Microsoft will release Windows 8 later this year and its influence on Windows Phone is not yet known. Many people speculate that Microsoft will drop the current version of Windows Phone and adopt a smartphone version of Windows 8 when it launches. Others believe the two operating systems will share the same look and feel, but keep their different code bases. In this latter scenario, Windows Phone 7 will drop Silverlight and XNA-based apps and replace them with HTML5 and Direct-X apps.
In the end, these changes won’t matter to developers as Brandon Watson of the Windows Phone team confirmed that the next version of Windows Phone will support the current crop of apps. According to Watson, Microsoft made a similar compatibility statement at MIX11 last April. This second confirmation almost a year later suggests Microsoft is still committed to its developers going forward. This is good news for coders who can continue to work on their apps and know their efforts won’t be wasted.