Today when upgrading a products codebase from Visual Studio 2008 to Visual Studio 2010 I discovered that Microsoft have removed support for smart device projects in Visual Studio 2010. The decision to exclude support for smart device projects in Visual Studio 2010 appears to be a clear sign that Microsoft does not intend on continuing the Windows Mobile roadmap independently of Windows Phone 7. Windows Phone 7 is clearly targeted at the consumer space to complete with the likes of Apple iPhone and Google Android. The business application of Windows Phone 7 is going to be unproven and therefore it was thought that Microsoft would continue the existing 6/6.5 roadmap to support the likes of enterprise solutions on rugged devices. However, the exclusion appears to suggest that Microsoft has indeed ditched the Windows Mobile platform at least in its current format.
Details regarding Visual Studio 2010’s support can be found here You can obviously still continue with development of Windows Mobile on Visual Studio 2008 but I don’t really want to have Visual Studio 2008 installed alongside Visual Studio 2010. Unfortunately for Microsoft I think many existing Windows Mobile ISV’s like ourselves will now be considering switching to a rival format such as Google Android if the cost of migration is simply too high for Windows Phone 7. With that said, the platform chosen by rugged device manufacturers will also have a huge impact on the outcome.