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Windows Phone 7 will not translate to Win Mobile after all

Differences more than skin deep

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Confusion over a Dutch translation has prompted Microsoft to confirm that its new mobile platform is not backwards compatible, though new documents point towards a .NET and Silverlight future.

The original comments appeared on with Dutch-language site Tweakers.net, and while the translation was accurate it was interpreted to indicate that Windows Mobile applications would just need a UI tweak to compile for Windows Phone 7 Series - at least until Microsoft Netherlands clarified the matter.

The original comment was translated to read "there is no reason why programs written for Windows Mobile 6 cannot run on the new version of the OS", from which many readers took the logical jump to meaning that a swift recompile would be all that was needed, especially for applications that use the whole screen.

But that's not what Maarten Sonneveld, of Microsoft Netherlands, meant to say. He was merely pointing out that any application developed for Windows Mobile could equally well be developed for Windows Phone 7 Series, if the developer chose to do so.

When the matter got discussed over at xda-developers, one participant supported his assertion that the new platform will be Silverlight and .NET based by posting what appear to be pages of confidential Microsoft documents laying out the facts.

The documents refer to Silverlight and .NET development for most people, but say that developers who ask nicely might be given access to additional APIs if they have a decent need (such as porting to new hardware or similar).

If genuine - and they look pretty good to us - then developers who don't have a personal relationship with Microsoft will need to walk away from their C++ legacy code and get down to some serious .NET learning, or start getting used to Silverlight. ®

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