It was quite interesting reading about Jamie Murai’s struggle to install the Blackberry Playbook development tools, here, and after his story went viral, his update here. It reminds me for all the world of what happened with Palm’s swan song with the Palm WebOS operating system for their Pre. I wrote very briefly about that back in May of last year, in response to something Mary Jo Foley wrote about Microsoft being too slow (to her) in making information about WP7 available. What I wrote about Palm, in light of Jamie’s experiences, may in fact bear on RIM’s efforts with the Playbook:
Microsoft has been doing exactly what poor Palm did not do with WebOS last year, and that is provide massive amounts of information on WP7 development, releasing all of it just as soon as they announced the platform. Palm was very parsimonious on who got to look at and use their development tools, and as a result there were only 30 or so applications ready when the Palm Pre launched. That has got to be one of the top reasons why Palm tanked. Microsoft isn’t making that mistake.
Actually, I don’t bear any ill will towards RIM, and I hope that they succeed in their efforts to stay a viable company (because the more competition the better, IMHO). But if they don’t improve their third-party developer experience then it won’t bode well for them in the App department. And that appears to be critical to success in this space — the Smartphone and Tablet space.
The Joys of Visual Studio
And this brings me to Microsoft’s Visual Studio. I have been working with VS in the .NET space since the first version back in 2002, and from the beginning it was simple to install, unbelievably powerful compared to every other tool I’ve ever used, and it has only gotten better over time. I can’t imagine trying to develop without it.
And the platform we are targetting with Visual Studio Express for Windows Phone is wonderful as well. No doubt there are things that can be improved, and should be improved, but compared to my initial efforts to build my first app on Android (which I gave up on as soon as I heard about Windows Phone), the platform is likewise superior to develop for. Others have written about this in depth, so I will not contribute my poor two cents, but will say that I echo their words.
Still coding after all these years, and loving it even more than before!