News Scan: Enterprises want mobile app developers; Windows 9 is on the horizon; more

>> Enterprises looking for mobile app developers in 2014

Enterprises will be looking to hire mobile app developers with experience developing apps for Apple iOS and Windows Phone, John Reed, senior executive director at Robert Half Technology tells IDG News Service. "Understanding how to create a site that can be easily viewed and navigated from a handheld device is just as important to employers as knowing how to develop a mobile application," says Reed. Overall, CIOs are more optimistic about hiring IT staff in the first half of this year compared with the second half of 2013. Read more on CIOs' IT hiring plans.

[More on mobile apps: Tablets will become increasingly important in-app mobile ad platform | Mobile apps bridge gap between digital, brick-and-mortar retail]

>> Windows 9 is on the horizon

Microsoft expects to ship Windows 9 in April 2015, according to Paul Thurrott, a senior technical analyst for Windows IT Pro. The new OS, currently codenamed Threshold, will include a return to the Start menu and the ability to run Metro apps on the desktop, according to sources cited by Thurrott. The goal of Windows 9 is to balance the needs of traditional PC users versus those of mobile device users, something that Windows 8 failed to do. "In short, [Windows 9] needs to be everything that Windows 8 is not," writes Thurrott. Read more about Windows 9.

[More about Windows: Microsoft vows common apps, developer tools across all Windows platformsCIOs may want to check mobile list twice]

>> Google beefs up Android app developer capabilities

With version 4.1 of its Google Play Services, Google added a range of new features for Android app developers, according to Android Developers Blog. The new features include turn-based multiplayer support for games, a preliminary API for integrating Google Drive into apps, and improved battery life for users. "Once the rollout has completed, you'll be able to download the SDK using the Android SDK manager and get started with the new APIs," the blog relates. Read more on Google Play Services 4.1.

[More on Google Play: Apple on top | Report: Google Play Music All Access expanding to Apple's iOS this month]

>> Small firms need to consider big BYOD costs

In considering BYOD, small business owners need to take account of support costs, hardware compatibility and legal risk, says Zsolt Bicskey in a Business2Community article. Small businesses will have to provide IT support for employees struggling to make their personal devices work in the workplace. In addition, trying to manage and support differing devices and operating systems can be tricky and expensive. And small firms could be opening themselves up to big legal risk should an employee's device be lost or stolen with corporate data onboard, warns Bicskey. Read more on Bicskey's BYOD advice to small firms.

[More on BYOD: Flood of BYOD devices challenges IT security pros | Good BYOD advice from across the Pond]

Mobility is about delivering value, says BoxTone chief

Mobility is about providing value through mobile business services for employees, prospects, customers and partners, says BoxTone CEO Alan Snyder. To achieve that, enterprise should deploy mobile apps and service infrastructure that will "deliver clear benefit and value to the mobile user, protect the user and enterprise data, be highly reliable and responsive, provide visibility for support and service quality [and] reduce the cost to serve and operate," Snyder observes. Read more on Snyder's observations.

[More on BoxTone: Focus will be on providing "enterprise-class support" for mobile data, apps, says Gartner | BoxTone buys 3LM technology, customer and partner bases from Motorola]