Windows 7 proves a hit with developers

Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system is attracting developers to build new applications with its multi-gesture, touch-based features.

Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system (OS) is attracting developers to build new applications with its multi-gesture, touch-based features.

A survey of 606 IT professionals by database and developer tools supplier Embarcadero Technologies found that more than half of developers, architects and analysts were working on Windows 7 development projects, with 11.8% planning to start using Windows 7 over the next six months.

The survey found that enterprise apps were the most popular application type, with 54.4% of developers building business applications.

"The popularity of devices like the iPhone and iPad have helped drive mainstream acceptance of touch-based technologies. This popularity transcends into the developer community, and I doubt we will see it abate any time soon," said Michael Rozlog, product manager for Delphi Solutions at Embarcadero.

Windows 7 might also offer new opportunities on Microsoft tablet devices, explaining its popularity with the developer community. Microsoft Silverlight and Windows Phone developer Ian Walker has been using Windows 7 OS since the early betas and hopes to use his Multi-Touch Windows 7 applications as a step towards tablet devices.

"I am hoping to take my work forward to the forthcoming new tablet environment for Windows 7. Additional extensions on the new tablet may provide a marketplace for Windows 7 to allow developers to sell applications in a secure way," Walker said.

The need to support users on older versions of Windows was cited by the survey as the biggest challenge of Windows 7 development. With Microsoft ending support for Windows XP in 2014, analysts are encouraging enterprises to move to Windows 7 by the end of 2012, said Embarcadero.

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