First Mozilla announced that it won’t build a Firefox app for Windows Phone 7. Now Skype is following suit. The company, which has apps for Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, iPhone, and some Android handsets, has no plans to create a Windows Phone 7 app.
Skype isn’t explaining its reasons for staying away from Windows Phone 7. But Mozilla was pretty clear on that point — the company feels that Microsoft is hampering development by insisting that third party developers build their apps using different tools than the ones that Microsoft is using to develop the operating system and its core apps. This could theoretically put all third party apps at a disadvantage and limit their access to core OS functions.
While Windows Phone 7 represents a major departure from the Windows Mobile operating systems Microsoft has been offering for the past 10 years, it remains to be seen whether the mobile OS will make a dent in a rather crowded market that’s currently dominated by BlackBerry, iPhone, and Android devices in the US, and Symbian in Europe.
I have a feeling if Windows Phone 7 becomes a huge success, Mozilla and Skype may change their tunes… but Microsoft might as well. When Apple introduced the iPhone, the only way to develop third party apps was to write web apps that would be accessible through the mobile Safari web browser. But developers weren’t particularly happy with the situation and eventually Apple eased up and developed an SDK.