Developer News: Beta Mango Tools Available Today

Today Microsoft is showing off many of the new features coming in the next version of Windows Phone, code named Mango. We highlighted a few features like hardware accelerated IE9 with HTML5, increased multitasking capabilities and the addition of Twitter to the People hub at Mobile World Congress in February. During April’s MIX11 event, we gave developers a deep dive into new Mango capabilities and opportunities and promised new tools in May.

I’m pleased to announce that the beta release of the Windows Phone Developer Tools that support Mango will be available for download today, in just a few hours! We also have some exciting news to share about Windows Phone Marketplace.

First the tools. Developers can use this beta release to get ready for the upcoming Windows Phone OS release. The new application platform capabilities coming in Mango deliver the top features you have asked for:

- Background processing

- New profiler and emulator for testing

- Use of Silverlight + XNA together

- Silverlight 4

- IE9 web browser control

- Live Tile enhancements: use of back of tiles and ability to update Live Tiles locally

- Deep linking into apps from notifications and Live Tiles

- Additional sensors; direct camera access, compass & gyro

- Fast application switching

- Networking / sockets for communications

- Local SQL database for structured storage

- Access to calendar and contacts for apps

You also asked us for new ways to keep customers engaged with your apps, so we’ve taken steps in Mango that will help keep great apps front and center. The Mango release allows you to create a new wave of apps and games that appeal to consumers by further extending the popular Windows Phone design system. Mango also helps apps remain engaged with the customer and contextually relevant through integration with the Bing Search, Pictures and Music & Video experiences, as well as added functionality for the Live Tiles that live on the Start screen. For example, with Bing Search, when searching for products, movies, events or places, the customer will see among the results a link to a “Quick Card” for that specific search. That card contains an “apps” panel (formerly known as the “extras” panel).  This panel will display both installed and non-installed apps associated with that search query term. This is just one example of how the app experience is different on a Windows Phone in ways that give you a unique opportunity.

With Mango we are not only improving the way we merchandise your apps within our Marketplace, we are also exposing your apps as a part of our customers’ everyday experiences. You want more ways for consumers to find your apps; and consumers have been raving about the Windows Phone design. In short, we are listening and investing accordingly. You should expect us to continue to deliver technology and services unlike anyone else.

Below is simple graphic to help show how new tools and resources are unlocking additional developer capabilities:

image

Another way we’re growing the Windows Phone ecosystem is by expanding geographically. With Mango, Windows Phone Marketplace will expand from 16 to 35 countries where both app submission and app purchase are supported locally.

Today

Adding with Mango

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UK, USA

Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Japan, Korea (South), Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan

In addition, Windows Phone Marketplace now supports app submission in China, Israel and Luxembourg. For those countries that are not yet locally supported by Marketplace, we continue to expand the Global Publisher Program we announced in early March. Today, developers in 69 Middle Eastern and African countries can submit applications via Yalla Apps. App Port supports 13 countries in East Asia. APPA Market is available to developers in 19 central European countries. And both Device7 and MTel service China.

To better reach customers worldwide, I’m also pleased to announce today that Mango will offer a new web version of Windows Phone Marketplace. This will enable customers to shop, share and buy/download apps and games from any PC and send them directly to their phones. You get more visibility for your apps with no extra work. The Mango Marketplace will bring several new features and capabilities that Todd Brix will be expanding upon here a little later.

We’re extremely grateful for all that the Windows Phone developer community has accomplished in a few short months and we’re excited to see what you can do with Mango. Today we offer more than 17,000 apps, and with 42,000 registered developers and counting, plenty more are on the way. We recognize that the strength of our developer community and the Windows Phone ecosystem is a big reason why analysts are so optimistic about the Windows Phone ecosystem in predicting sales of hundreds of millions of units by 2015. With the release of beta tools for Mango, we hope we’ve taking another big step toward giving you exactly what you want from a platform so that you are inspired to create the next generation of amazing Windows Phone apps and games. In the coming weeks we will announce the date when App Hub will begin accepting Mango apps for certification.

Whether you’re a new or existing Windows Phone developer, now is the perfect time to take the next step and be what’s next in mobile. The checklist is simple:

Thank you,

Matt Bencke

General Manager, Windows Phone Developer and Marketplace Experiences