Android is the next platform of choice for Windows developers

Google's open-source mobile operating system pips iOS as the next platform that developers want to deploy to, according to a survey by Embarcadero.

It should be no surprise that many existing applications nowadays are looking to move across platforms as mobile becomes an even bigger feature of the application landscape.

Take the example of one standard Windows developer; what do you think would be the next platform that they would focus on?

To get a taste of mobile development, and to be able to use the same toolset and frameworks, I would have expected Windows Phone to rate quite highly. But in a survey paid for by Embarcadero, it says that Windows developers are looking to Android and iOS first.

The Australian results say that on the question of, "What devices would you like to be able to deploy to?", 81 percent said Android, 80 percent wanted iOS, and 34 percent wanted Windows Phone.

Image: Embarcadero
This ordering reflects the popularity of the mobile operating systems in the marketplace, but the size of the gap back to Windows Phone is quite large.

A very surprising finding is that the survey says one quarter of Australian Windows developers are looking towards Linux deployments.

Linux, on 13 percent, out-rates Windows Phone, which is at 8 percent, on the question of, "What devices do you develop applications for?"

Image: Embarcadero
Way out in front, on 94 percent, was Windows, followed by 28 percent for iOS and 25 percent developing for Android.

The reasons given for why developers cannot deploy on the platforms they want to were fairly even in their spread. Tied at 51 percent was "complexity of supporting multiple code bases" and "Lack of skills/skilled people". On 43 percent was "cost of supporting multiple development environments" and "Multi-device development tools don't fully support native device functionality". "Need to redevelop or port legacy applications" came in at 38 percent, with miscellaneous other reasons clocking in at 7 percent.

Image: Embarcadero
Looking at the global numbers, other take-out numbers are: 83 percent of the requests for mobile apps have Android support as a requirement, 85 percent say native apps are best, and unsurprisingly, 99 percent say that existing apps must continue to be supported.

The global survey had 1,137 respondents.

By Chris Duckett

Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan. During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic adven...