Three hundred eighty-five development hours, 3.5 median hours of sleep per night, 265 pounds of food, and roughly 4,000 cups of coffee. That's what it took for five teams to compete in last week's Microsoft's Mobile Incubation Week, an intense five-day hustle to create the best Windows Mobile application, from concept to finished product.
In the dark auditorium at Microsoft's modest Mountain View, Calif., offices last Friday, the breakneck development rate showed. Two bleary-eyed developers stepped onto a dark stage before a smattering of peers, press, and judges to present their showing: a Windows Mobile version of Brightkite, a location-based social network that lets you create a photo journal of your day that friends can track.
While Brightkite founder Martin May and his co-developer, Brady Becker, were the only team to take the stage without a finished application to demo, their mobile social networking application has two distinct real-world advantages over most of the other competitors--Brightkite's established user base and existing applications for iPhone, Google Android, BlackBerry, and the Web. All that's missing from the Brightkite lineup, May freely admitted, is a Windows Mobile app--even more essentially, the know-how to develop for Windows Mobile. Although Brightkite's Windows Mobile presentation consisted largely of prototype slides, the team is hoping they'll have a Windows Mobile client ready by the time Microsoft launches its Marketplace for Windows Mobile in the second half of 2009.
Brightkite wasn't the only established company in the field. Networks In Motion, the brawn behind Verizon's VZ Navigator, AAA Mobile, and Yellowpages.com, was also there, introducing a first peek at Gokivo Navigator for Windows Mobile. It's the first NIM-branded turn-by-turn navigator that is already available for a subscription fee on AT&T phones, including the BlackBerry Bold.… Read more