If you were watching the investing trends of venture capitalists in IT sector, most likely you would have noticed that, in recent years the trend had actually shifted more into mobile applications, which is set to grow at an exponential rate in near future. With the introduction of 3G in a bandwidth constrained country like India, which is to open up a whole lot of opportunities not just for telecom players but for the entire industry at large. Also not to mention that the purchasing power of people had grown like never before, which had started attracting international players to tap this vast opportunity.
So mobile applications being the buzz world in and around the technology sector, industry giants like Microsoft, Google, Apple to name a few had joined the fray to get hold of the mobile application market with their platform offerings.
Recently Microsoft made headlines in most daily's, by partnering with Nokia to get their Windows Mobile platform deployed on Nokia smart phones, by replacing Nokia's proven Symbian OS platform. I read this news twice to confirm what I read was right or not. My initial reaction was, did the people at Nokia had gone nuts to accept such an offer from Microsoft. Why don't they refine their existing Symbian OS or why not go for the proven Android platform, which would seem like a better choice from a normal persons standpoint. But later only I came to hear the real crux on what made Nokia to cut a deal with Microsoft. Did you know that, Microsoft had offered Nokia a staggering of $1billion (i.e. Rs.4,500 crore) to materialize the deal and Microsoft will be paying this in a five year time. What crossed my mind was that, Microsoft is playing out the same strategy they had with Hotmail.
Microsoft didn't stop there after making a deal with Nokia. See for yourself what Microsoft had announced at 2011 International CES; they are stepping out the x86 province and is reaching out to new platforms. The next version of windows is going to support System on a Chip (SoC) architecture like, ARM based processors from NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. All this points to the fact that, Microsoft is keen to make their windows OS support over a large set of devices, and not just restrict to x86 machines.
So what one can infer from this deal is that, Microsoft had virtually acknowledged the fact that mobile platforms is going to be the next generation computing platform, which is going to supersede Desktop\Laptop computers for those who primarily use computers for stuff like surfing th web, mailing, office apps, movies, music, presentation, calendaring, Instant Messaging et al.
So whats in here for developers? Definitely its a great opportunity in disguise that you could take advantage of by diversifying your skillets to cover mobile based development platform, which itself should not be limited to Windows Mobile development but to other platforms like Android and iOS (Apple).
Before concluding there's a good news for Silverlight developers. Knowingly or unknowingly you guys now posses mobile development skills on Windows 7 Mobile platform because Microsoft is supporting Silverlight on Windows 7 Mobile platform for delivering rich UI apps.
So start updating your skill set arsenal with new skills and be ready for the mobile computing era.