Microsoft’s 7 Minutes

According to [an analyst with tiny Global Equities Research](http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2010/05/26/apple-will-steve-ballmer-show-up-at-the-wwdc-keynote/), Microsoft has been given a 7 minutes of Steve Jobs’ WWDC keynote on June 7, to talk about Visual Studio 2010. This is rumor at best at the moment, and there is a possibility that we might get to see two Steves (Steve Jobs and Steve Ballmer) on the same stage. Will we finally be able to develop native iPhone, iPad and Mac app using Visual Studio 2010 on Windows? Here’s our thoughts and speculations.

It makes no business sense for Apple to allow compiling native apps using Visual Studio 2010 on Windows as Apple is foremost a hardware business. Right now, if you want to develop for iPhone, iPad and Mac, you have to buy a Mac with Apple’s Xcode development environment. There is less incentive to buy a Mac if you can create Apple apps using Windows PC. Apple might not see the developer community as having a significant number, but they are an influencing lot that helps make the iPhone and Mac what there are today.

There are lots of technical hurdles to allow full and smooth development experience of iPhone/Mac apps on Windows, this is always the case for non-native development work. What we will see is probably Visual Studio for Mac, an interactive development environment that ties tightly with the Xcode environment. This could be the same app that Microsoft Mac Business Unit (MacBU) has been using to develop their Office for Mac suites. The [reorganization this week in Microsoft](http://www.macnn.com/articles/10/05/25/move.to.follow.executive.departures/) by putting MacBU under their Microsoft Business Unit could be a precursor. The question is will developers finally get to develop apps using language other than Objective-C?

Besides Visual Studio for Mac, the other unthinkable announcement is the support of Microsoft .Net and Silverlight on the Mac and iPhone/iPad. This is highly unlikely for the next iPhone OS as iPhone OS 4.0 is into its late stage of beta cycle. .Net and Silverlight for Mac? We do not think Steve will give us this shock as the coming WWDC is a more iPhone/iPad focus conference. Lets June 7 be not a hell freezes over day.

Outside of developers tool, there are other collaboration possibilities between Apple and Microsoft. How about Bing search on iPhone/iPad? It is trivial for iPhone/iPad to add support for Bing, as currently you can use Google or Yahoo search on Safari for iPhone/iPad. How about build-in integration with Microsoft Messenger? One of the main feature of 4th generation hardware is the front-facing camera. Which leads to the obvious iChat app on the new iPhone. Apple might surprise us by integrating Messenger with iChat. This will be welcome news for lots of business users who rely on MSN Messenger. And don’t forget Microsoft owns game studios. A Halo for iPhone and iPad will be greatly welcomed.

Whatever is going to happen in the 7 minutes, we will know come June 7. That is less than 2 weeks away.

**Update:** Microsoft has [confirmed via a tweet](http://twitter.com/Microsoft/status/14850981422) that Steve Ballmer will not be at WWDC. Which suggests that the announcement will not be an earth-shattering one.