Microsoft makes test versions of Windows Phone 7 tools available

Microsoft makes test versions of Windows Phone 7 tools available

Summary: Microsoft made available for download on March 15 test versions of a number of the tools that developers can use to build applications for Windows Phone 7 devices.


Microsoft made available for download on March 15 test versions of a number of the tools that developers can use to build applications for Windows Phone 7 devices.

At the Mix 10 opening keynote, Microsoft officials emphasized how Silverlight and Expression Blend will complement the XNA Game Studio 4.0 toolset, giving programmers a number of choices as to how to develop applications and games for Microsoft's new mobile platform.

Available immediately for download are test versions of a number of Windows Phone 7 dev tools, including  of Expression Blend for Windows Phone, a Windows Phone 7 add-in for Visual Studio 2010, a standalone Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, and a Windows Phone 7 Emulator for application testing.

Microsoft also made available for download on March 15 a near-final Release Candidate of Silverlight 4. The final version of Silverlight 4 will ship before the end of April, company officials said today.

The first Windows Phone 7 phones won't make use of Silverlight 4, however; Microsoft is supporting a superset of Silverlight 3 with some Windows-Phone-specific features (like accelerometers) right off the bat, according to the Softies.

A number of developers announced their commitment to develop for Windows Phone 7 today, including the Associated Press, Citrix Systems, EA Mobile, Fandango, Foursqure Labs,, Microsoft Game Studios, Pandora Media, Photobucket, Seesmic, Shazam Entertainment, Sling Media and Vertigo Software, among others.

During the Mix 10 keynote, it was clear that Microsoft is doing its best to distance itself from being known as an enterprise phone developer. Company officials didn't demonstrate a single enterprise app -- other than Outlook -- during the kick-off Mix keynote. (I did see a quick preview of the Office Hub for Windows Phone 7 during one of the breakouts, with promises that Microsoft will be providing more details about Office on the new phone platform in June.)

Microsoft is targeting Windows Phone 7 devices at "life maximizers," company officials said, meaning users who want to use their mobile devices for both work and play.

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft officials also said nothing today during the keynote about how and if Windows Mobile developers will be able to migrate any their already-developed code to the new platform. Microsoft already has said Windows Mobile 6.x apps won't run on Windows Phone 7.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Software Development, Telcos


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Goodbye iPhone

    I've used an iPhone for about 1 year now. It's been a great experience. But I like many others are getting sick and tired of the Apple vision of a closed system.

    So far, I think the only real impact Apple has had on the industry is to perminantly raise the price of using such a device. THANKS APPLE!!!!
  • Hello iPhone!

    I've used an iPhone for about 2 years now. It's been a great experience. I love the Apple vision of a closed system....keeps my experience clean and I don't get hacked.

    So far, I think the real impact Apple has had on the industry is to make such a device available, without the horror of Microsoft. And don't forget the Apps! THANKS APPLE!!!!
    The Danger is Microsoft
    • So very convicing.

      I had to laugh! You trolls are getting to be so obvious, if you really believe people are so clueless as to believe what you guys post, then you should quit deluding youselfs.

      You don't even own an iPhone, according to one of your earlier posts.
      John Zern
  • RE: Microsoft makes test versions of Windows Phone 7 tools available

    ***crickets chirping***

    Seriously, does anybody at all care about Windows Mobile? Ok. Anybody else besides Ballmer?

    Anybody out there using Zune? Didn't think so.

    And if you are serious about avoiding Apple's dictatorial policies, at least consider an open alternative like one of the Android phones.
    • "does anybody at all care?" Yes, me and many thousands like me!

      From what I watched this morning in the MIX keynote, Windows Phone 7 Series completely changes the game and gives Apple the competition that they've been sorely lacking for the last couple of years.

      WP7S' developer story leaves Apple entirely in the dust. Visual Studio + Expression Blend + Silverlight + XNA absolutely rock and the fact that these tools are now free for phone app development is goign to be a real challenge for Apple to contend with.

      There is no other ecosystem in which music, games, entertainment, work and social are so smoothly integrated.

      Get ready Apple, the fight starts now.
    • I am!

      yes, I have a Zune. And as a developer I'm interested in the development tools available for WP7.

      Thanks for asking!

