Home Articles Ouch! Windows developers are hurting from device diversity, complexity

Ouch! Windows developers are hurting from device diversity, complexity


Windows developers are chafing at the bit!

In the growingly mobile world, opportunities are manifold but the traditional developers find themselves short of key skills and tools, besides being frustrated by the cost and complexity of supporting multiple devices and platforms.

That is the finding of a survey by Embarcadero, the global provider of software solutions for application and database development.

“The difficulty of existing multi-device development methods effectively restricts the number of devices that Australian developers can support,” said Malcolm Groves, Embarcadero’s Sydney-based senior director for Asia Pacific and Japan.

“They are either too complex or costly, require too many skills, redevelopment or porting, or don’t fully support native device functionality,” he added.

Tech shift giving rise to brutal challenge

The survey respondents were predominantly Windows developers but the broader environment – with multiple platforms and multiple devices – challenges developers of all stripes.

“This independent, global survey of application developers confirms the brutal challenges they’re facing as the shift from desktop apps to connected mobile devices unfolds,” said Tony de la Lama, senior vice president of marketing and R&D at Embarcadero Technologies.  “Developers have been telling us they must support existing desktop apps and at the same time make them available on mobile devices.”

Simultaneously, De La Lama pushed Embarcadero’s own RAD Studio XE5, which provides app development support for Android, iOS, Windows and OS X.

The global survey was conducted by Dimensional Research and comprised of 1,137 Windows developers from around the world. Of them 221 were Australian developers.

Almost all (94 per cent) of the 221 Australian developer firms surveyed in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra developed applications for Windows. They also developed applications for one other device – iOS had the highest share of 28 per cent, followed by Android with 25 per cent.

Here are some key findings of the global survey:

  • 83 per cent of the requests for mobile apps are for Android
  • 85 per cent receive requests for mobile apps
  • 99 per cent maintain need to support existing apps
  • 85 per cent say native apps are best for end users
  • 74 per cent of those who used HTML5 and JavaScript faced challenges
  • 95 per cent believe common source code for desktop and mobile is highly desirable

“Windows developers clearly see the need to bring their deep experience with application development to mobile applications,” said Diane Hagglund, senior researcher at Dimensional Research. “Today’s development options either limit the end user or result in costly and complex native development across multiple platforms. These Windows developers clearly need better options.”