As has been proven by the success of iOS and Android, the success of a platform largely hangs on the number of app developers companies can attract to deliver compelling content to users. So, can Mango kick start the Windows Phone revolution?
With Mango, gaming on Windows Phone will take a giant leap forward. Microsoft is combining its framework for user interface (Silverlight) with the framework used to build games (XNA). This will enable developers to not only build graphically stunning games thanks to the new ease of switching between rendering modes, but will also allow the seamless integration of social networks into games. Developers will also be able to build 3D images into apps, creating dynamic new user experiences and possibly paving the way for future devices with 3D screens.
Developers will also be able to make more use of the sensors built into devices. Applications will now be able to access the compass and gyroscope sensors present in many phones, enabling development of apps and games where the phone itself is a means of user input, putting Mango phones right at the top end of the interactive gaming spectrum. For example, we could well see a version of Microsoft’s famous Flight Simulator appearing on mobiles, thanks to a combined motion API that provides data for attitude (yaw, pitch, and roll), device acceleration, and rotation rate.
As with any major update to an operating system, there are many new additions that could be explored. This is just a small selection of what will be available to Mango users. The question as to whether Windows Phone will be able to gain the market share it needs remains to be seen. It doesn’t suffer from the fragmentation issues afflicting Android, and it also has more choice of hardware than iOS – whilst having a unique enough appearance to stand out from the crowd. Yet with Windows Phone Mango it is more than just the OS in the underdog position. Nokia is due to debut its Windows devices soon. Can the two ignite the Windows fire? Only time will tell.
This is the second article of a series of three looking at what Windows Phone 7 Mango is bringing to the table.