      Perhaps you should get out of the Apple forums and blogs more often.
    • I have one

      i have a zune HD and I love it. the UI is great
      and the colors look amazing thanks to the OLED.
      Have you tried it? or are you just one of the $hit
      talkers that opens their mouths?
    • fuddy.master is a more appropriate name. You should use it

      Lets see, I have a Zune, so does my wife; my neice, a co-worker, an employee at Best Buy, and I'm sure there are more, I just don't go around asking people what MP3 player they have, so I couldn't tell you.

      Now about those chirping crickets you're imagine hearing, you really should go seek some help on that, next you'll be seeing 10 foot rabbits and talking horses...
      John Zern
      • Zune...

        Oh I can see that my comments got under some folks' skin. Sorry about that.

        1) For the Zune lovers! Good for you, I'm glad you enjoy your device(s). I don't own one, but I've heard they've got some great features which Ipods do not, and anything that doesn't require Itunes is a plus. But market share for Zune is no where near Ipod's. That's just the way it is, mostly because Microsoft was late getting into the game. Is anybody here able to tell me when the Zune is going to overtake (or even approach) the market share dominance of Apple Ipods? Zune's been out since 2006. It ain't happening man, let it go.

        2) For the Windows Phone 7 is going to kick Iphone's butt crowd, see point #1 above. The Iphone came out in what, 2007? Microsoft is answering with Windows Phone 7 three years later? A day late and a dollar short if you ask me. This is not going to kill the Iphone. That train has already left the station and Microsoft was not on it.

        3) Why does everyone on here expect me to be an Apple fanboy, or a Microsoft fanboy or a Linux diehard. I enjoy products from all of these producers equally. Can I not comment that I think Iphone has alrady beat Windows Phone 7 before the latter even got off the ground without being called a Microsoft hate monger. Face it, they blew it, just like they did with the Ipod vs Zune.

        4) Finally, despite the sarcastic attitude in my original post, I really do want the Windows 7 Phone to fly. Because it's good for consumers to have choices and competition. This kind of thing pushes all mobile phone companies to produce better products. So I'm glad people care and support Windows 7 Phone. I just think that it isn't going to end up stealing any market share from Iphone users. And to be honest, I'm pleasantly suprised that folks are getting excited about this.
        • Did you even take the time to read-up on WP7S?

          Seriously ... do yourself a favor and educate yourself on what MS is going to be shipping in just a few months.

          There is NO comparable user experience on ANY of the other handsets available today. None of the other handset platforms offer the smoothly integrated services and experiences, social integration, music subscription service integration, games and streaming video entertainment integration that WP7S does.

          I STRONGLY encourage you to watch the WP7S unveiling video or the MIX keynote video to get a taste of just how different and how enormously compelling the WP7S really is.

          Once you've understood that, consider the incredibly powerful developer tools that MS is shipping for free. Now consider that there are a HUGE number of .NET developers whose skills will directly apply to the WP7S platform with almost no learning curve - certainly less of a learning curve vs. learning the horrendous monster that is Objective-C.

          By the time WP7S ships later this year, there will be MANY more apps targetting this new device and taking advantage of its enormously powerful capabilities.

          Finally, Apple has some REAL competition.
          • Why bother

            It doesn't matter if MS puts out a better product three years late. Again look at my example. One could argue that Zune is a more advanced platform than Ipod. But that hasn't really helped them much when it comes to market share in the MP3 player marketplace.

            Iphone despite all its deficiencies is a phenomenon that has set the standard for the current generation of mobile devices. And that happened three years ago. Anything even remotely similar to it at this point is playing catchup and is doomed to be regarded as a second rate knock-off at best. Even if it's a better product.

            What really suprises me is that MS is ignoring the enterprise market where there is definately room for improvement. Seems like RIM devices would be an easier target for them to compete with
  • delete me(nt)

  • Took Netflix 3 weeks to build a Windows Phone app

    Won't even be worth their time to target a niche platform
    like the iPhone. Only way it will make it there is if
    Microsoft does a Silverlight port.
  • RE: Microsoft makes test versions of Windows Phone 7 tools available

    Ok so let's see the app...

    What's that you say? The devices and platform it needs are not out for a few more months yet?

    3 weeks my a$$!