First and Foremost -- I AM NOT A FANBOI!
I was called the "Mac Guy" in Pre-1997 days of Systems Support at a place I worked at (Long long ago, and far-far away...) and I truly resented the moniker since it insinuated that I was "probably" a Fan of the Macintosh Platform.
I was a Fan of the Mac, but not as a "Mac Guy" -- I just simply liked the User Interface.
When Microsoft delivered and shipped Windows 95; I could indicate to my co-workers that Microsoft FINALLY caught up with Apple in terms of a "Useful" User Interface - driven Operating system; Bugs and All...
But I also was not a fan -- why -- I actually had to understand WIN95 and it's ilk, and fundamenetally understand something that I found to my chagrin to be annoying and perplexing, yet interesting -- The Registry.
But this is not the story of "The Registry" (no book I promise.) this is the story of App Development and Fragmentation.
Back to the Mac... -- It's 1997/1998 and Bill Gates announced he would put 150 Million into Apple and do something I though he would not do at the time :: Continue to support Apple with Microsoft Office 98.
So I was Happy; I could get my Mom a Macintosh.
In 1994/1995, Apple moved to PowerPC, In 2006 they moved to Intel. The Platform did not change; just the processor and the underlying hardware which the user/developer does not care about. They did this with minimum of fuss and bother; and kept right on going. in 2001 the first getneration iPod was released. In 2006/2007 the (@Armish) touchscreen-based iPod Toch was released, and within 6-months the iPhone.
The iPad was released in 2010, as an expected and widely anticipated Tablet version to the sucessful iPhone technology.
Fast Forward to Today:
iPad / iPhone / iPod have made iOS experience a consistent and useful platform with one of the best and largest Consumer - Commercial Apps Stores on the planet.
Android similarly has the Play Store; with a diverse selection of App technology that can run consistently on the Android market. (And oddly, Blackberries too now, so there...)
Motorola Solutions is one the largest vendors now operating the the "Enterprise" marketplace for Android and with App Development.
In Additon: RhoMobile provides Multi-platform on Android, iOS, and Legacy Microsoft Mobile Platforms.
"Legacy Microsoft Mobile Platforms": (Whaddya Mean by that?)
I Mean: Windows. Which is to say:
1) Windows Desktop Operating systems : A) Windows 32-bit (Win7/Vista/X*P), B) Windows CE (ARM) / Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5.x, WIN7EMBSYS/CE7 C) Windows 8 / Win8_64/32, / Win8RT, / W8EMB, / WIndows 8 System Embedded.
A, B, C with an average of 3 variants EACH!
OK, so lets say we target Umm, -- TWO. Windows CE, and Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5.3 (Since I'ma Previously known as a Psion guy -- Nice and Safe.)
Two Choices for development : Visual Studio 2008 (Which you MIGHT Get online from a Microsoft Partner that might have this in-stock...) And RhoMobile.
And No App Store.
WIN32/WIN64 (Desktop Windows -- And I am not including WIN8/WIN81 in this:
Visual Studio 2008, and RhoMobile.
And No App Store.
And Now Windows 8.
Lets talk Windows 8 Desktop Platform. Visual Studio 2012/2013.
And an App Store; but also limited in scope and use; and the approval process is non-transparent. (Well, thats not fully accurate; say it's that no one really has commented / published any articles about it.)
So What about RhoMobile? - Sure - But where / how to publish is kindof interesting.
And what about the Other Windows 8's ???
Win8 RT -- App Store ONLY. (@Armish) Not supported in Enterprise terms (Although I would get Microsoft Afficianado's indicating otherwise.) for day-to-day use.
Oh, and forget Data Capture and using a Wedge App. USB / BT HID -- Hooray.
Win8 Phone. (@Armish) Not Supported in Enterpise terms.
Win8 Embedded / Embedded System / Embedded Handheld (@Armish) Supported for Enterprise but still not shipped (As of 2014-02-10) to Customers/Consumers
Win8 Embedded 32/64-bit INTEL. Supported for Enterprise -- but nothing seen in the marketplace -- Windows Embedded System 7 is still new for some.. Go Figure.
And Notice that I have not indicated the respective SDK's and Developer Studio's required for the (@Armish) platforms -- sorry, but this seemed very messy to me.
And what about the App Store / Customer App Management? (I DON'T KNOW.) <shrug>
For Android / iOS / (Even Blackberry 10) -- 1 target platform.
For WIN32/WIN64 even -- 1 target platform.
For Win8 -- (I DON'T KNOW) :: Fragmentation .
For Windows (@Armish) -- I am unwilling to count, nor comment on the targets that even Microsoft presents.
Until this is as simple as :: It's Windows 9 API; Target Platform is Windows 9. Processor is -- who cares. Then I may pay attention.
(X*P) -- As of April 8, 2014 Windows XP will be officially "unsupported" sorry to see that, yep.
(@Armish) -- ARM9/7 processor based technologies running the Windows 8 Variations of Firmwares/ Runtimes.
- Windows CE and Windows Mobile/Embedded Handheld 6.x run ARM4V flavors of embedded firmwares (15 years wow?)