Microsoft is completely shaking up its development platform with Windows Phone 7, which means that apps that were designed to run on earlier versions of Windows Mobile won’t work on WP7 when it’s released later this year. That’s not necessarily the worst thing in the world, since it means that the new operating system will run apps that were actually designed to take advantage of all its features… but that only works if there are actually apps worth running.
To that end, it looks like Microsoft is trying to tempt iPhone app developers to port some of their programs to run on Windows Phone 7. PocketGamer.biz reports that at least one iPhone developer has been approached by Microsoft about porting his work to run on the new platform. And Microsoft offered to sweeten the pot by offering a decent amount of cash up front.
Either that means that Microsoft really wants to make sure there are some high quality third party apps on launch day, or the company’s not convinced that developers will see enough potential profit in porting games and other apps on their own, so the company is offering bribes. Read it however you like.
Thing is, it’s not all that simple to port a game from iPhone to Windows Phone 7. Microsoft’s development tools for the platform are Silverlight and XNA… which aren’t all that similar to the C++ tools used by iPhone developers.