In a pretty big milestone for the upcoming Microsoft Windows Phone 7 smartphone platform, the company has released the developer tools that should enable content creators to make apps.
This build of the Windows Phone 7 developer tools is still in beta form but the software giant says it’s a near-final version. If other platforms are any indication, this could mean that the next version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system could hit that “late summer” launch window we’ve seen bandied about. I’d still bet on more of an October time frame, as this will give developers more time to create a wealth of Windows Phone 7 apps.
As for the developer tool beta itself, the release notes cover all the latest additions but Microsoft wanted to point out that it now enables users to unlock the device for developing, the Windows Phone 7 API is almost close to completion and the Silverlight functionality has been updated from previous builds. Two teenage developers already have Windows Phone 7 handsets, but Microsoft said independent software vendors will soon be getting development smartphones.
Starting next Monday (July 19th), we start shipping the devices more broadly. Sadly, we will not be able to meet all of that demand. We are planning to set up deploy and test labs in major cities to make it a little easier for everyone who wants to have access to a preview phone to have it. More on that soon.
Lastly, to get your name in the queue, assuming you haven’t already sent in an email, you can now send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A field representative will get back to you as soon as possible. Again, these are preview phones, so they are limited in quantity. When you send e-mail, please include the following information:
Company name, if applicable
What city/state/country you are located in
App(s) you plan on developing (category and brief description)
We’ve already seen some cool Windows Phone 7 apps, so it will be cool to see what the community comes up with now that it has these boosted development tools.