Microsoft has released the Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta, a near final version of the tools for building applications and games for Windows Phone 7.
Here are the highlights of the beta release:
- Microsoft Expression Blend for Windows Phone - Blend is now integrated completely into the Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta.
- Developer Registration Utility - Now you can unlock you Windows Phone 7 device for development purposes.
- XAP Deployment Tool - if you want to deploy XAP files directly to an unlocked device, now you can.
- The Windows Phone 7 API - Microsoft is getting close to completion. Many namespaces that were previously distributed over several different DLLs have now been consolidated into one. In addition, there have been realignments and changes in several other namespaces as well. Push Notifications, Accelerometer and App Bar APIs have all been updated.
- Additional Controls - There are some additional controls coming in the next few weeks (i.e. Panorama and Pivot) which didn't make the beta release. They are coming soon.
- Control Templates - Silverlight for Windows Phone control templates have been updated to match evolutions in the overall OS.
Here's a link to the release notes
for the beta.
Microsoft is also organizing Windows Phone 7 JumpStart, a FREE virtual live class for developers interested in developing applications and games for Windows Phone 7.
The course is organized into four virtual instructor-led sessions that are of 3-hour duration. They will be presented by forthcoming MS Press authors and MVP's, Andy Wigley and Rob Miles. It will provide developers a jump start for developing Windows Phone 7 applications. The Labs will be completed offline with office hours access to the instructors.
The dates for these course sessions are:
- July 20 - 8am: Session One: Getting Started with Microsoft Windows Phone and Silverlight
- July 20 - 1pm: Session Two: Programming Game Applications with XNA
- July 22 - 8am: Session Three: Programming Applications with Silverlight
- July 22 - 1pm: Session Four: Review and Wrap Up
Interested users can register
for the course now.
Starting next Monday (July 19th), Microsoft will also start shipping Windows 7 devices more broadly. The company plans 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.