iOS Big in the Enterprise, Multi-OS Frameworks Provide Hope to Others

Carl Weinschenk

Appcelerator, in conjunction with IDC, released the "Appcelerator/IDC 2Q 2012 Mobile Report." The results are very interesting and verify some trends and hints that are evident elsewhere. Here is the overall summary from BetaNews:

At a high level, the survey showed that developers believe Apple is leading the charge in the enterprise mobile deployment; see Android only as a consumer opportunity; are excited about remote cloud service integration; and are cautiously optimistic about Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets; but see Windows Phone as disappointing.

Attracting developers is just a shade less important to mobile device makers as attracting customers themselves. If you don’t get developers, the customers won’t come. It’s the difference, very roughly, between having a restaurant on Main Street or at the end of a side street. The bottom line is what developers think and do matters.

The survey suggests that the iPad is in great position, despite the bad news Apple got this week. Its results for the past quarter were less-than-stellar — at least by its standards. Notwithstanding those numbers, the Appcelerator survey suggests that Apple has cemented a huge advantage by the early success of the iPad, coupled with the fact that the model adopted by Google raises significant ongoing questions about how far it will be trusted by IT departments.

The impact of the bring-your-own-device trend will be felt. But even in the BYOD era, there is a significant difference between devices that are used outside the control of IT and those that actually are sanctioned and planned for.

Other constituencies share developers' feelings on where Microsoft is right now: Windows Phone is to this point a disappointment. The two looming agenda items for the company — the release of Windows 8 and the Surface tablet — are monumentally important events.

A hope for operating system owners who trail in the developer race is for the creation of platforms that eliminate the distinctions. HTML5 to some extent mitigates the problem. Companies such as Appcelerator also pitch in. A newer firm on the multiple platform front is Xamarin, a startup that launched in May, which is about to announce a $12 million series A round of funding, according to GigaOm. The site says that Charles River Ventures, Ignition Partners and Floodgate will fund the round.

The Appcelerator survey is an important signpost in the increasingly chaotic world of the mobile enterprise. It offers good news to Apple. However, the rise of multiple platform vendors means that other operating systems are not out of the game.

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