Microsoft is bending over backward and sideways (and really any other direction it can imagine might be helpful) as it works to attract Android developers willing to also create for the Windows Phone platform.
In a post last week on the Windows Phone Developer blog, JC Cimetiere underscored the importance of being a "polyglot" developer — "Although you might have a preferred language, opening your mind to others will bring considerable value to your abilities and your resume ... [and] change can be stimulating and will ultimately expand your opportunities," he wrote — and introduced a new package designed to help Android experts leverage their skills in the Windows Phone environment.
The package includes an Android to Windows Phone API mapping tool that Cimetiere likened to a translation dictionary — a tool that might help you, in a foreign restaurant, to order something you'll like off a menu you can't read, though "you'll have no idea what the actual recipe is."
The mapping tool also enables developers to add comments directly on the existing mapping, making it easier to ask a question or offer clarification to others.
Also part of the package is a seven-chapter, 90-some-page "Windows Phone 7 Guide for Android Application Developers" white paper. Chapter titles include "User Interface Guidelines," "C# Programming" and "Parsing in Windows Phone 7 and Android."
Need a little more support? The Windows Phone team has also hired the "App Guy" to help answer questions and is encouraging the tagging of answers and questions to make them easier to find.
"We're willing to help!" wrote Cimetiere, enlisting not his first exclamation point.
Consumer adoption of the Windows Phone 7 platform has been slow, but Microsoft's new arrangement with Nokia is expected to change that, launching the OS — which this year will account for just 3.8 percent of the worldwide smartphone market share, by IDC's count — ahead of Apple's iOS, though behind Android, by 2015.
"Assuming that Nokia's transition to Windows Phone goes smoothly," IDC reported June 9, "the [Windows Phone] OS is expected to defend a number 2 rank and more than 20 percent share in 2015." (CW: Nokia staging its comeback as it prepares to fall to Apple and Samsung.)