Windows Phone 7 News at PDC10

I’ve been involved in every Microsoft PDC since the “Win32 PDC” of 1992. Today is the first day of Microsoft’s sold out PDC10 and it brings me great joy knowing Windows Phone 7 is one of the focus areas this year. There will be tons of steaming sessions on Windows Phone 7 and will be showing off some new apps and delivering a Windows Phone Marketplace update via a keynote featuring Steve Ballmer and Scott Guthrie (and demos by our own Brandon Watson).

Sitting here this morning I see two major differences between the early days of PDCs: First, this PDC is in Redmond. Every other PDC has been in some exotic location (like San Francisco or Denver). Second, this PDC is available live on the web and Windows Phone 7 (if you are lucky enough have one already).

I remember when we released the Win32 SDK back in ’92 being blown away by the innovative ideas that came to life on that platform. The past few weeks have been very rewarding as we’ve watched hundreds and hundreds of interesting and innovative apps and games appear almost daily in the Windows Phone Marketplace. It has become impossible for me to actually try even a fraction of them, but every day I find another app or game that I love!

We know that many developers are finishing up apps in advance of US phone availability on November 8th, and that a large number are already taking advantage of Marketplace’s free update process to enhance existing apps and games. We’re doing several things at PDC to make this easier. First, we’re providing phones to full conference attendees. There’s nothing quite like final hardware to optimize an app. We’re also giving PDC attendees free Marketplace registration. And to help get those projects across the finish line, we’ve got a great line up of presenters sharing what we’ve learned about application development and optimization through thousands of hours of coding and testing ourselves. Here are some can’t miss sessions for Windows Phone developers (watch these live here):

There are already roughly 12,000 developers registered with the Windows Phone Marketplace (go to http://create.msdn.com if you are not one of them), a near 40% increase over last month alone. All those apps & games currently in the marketplace are by developers who requested early certification. We also just announced that on November 3rd we are enabling the self serve capabilities of Marketplace for developers. That should give most developers the opportunity to place their app in Marketplace in time for our US launch. As we noted earlier this month the first payout will take place in February. Finally, tomorrow we’ll be publishing some minor revision to the Marketplace policies, so be sure to watch this space for another post tomorrow where we’ll discuss them.

We’re also proud to announce the addition of the Windows Phone 7 challenge as a part of the core competition for the 2011 Imagine Cup. The competition kicks off 10/28, challenging students from around the world to create apps that focus on the theme of “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems”. To learn more about it check out all the details at http://www.imaginecup.com

Be sure to check out the PDC10 sessions above and catch a replay of Steve and Scott’s keynote, which also features some cool new apps including Bejeweled, Facebook, Intuit’s TaxCaster, Amazon Kindle and the ad enabled MSN Money Stocks and Markets app.

Marketplace is live, phones are in market and developers are making money. Show us what you’ve got!

-cek (@ckindel on twitter)