What About Windows Phone?

In the past couple of days since I announced the release of Icenium, I’ve had a number of people asking me if it supports Windows Phone in addition to Apple iOS and Google Android. I suppose that is because nearly all other Telerik products are dedicated to the Microsoft technology stack, so it would be almost expected that Icenium would get on the band-wagon.

Its All About the Data

Allow me to let data do the speaking: 


In the past year Apple and Google have grown in market share by nearly 17% (Source: comScore, U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share). In that same period, Microsoft dropped nearly 2% – meaning Apple and Google are outpacing Microsoft by nearly 20%. In fact, Apple and Google are the only two mobile platform providers that have been consistently growing in market share during that period.

So I decided to focus our efforts on Apple and Google. Microsoft will have to wait.

What Will Windows Phone Do?

I used to be a Windows Phone user. I loved my Windows Phone (I missed a lot of the apps from my old iPhone, but I LOVED the operating system and the Live Tiles). In the last year I have regularly switched phones every month or two, trying out several Android devices in addition to the iPhone 4/4S and now iPhone 5. I’m a believer in Windows Phone – I think it is a great operating system. That is completely separate from the business decisions I make.

With Windows Phone 7 already on death row, and the success of Windows Phone 8 nothing more than speculation (like this and this), I didn’t feel like WIndows Phone warranted our time…yet. I am bullish on Windows Phone. Like I said, I love the OS and the new hardware is looking pretty good.

I have maintained a wait-and-see stance on adding Windows Phone support to Icenium.

We’re Not Waiting Idle

Of course, Telerik has a lot of knowledge in Windows Phone, which means we’ve already done some research. We’ve done a proof-of-concept to learn more about what it would take to support Windows Phone, and we know what we need in order to give Windows Phone the Icenium treatment. We’ve already engaged Microsoft to work out some of the details, in the event we decide to move forward.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be watching the early adoption of Windows Phone to see what the consumer reaction is, and use that to make some decisions about how we prioritize our backlog for the remainder of the year, and early 2013.

OK, What About Windows 8?

Having worked on Windows 8 tooling before I left Microsoft, I feel like I know the app-type Formerly Known as Metro (FKM) pretty well. I’m curious to see how consumers and enterprises react to both the app-type and the new hardware. Clearly Windows 8 will be successful in the PC market – although I’m not sure how well PC users will take to the FKM style apps.

ImageFor the mobile device market, the success of the Surface with Windows RT (Surface RT) and the OEM tablet form factors will have a huge impact on the success of FKM apps on devices. If the hardware isn’t sexy, the Windows 8 tablet will suffer the same fate as Windows Phone 7.

If the Surface RT and its cousins do well with consumers (and even in the enterprise), then the FKM app-type has a shot, and it would make sense for Icenium to support it. The advantage we have is that FKM apps can be built with HTML and JavaScript, which work through a projection layer into the Windows Runtime (WinRT) – basically the exact same way Apache Cordova works (in concept), making adding FMK app support to Icenium very achievable.

Like WIndows Phone 8, I am bullish on Windows 8, and the Surface RT – I’d say I am even more bullish on Windows 8 than Windows Phone 8. I’ve already pre-ordered my Surface RT and a Windows 8 Ultrabook with a touchscreen.

Keep Your Fingers Crossed (and Buy a Surface RT)

I hope that helps you understand some of the decision making process I used for deciding what platforms to support in the initial offering of Icenium. We have aspirations to support all relevant platforms – and right now that definition excludes Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Let’s hope that changes.

I’d love to see a three-horse race in the mobile market.

12 thoughts on “What About Windows Phone?

  1. I certainly understand the business decision related to Windows Phone and decision to not support it right now. However, I kind of see this as a chicken/egg scenario. The market is low for Windows Phone 7 now, in many ways because of perceived lack of apps. App makers don’t want to support Windows Phone because the market is down. What to do?

  2. Please let me know when Icenium starts support windows platform. I think the time has come and it’s now. I’m totally agreed with Michael about the chicken/egg scenario and there is no point to wait if you believe it is bullish.

  3. I, like many others have been looking for the ability to create apps for Android, IOS and Windows phone 8 / Windows 8 using 1 code base. I understand it’s not easy but when I found out Icenium was getting released by Telerik I got excited because of the relationship between Telerik and Microsoft. That excitement was quickly dashed with the realisation that as with other tools already in the market place it doesn’t support the windows 8 eco system (just another ios / android tool). So for now the wait continues. It sure is the chicken/egg scenario.

  4. “Clearly Windows 8 will be successful in the PC”
    i will wait for 6-12 more months before declaring win8 desktop success or failure. the big question is not about user adoption, but wether developers will want to move from royalty-free win-desktop to ~30% royalty for win8-RT !!! See how Vale Steam is now looking towards adopting Linux as prime OS!

    And for all disappointed dudes out there that Icenium is not supporting win8 mobile. It has more to it, but the main reason is the fact that no OpenGL-ES is/will be available for win8-ARM (mobile).

    Why does it matter? more than 50% of mobile apps are games! it makes no sense to support same toolchain, same language, etc. if you still need to target 2 separate graphic APIs.

    So blame it on Microsoft, not Telerik !!!

    Of course, it is still possible to come with something meaningful for native GUI apps. But I’m very skeptical towards such an approach. I see the benefits of cross-platform mobile dev only for games.

    1. Hey Pip… Ever heard of Microsoft DirectX or Microsoft XBox? Games are clearly on the radar for Windows Mobile! I agree about the royalty though… yuk. Finally, your comment, “…I see the benefits of cross-platform mobile dev only for games.” just doesn’t hold water at all! People who work for a living use and need their mobile devices for business reasons too. Besides, serious gamers (of which I am not) usually use a console to play games most of the time and thier phone to text.

  5. You should have a type of crowd source “thing” On your website you should ask the developers if they will pledge a certain amount of money to the development of the windows side of this awesome product. If the response is good then you have a bit of the capital and the dev base to use it. We have clients right now that want apps on all devices and we explain to them that it is possible but we will more money to do this. If we can bring out price point down with the ability to develop once for all devices … man, that will be a very good day.

    You have a seriously cool product. One that is making everyone wonder how the bigger players ( not that telerik is small 😉 did not get this right. I do not know one developer that enjoys developing the same thing for every type of device, it sucks so much. And with windows you could essentially develop one app for every device type , phone , tablet, desktop. Actually you should get microsoft to sponsor it . It would only be good for them.

    I know i would throw money at you for this.

  6. I understand your business logic completely. However, I can create a Windows Phone App now in VS. The ONLY reason to consider Icenium as “my solution for phones” is the cross platform “save time and effort” features that leverages common tech. Apparently, Icenium is doing it well for IOS and Droid… but, from a Windows developer perspective, it’s NOT a truly cross platform solution until it support Windows too. And, BTW, speaking of the business reasons, you said it yourself Doug, that your primary Telerik client base is mostly Windows developers so *why* are you not supporting your client base? I think your business logic is backwards. If you’re truly a windows shop then you would have put it on the Icenium radar from the beginning. Unless, of course, there is some technical reason that you’re not sharing which, considering the windows challenges to date, I would probably believe. Support your clients! Include Windows Surface and Phone with Icenium right away! I bet you’d double your subscriptions and, after all, that’s what would improve the Telerik bottom line, right!? That’s just good business! TELERIK ROCKS!!!

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