Pity the programmer. The path used to be so clear. After coming up with the next billion-dollar software idea, the only decision left was whether to build it for just Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Windows or Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Mac as well.
Now the options are far more diverse. Mobile platforms like Apple’s iOS, Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android, and Windows Phone all vie for coders’ attention alongside desktop operating systems and Web hubs such as Facebook Inc. Each one requires time, and often a different skill set.
The challenge is particularly acute in video games, where iPhone users expect to be able to interact with their friends even if they’re using a different device. Michael Carter, a 27- year-old software engineer, says he has a solution in HTML 5, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Feb. 27 issue.