windows phone will ultimately be a success. Nokia has put huge effort this week, into correcting the impression that Symbian is dead and Meego is dead. I have to admit, whist Meego is the one they say will continue longer and be used to discover the next disruption, I trust them more on Symbian. Ultimately, with the first Nokia Windows Phone not coming out for at least 6 months, Nokia can’t afford for their developers to ditch QT and Symbian in the meantime. I also think (and this is unsubstantiated speculation) that if Nokia has trouble pushing Windows Phone to cheaper devices or getting the markets to buy them, Symbian will stick around a bit longer than planned.
For right now at least, I believe them when they talk about growing QT and of course, Windows Mobile and so I decided in the end, that rather and download another new framework, environment etc, I would stick with what i already had – QT, Visual Studio 2010 and Expression Studio. I will get to use cool technology, release some apps to a competitive app store and run apps on my current phone.
You may not think these reasons to be good ones, or to be in anyway compelling, but they are mine. So time to begin as a mobile developer with Nokia and Microsoft.