Windows Mobile 6.5 will include Internet Explorer to reportedly provide a “better web experience” than the iPhone. How’s that? Simple: they are including Flash support. Microsoft compromised on Flash adoption in Windows Mobile 6.5 recognizing Adobe’s dominant position in the Web’s multimedia market, accepting not to push for adoption of its own Silverlight technology that was presented as a replacement to Adobe Flash.
The new OS release will also feature an Apple’s App Store-like system to purchase software for Windows Mobile powered phones. Microsoft recognizes Apple’s iPhone success so much it presented a document outlining how to port software form the iPhone platform to Windows Mobile 6.5.
The new document provides a case study on the iPhone application Amplitude, and how it was ported to Windows Mobile 6.5. The App Store offering from Gripwire.com aims to turn an iPhone or iPod touch into a sound amplifier. It was developed by Luke Thompson, a member of the company’s development team.
Microsoft said porting programs from the iPhone’s Objective-C to C# is relatively painless. The technical document concludes that iPhone developers can increase their revenue by offering their software to millions of Windows Mobile users.
“The large development community, both within Microsoft and outside, and the various whitepapers, blogs, virtual labs, websites, and other online documentation, offered a wealth of information that provided direction and greatly facilitated problem resolution,” the document reads. “The only real challenge was assuring total portability between screens, and that was assured by utilizing the concept of aspect ratios. Now that Amplitude has been ported, Gripwire has an application that runs on a wide variety of devices that run the Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system and can reach a larger number of users.”
In a process established over the last few decades and since its first Windows release, Microsoft is following Apple’s innovation and strategy every step of the way. Microsoft replied to Apple’s commercials with its own commercials built around the concept that Apple is creating hardware only for an “elite” group of people. And it looks like they really believe this: Microsoft’s strategy looks to be filling the gaps of what makes Apple’s hardware an “elite” line up of products by compromising.
To compromise is a great trend at Microsoft: for example they compromised with hardware makers to ship obsoleted Windows XP Home Edition on Netbooks — licensing it for next to nothing — in order to avoid the adoption of Linux on Netbooks. The situation is likely to change in the future, based on Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s comments: the ability of netbooks to run Windows 7 will involve both a redefinition of what a netbook is and a change in pricing. Microsoft also follows in the footsteps of Apple by opening their own retail store chain in locations nearby existing Apple Stores.