Until today, Microsoft's advice to developers interested in writing Windows Phone 7 applications was to use C#, Silverlight or XNA. But on September 23, Microsoft officials said they'd be adding another requested tool to the Windows Phone 7 arsenal: Visual Basic.
Microsoft made available for download a test build of Microsoft's Visual Basic CTP (Community Test Build) for Windows Phone Developer Tools. Applications built using the CTP will be able to run on the emulator and the actual Windows Phone 7 phones.
In order to use the CTP, developers need the final version of Windows Phone Developer Tools (which Microsoft released to manufacturing in mid-September) and Visual Studio 2010 Professional or higher (or at the very least, the free trial version of Visual Studio Professional).
The Visual Basic CTP includes Visual Studio 2010 project templates, item templates, designer support, emulator support, debugging, and IntelliSense for Visual Basic. The CTP cannot be used to develop XNA games, Microsoft execs cautioned, but can be used to build other kinds of Silverlight apps.
Microsoft is not announcing its ship-target for the final version of Visual Basic for Windows Phone 7, and is advising developers not to try to release applications built with this CTP. It is for feedback purposes, at this point, only, according to the Softies.