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Microsoft touts XML for mobile devices

XML Web services applications are ideal for the new Motorola MPx200 with Windows Mobile software, as well as existing Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs and other mobile devices, contends Irwin Rodrigues, lead product manager for Microsoft's mobile device development tools.

With the limited processing power and memory of even the most sophisticated mobile devices, it makes sense to connect via Web services to servers that can do the heavy lifting for the applications, he said.

"Not having to have the code sitting on the device, going out and fetching data and bringing it back to the device is really compelling," he told XML Report in a conversation at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) last week. "So we're excited to have that capability in the Windows Mobile software for Smartphone."

Rodrigues said members of the Microsoft mobile team were busy at PDC working with developers to upgrade the Smartphone Device Developer Kit for Windows Mobile 2003 so that it can be used to create Web services applications for Windows Mobile 2003 software for Smartphones. The upgrade is now available for download at www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/information/devprograms.

Rodrigues said while it is too early to characterize the scope of Smartphone development, Microsoft is seeing "traction" growing for developers of other mobile devices like the Pocket PC, which have been around for a while. His PowerPoint presentation included a slide touting the following: "380,000 professional developers target Windows Mobile world-wide; 11,000+ applications registered by developers in the Microsoft Mobile Solutions Partner Program; 7 million VS developers enabled with VS .NET 2003 support for Windows Mobile software for Pocket PCs and Smartphones."

As for anecdotal evidence of interest in mobile device development, Rodrigues said that at past PDC meetings, the Microsoft mobile team had to cajole developers to attend the sessions; but this year, all that changed.

"We're finding at this PDC that there's been a major mind shift," he said. "Developers are now walking around with these devices and they're beating down our doors to come into our sessions. At one of our sessions yesterday there were over a hundred people sitting on the floor outside the room because they couldn't get in. We're really excited about the vibes at this show around devices."

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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