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Survey: Windows 7 getting popular with developers

Apps builders challenged by supporting older versions of the OS

Developers are hopping on the Windows 7 bandwagon, according to survey results released Monday by database and developer tools vendor Embarcadero Technologies.

In a survey of 606 respondents conducted in May, Embarcadero found 54 percent indicated they were developing applications for Windows 7. Another 25 percent said they plan to develop applications for Microsoft's latest client OS in the next year. Just 10 percent have no plans to build for Windows 7.

[ Get all the details you need on deploying and using Windows 7 in the InfoWorld editors' 21-page Windows 7 Deep Dive PDF special report. ]

But more than 15 percent of respondents are waiting for more organizations to adopt Windows 7 to make it worth their while, according to Embarcadero. Respondents were comprised of developers, architects, and analysts.

Respondents, Embarcadero found, are enticed by Windows 7 capabilities such as touch, multi-touch, and enhanced graphics. Microsoft began shipping Windows 7 last fall.

"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'll see it abate anytime soon," said Michael Rozlog, product manager for Delphi Solutions at Embarcadero, in a statement released by the company.

Building for Windows 7 is not without challenges, however. Thirty-four percent of respondents indicated the biggest challenge is supporting users on older versions of Windows. Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP in April 2014 and analysts are encouraging enterprises and consumers to move to Windows 7 by the end of 2012, Embarcadero said. These urgings, however, have been met with reluctance, the company noted.

Better than 10 percent of respondents said learning something new was the biggest challenge to developing for Windows 7.

The survey also found that the majority plan to build Windows 7 desktop applications first, with database applications second on the list, followed by utilities and tools. Small business applications are of higher priority than enterprise applications.

This article, "Survey: Windows 7 getting popular with developers," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter and on your mobile device at infoworldmobile.com.

Read more about developer world in InfoWorld's Developer World Channel.


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