It seems that the three big smartphone operating systems are Apple iOS, Android OS, and Windows Phone 7 OS (WP7), with the number of handsets sold in that same order. Personally, I don’t know anyone who owns a WP7 smartphone, and I’ve only seen three people in public that have one. Since I live in the Redmond, WA area (headquarters for Microsoft) you’d think I’d see more people with WP7 phones but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Now, so far as app development I’ll have to say programming for WP7 with the Visual Studio IDE is the easiest of the three OSes, followed by Android and iOS. I really don’t like iOS app development since it is much lower-level programming than Java for Android and C# for WP7.
But with all this it seems that Microsoft is pushing ahead with WP7 full force and has the handset maker Nokia in their back pocket creating some nice hardware. So it seems prudent to stay in the loop to keep an eye on the improvements made to WP7 over the next several months. An easy way to do so, is by installing and running the WP7 emulator as described on this link. Here, you’ll install the developer’s emulator which will allow you to run WP7 on your PC just like running it on the hardware. If you don’t want to go through all the steps of installing the emulator, etc. you can get a nice preview by going to this link from your web browser. My understanding is that this web-based demo works ok with the Chrome browser, but not with Firefox, or IE. The best way to view this demo is actually from an Apple iOS or Android OS device using the built-in web browser.