Last week I had dinner with thirty entrepreneurs and former entrepreneurs (mostly VCs now) — founders of Pandora, DropBox, and lots of other companies that you will hear about in the next few years. Everybody in the room are making mobile platform decisions on a weekly basis — i.e. they are the folks on the ground deploying capital and building the next generation of mobile applications and services. Apple, Google, Microsoft, HP, and RIM are all trying to sway them to build on their platform.
Everybody agreed that you have to build for iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) – every company will sequence development for these differently based on their monetization strategy, demographics, and geographical focus. The only other mobile platform that is still part of the conversation is Windows Phone. Yes, they have a unique product experience, but do they have the distribution horsepower to reach a critical mass of users to make it a must for application developers? Not yet. But given Microsoft’s cash position and its distribution smarts (Nokia) nobody in the room would bet against them.