Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Microsoft Offers Free Dev Kit for Win Phone 7

Microsoft now provides trial versions of various tools for Windows Phone 7 app development

Monday Microsoft made a big splash when it announced that it's now offering free tools for Windows Phone 7 developers. The "kit" includes preview (test) versions of Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, an add-on to use with Visual Studio 2010 RC, XNA Game Studio 4.0, and an emulator for application testing. The company also provides a separate, "Community Technology Preview" version of Expression Blend for Windows Phone. The toolset can be downloaded here.

ZDNet reports that Microsoft is also offering a "near-final" Release Candidate of Silverlight 4, Microsoft's alternative to Adobe Flash. Although the final version is scheduled to go gold in April, Windows Phone 7 supposedly won't make use of Silverlight 4 when the device ships later this year. Instead, Microsoft is releasing a "superset" of Silverlight 3 with support for Windows Phone 7 specific features.

"It was clear that Microsoft is doing its best to distance itself from being known as an enterprise phone developer," ZDNet reports. "Company officials didn’t demonstrate a single enterprise app-- other than Outlook-- during the kick-off Mix keynote." The site also said that Microsoft is targeting Windows Phone 7 devices at "life maximizers."

In related news, the Visual Studio Developer Center updated the "supported media codecs" listing in regards to Windows Phone OS 7.0. In addition to WMV, MPEG-4, and H.263, the new mobile OS will also support DivX versions 4.x, 5.x, and 6.x. This will be great news for consumers who purchase digital movies outside the restrictive iTunes and Amazon offerings.


No comments:

Post a Comment