Mozilla is ceasing its browser-development work for Windows Mobile phones -- no surprise, given Microsoft has no plans to further that platform. But Microsoft's browser rival also has decided against developing a Windows Phone 7 version of Firefox, officials said via a blog post on March 22.
Author of the post, Stuart Parmenter (technical lead of the Mozilla Mobile Team) is citing Microsoft's decision not to allow native third-party application development on the Windows Phone 7 platform as its reason for discontinuing development. Microsoft officials reiterated last week at Mix 10 that Silverlight and XNA are the development environments for Windows Phone 7 devices, and C# is the only development language supported for now. Microsoft is including a mobile version of Internet Explorer with the platform that falls somewhere between IE 7 and IE 8, in terms of features and functionality, company officials have said.
There is one third-party application which Microsoft is allowing to circumvent these rules: Adobe Flash. Microsoft Group Product Manger for Windows Phone Developer Experience Charlie Kindel told me last week that Microsoft has decided to allow Adobe to develop a version of Flash that will access the Windows Phone 7 platform natively. Microsoft made this exception because Flash is considered part of the inherent mobile experience. (A number of Microsoft's own applications that will run on the platform also seem to have been granted an exception and are not, at least for the time being, built using Silverlight, as Istartedsomething.com blogger Long Zheng noted last week.)
I'm wondering whether Microsoft will bend the managed-apps-only for any other third-party applications besides Flash. So far, the word seems to be no....
(Thanks to MobileTechWorld.com for the pointer to the Mozilla blog post on Windows Phone 7.)