Ilium Software Interview: The Windows Phone 7 Series Dilemma

This is part four of five parts of my interview with Ellen Craw of Ilium Software. Click to read: Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

Windows Phone 7 Series has gained good reviews and in general I would say it has been well received by gadget web sites and the technology press. There is a possibility that Windows Phone 7 Series will regain a good amount of the marketshare Microsoft has lost during the last two years. One would think the positive vibe with Windows Phone 7 would be very good news for a company like Ilium Software, who has sold programs for Windows CE, Handheld and Pocket PCs, and Windows Mobile for more 13 years, but Windows Phone 7 presents a dilemma.

Windows Mobile programs will not run on Windows Phone 7, and possibly significant changes will have to be made to existing programs to make them run on Windows Phone 7. Further, Microsoft’s movement to an app store for Windows Phone 7 means that companies like Ilium will have to depend on Microsoft to get their products sold.

Ilium has been a long time developer for Windows Mobile / Pocket PC / Windows CE, what do you think of Windows Phone 7 Series?

It looks great, and I’m happy to see how much positive press coverage it’s getting.

As we have learned more about Windows Phone 7, it appears there will be significant amount of work porting current Windows Mobile applications to Windows Phone, what is the current intent in regards to your current applications?

We’re still making up our minds. We’ve always been very strong supporters of Windows Mobile platforms, and I believe that Microsoft has made the right decision about backward compatibility, but we have to be realistic about what we can do and what we believe will pay off. It’s a very hard decision, and one we want to make very carefully and thoughtfully.