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Friday, September 17, 2010
Windows Phone Developer Tools Are Ready For Download

Microsoft today said that the Windows Phone Developer Tools have gone final, and have been released to the Web.

This release is English only, but Microsoft will be releasing the French, Italian, German and Spanish language versions in the next couple of weeks.

For developers to put their apps into the marketplace, opening in early October, they will need to download this version of the tools. Any application built with a previous version of the tools will fail application certification in the Marketplace, Microsoft said. When they do submit your application, they can expect it to take about five days to pass or fail certification, though they can check the status of their app submission at any time at the developer portal. For more information on passing certification, see the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace policies.

Some of the biggest names in apps and games are working to bring the right mix of content to Windows Phone 7. Microsoft has already showed near final apps for Twitter, Netflix, OpenTable, Flixster and Travelocity for the first time anywhere.

Everything developers need to begin developing apps is included in a single download: Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, the Windows Phone Emulator, Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone, and XNA Game Studio 4.0. The installer is smart enough to download only what they need, and the tools will work with their existing Visual Studio 2010 and Expression Blend 4 installations.

The Panorama control is one of the core components of the Windows Phone Design System (codenamed 'Metro') that powers the Hubs that are such a prominent part of the product. Panorama based applications offer a unique manner to view controls, data and services in a long horizontal canvas that extends beyond the confines of the screen, and provides the touch and animation features that invite the user to explore and consume an application.

Pivot is the second control to Windows Phone 7 provided as part of the final developer tools. Pivot is a way to visualize data for customers, but give them the ability to filter from one view of the data to another. The speed and simplicity of the control will be a welcome enhancement to data driven applications.

Lastly, the Bing Maps control was added to the final release of the tools. Microsoft is now giving developers the ability to instantly build compelling map experiences that include a full suite of map functionality that users have come to expect? search, directions, scroll, zoom, aerial view, street view and more, all with a single drag and drop operation.

Microsoft's Advertising team is also providing another control. The Mobile Advertising SDK is available today making is easy for developers to generate ad revenues from their apps. The team has also released the first real-time, bid-based mobile ad exchange, allowing for revenue maximization of ad placements when they are served.

Also, Microsoft is separately releasing the Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit. These controls are being released under MS-PL license. There are six controls in total, and these are meant to augment the Windows Phone Developer Tools experience. The GestureListener provides developers with a control to handle the full range of gesture events, including Tap, DoubleTap, Hold, Drag, Flick and Pinch. There is also a DatePicker and TimePicker to make it easier and more uniform to get dates and times from customers, and they will localize automatically to the correct date and time format setting. The other controls are ContextMenu, WrapPanel and ToggleSwitch. These conreols can be downloaded at the Silverlight Codeplex site.

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