I have always said and believed that Apple’s biggest adventage is their huge creative and innovative developer base. Not just their iDevices, AppStore, or iTunes. It is not enough for a company to make a better smartphone than an iPhone they need all the other elements that add up to Apple’s success. It is the collective intellectual brain trust of the Apple developer community that others wish they could have. Microsoft thinks they have found a way to get that. Microsoft, on the verge of the Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference, Microsoft is attempting to wrest away Apple’s greatest asset. Microsoft is releasing an API tool that allows developers to easily map, migrate and contort iPhone applications over to Windows phones.
Microsoft officials have said not to expect mapping for all of the APIs, as the two phone platforms are built on different architectures and user interface.
“For this first round we focused on identifying the one-to-one mapping when it exists. In following versions we’ll expand the scope and anytime the concepts are similar enough, we’ll do our best to provide the appropriate guidance.”
Microsoft is hoping that developers will step up and suggest additional APIs they’d like to see mapped, and is asking developers to submit suggestions. Microsoft also is providing interested developers with a 90-plus page “Windows Phone 7 Guide for iPhone Application Developers” white paper.
In this way Microsoft hopes to dynamically enhance their roster of over 15,000 applications currently available for Windows phone 7
This seems a twist on reverse engineering that has stimulated expensive time-consuming litigation in the past. Sometimes instigated by Microsoft against competitors for similar reasons.
We await and anticipate Apple’s reaction to this aggressive Microsoft move.