Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back

I loved Windows Mobile 6.5 so at first I was looking forward to Windows Phone 7. Than rumors started that it will not support legacy applications. Fine I thought, I will just rewrite them as I need and at least I will get to do some refactoring.

Then multitasking was killed. Yes, platform does support it, Microsoft's own applications can use it but mere third-party developers were not worthy of it. That also unfortunately meant that I would need to rethink some applications. I didn't felt good about it but I still wanted to develop for it.

I thought that half of this things I hear around are just misunderstanding and everything will become clear once official development tools go out. This happened today. And it is clear...

Phone registration tool was last straw for me.

You see, once you buy phone, you cannot just do development on it - you MUST register it with Microsoft. They will than link your development phone to your MarketPlace account. That account costs $100 per year. This is little bit high but I was prepared to do it.

Only one small problem remains - I am from Croatia. That means that I CAN NOT register an account and I CAN NOT make any application for it. Even local debugging without any thoughts about selling is impossible for me.

I heard semi-official position on this: I should just find somebody that lives in "correct" country and he can apply instead of me. Never mind that I would break Windows Phone Marketplace Application Provider Agreement. This will just "result in possible revocation of your Marketplace Account, removal of your Applications from Marketplace, loss of Application ratings and reviews, and forfeiture of any associated Account Fee."

I did my share of Windows Mobile development of both paid and freeware applications but love that started with Embedded Visual Basic and had it's peek with C# and .NET Compact Framework is no longer there. And it is not because newest platform is bad. Technical aspects of Windows Phone 7 development allow for better things that any version before.

It is politics surrounding it that make me sad. Intentional crippling of platform, complicating development without any good reason and treating me as second class citizen are things I am not used to.

I cannot say anything for sure - life is too unpredictable for this - but I doubt that Windows Phone 7 will be visiting my pocket any time soon. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

P.S. No matter what tone of this post is, I will always value Microsoft's programming tools. I can say, without any doubt, I've never had better working environment than Visual Studio and I will definitely continue to use .NET Framework. Microsoft did phenomenal job with them.

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