A few weeks ago a representative from Microsoft came to Notre Dame to demonstrate a few projects that Microsoft has been researching. One of these projects was programming mobile applications directly on a phone. This ability might appear to be a marketing gimick, but it is important for the future of the platform.

The thought of programming on my phone is absurd. The tiny screen can only show a few lines of source code. The virtual keyboard is prone to errors and correcting typos is painful. And you can forget about easily switching between a website for reference and the IDE/text editor. Despite all of these reasons developing the tools for programming into/on top of mobile OSes will be of increasing importance.

Develop software on larger, more capable platforms then push to smaller, more restricted device has been around for years as a strategy of programming. One specific example would be the video game console world. The model works for consoles because they are a targeted device, not meant to be a general purpose machine. Phones and tablets are designed to replace personal computers. Apple even refers to it as "The Post PC Era". This statement is comical since the devices are useless without applications developed on PCs.

In order to fully embrace the movement away from traditional computers a full featured development environment must exist for mobile operating systems.