Microsoft Releases Android Dev Kit, Hopes Developers Will Port Apps to Windows Phone

The top software-maker in the world, Microsoft Inc., released a new Android developers package to make it easier for developers to port their applications to the Windows Phone platform.

The Android developers kit provided by Microsoft includes two primary tools, an Android to Windows Phone API mapping tool, and a ninety page white paper (“Windows Phone 7 Guide for Android Application Developers“).

 Microsoft acknowledges it could be a tedious process for developers to port their apps because the platforms are built on different architectures and based on different user interfaces, but the company has offered to provide help through a team of developers hired for the sole purpose of providing guidance through online forums, including the official Windows Phone 7 Development forum.

A similar developers kit is already available for the Apple iOS platform.

The Windows Phone Marketplace currently has more than 20,000 available applications, after reaching the 10,000 apps milestone only last March.

The news comes as the Waterloo-based maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion, announces the availability of its PlayBook tablet in an additional sixteen markets, including in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Germany, UAE, France, Italy, Indonesia, and Australia, among others.

RIM has yet to get developers to adopt its QNX-powered PlayBook tablet on wider scale. That platform still has a marginal amount of applications, and consumers have widely criticized the quality of the applications available compared to other platforms including iOS.

Many developers have very publicly abandoned developing for RIM’s platforms widely because of avoidable inconveniences, both technical and administrative ones.

Back in September 2010, Adobe released a new tool part of Adobe Air that allows developers to build a single code-base for a single application and to essentially automatically convert their application to run on multiple operating systems that support Adobe Air and Adobe Flash, including the BlackBerry PlayBook, and Android devices.

The applications work perfectly across the different operating systems, and scale to the different resolutions on different devices.

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Murad is an engineering graduate from Centennial college in Toronto, Canada. Write to [email protected]
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