Microsoft Makes Porting iPhone Apps to Windows Phones Easier

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Smart move, Microsoft. Smart. Move.

In an effort to bolster app development for its new Windows Phone 7 platform, Microsoft has given app makers a new tool that eases the burden of programming their existing iPhone apps for Microsoft’s phones.

It’s not as simple as dropping in an iPhone app and watching a Windows Phone-friendly version pop out the other end, but it does “map” commonly used iPhone programming functions to the equivalent functions used with Windows Phone 7’s application programming interface, or API.

Says Microsoft:

“For current mapping, we started with 3 popular categories (Network / Internet, User Interface and Data Management) and mapped them to Windows Phone 7 API. Don’t expect a mapping for all of the APIs, simply because the platforms are built upon different architectures and user interfaces. For this first round we focused on identifying the one-to-one mapping when it exists. In the following versions we’ll expand the scope and anytime the concepts are similar enough, we’ll do our best to provide the appropriate guidance.”

It’s a good first step that ought to save time for any iPhone developers looking to build Windows Phone 7 versions of their apps. Microsoft’s team says it’s currently working on a similar tool for Android apps, too.

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