Microsoft adds widgets to Windows Mobile 6.5


To date, developers have had two options to create applications for Windows phones: native code (primarily in C/C++) or managed code (using the .net compact framework).

Starting on Windows Mobile 6.5, Microsoft is adding a new option for developers: Windows Mobile Widgets.

According to Microsoft software engineer Jorge Peraza, a Windows Mobile Widget can be considered a ‘portable chunk of the web', or, basically, a rich Internet application.

"Widgets are written using all the web technologies we know and love (HTML, CSS, AJAX, JavaScript) and, since they are powered under the covers by our new Internet browser, they have full access to flash and other ActiveX controls available on the device (like MediaPlayer)," says Peraza.

"Microsoft's Widget Platform allows them to look and feel, to the end user, as a normal standalone application does; they have their own start menu icon, they show up as an individual apps in task manager and, most importantly, they have full control of the SK menu bar as any other application would," he adds.

For this new platform, Microsoft is implementing the latest draft of the emerging W3C standard for mobile widget applications as well as ensuring that basic things like native support for transparent PNGs as well as support for the Window.XMLHttpRequest object work as expected.

"While location support is on the longer-term My Phone roadmap, there are not any location-related aspects to the current beta product or the general release, which are focused on sync and management of basic phone data (PIM, photos, media, text messages)," said Michael Chang, product manager for Microsoft My Phone.

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