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Today at MIX ‘10 we’re looking under the hood of Windows Phone 7 Series, showing people what this phone can do and giving designers and developers the tools and information they need to expand their horizons. We’ve shown the phone’s smart new design, and the way integrated experiences dynamically bring the information people care about to the forefront. We’ve also talked about our new application development platform and how we chose Silverlight and the XNA Framework to deliver on a new platform strategy built around prioritizing end user experience, delivering a new development platform and enforcing a consistent hardware standard. Today the rubber meets the road!
Once Around the Track
First of all, if a picture is worth a thousand words than a killer demo is worth a million. Check out Scott Guthrie and Joe Belfiore’s demo packed MIX keynote. It is being streamed live this morning starting at 9AM PST (and will be available on demand a bit later). I have a little cameo at about 90 minutes in.
You’ll see why with the new Windows Phone 7 Series application development platform, more than half a million Silverlight and tens of thousands of XNA Framework developers are now Windows Phone developers. Developers and designers can now build their code once and optimize it to take advantage of the unique capabilities of the phone, Web, PC or Xbox 360. Due to common shared libraries, controls and runtimes across these many screens and the cloud, developers now have the opportunity to reach over 1 billion customers. We follow the keynote and demo with 12 deep dive sessions (which will also be available on demand at http://live.visitmix.com) that walk people through everything they need to know about the new platform, tools and opportunity.
Time for a Test Drive
We’re not quite ready to hand over the keys, but today we’re giving developers and designers everything they need to test drive the new application development platform and start creating new apps and games for Windows Phone 7 Series.
Windows Phone Developer Tools Preview is available today (as in RIGHT NOW) as a free single download at http://developer.windowsphone.com. Windows Phone Developer Tools feature;
We are also announcing that not only is this preview available for free, we will make the final version free as well!
One cool thing about this download package is if you already have another version of Visual Studio 2010 RC installed this will act as an add-on to that.
Developers will be able to use these tools to start building rich Windows Phone 7 Series applications. Obviously developers don’t have real devices yet, but the new Windows Phone Emulator that’s included uses x86 virtualization and 3D GPU acceleration to provide great performance. If your developer workstation supports Windows 7 multi-touch you will be able to interact with the emulator using touch!
We’re Serious About Design: Today we demonstrated building Windows phone apps with Expression Blend and announced the availability of a CTP for Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone on http://developer.windowsphone.com as well. Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone provides exactly the same streamlined development workflow for Windows Phone that was previously only available for Silverlight and .Net applications; including features such as Behaviors, sample data and the visual state manager.
For now, the Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone CTP is a separate download and install from the Windows Phone Developer Tools, but it will be integrated into the single download mentioned above in a future update.
Oh, and this special version of Blend will also be FREE.
Windows Phone Marketplace: Also at MIX, Microsoft is for the first time detailing how developers and designers from 30 countries will bring content to market with Windows Phone Marketplace, the evolution of Microsoft’s mobile application market. With Windows Phone Marketplace and the new Marketplace hub, developers can easily promote applications and games to Windows Phone customers right on the phone, while earning a 70% revenue share.
Location and Notification Services: To further enable developers to deliver rich applications in fewer steps, Silverlight on Windows Phone 7 Series features Location and Notification Services.
Pole Position: We’re also introducing several leading companies that are already committed to creating exciting applications and games for Windows Phone 7 Series. They include ; The Associated Press, Archetype International Inc., AWS Convergence Technologies – WeatherBug, Citrix Systems, Inc., Clarity Consulting, Inc., Cypress Consulting, EA Mobile, Fandango, Inc., Foursquare Labs, Inc., frog design, inc., Glu Mobile Inc., Graphic.ly, Hudson Entertainment, Inc., IdentityMine, Inc., IMDb.com, Inc., Larva Labs LLC, Major League Soccer, Match.com, L.L.C., Matchbox Mobile Ltd, Microsoft Game Studios, Namco Networks America Inc., Oberon Media, Inc., Pageonce, Inc., Pandora Media, Inc., Photobucket Corporation, PopCap Games, Inc., Seesmic, Shazam Entertainment Ltd, Sling Media, SPB Software Inc., stimulant, TeleCommunications Systems, Inc., Touchality LLC, Vertigo Software, Inc.
Developers and designers who work with mobile applications or have an interest in applying their Silverlight or XNA skill set to the phone for the first time should visit the Windows Phone Developer Portal for prescriptive guidance, tools and timely information about developing for Windows Phone 7 Series.
You can keep track of this and other news coming of MIX ’10 by keeping an eye on the Microsoft News Center
I’ll continue sharing updates here and on my personal blog http://blogs.msdn.com/ckindel/. A whole bunch of my colleagues will be posting great technical information here as well!
Head to http://developer.windowsphone.com right NOW and download the tools and get started. Let us know what you think.
Dowloading now - hope there are not too many changes to make!
PS Can someone let me know if this runs on a WP7 phone as is?
On this WP7-related page:
Both links in "Developer guides for platform overview and UI guidelines" don't work (they both open "Search microsoft.com" page).
@Pavel Minaev - things are still coming online, they should be working shortly. Keep checking.
Also a question regarding app development on WP7.
In one of the video interviews, it was mentioned that P/Invoke isn't there. Is that just P/Invoke, or is it really any kind of unverifiable code? I.e. will we be able to use /unsafe, unmanaged pointers, LayoutKind.Explicit, and other similar features in WP7 applications - or does it have the same sandbox restrictions as Silverlight apps running in the browser have today?
And the same question for XNA apps.
@Pavel Minaev - Keep in mind that Windows Phone 7 Series isn't Windows Mobile. If you have a sufficently rich managed library you don't need to P/Invoke.
That being said WP7S is managed only. Only certain parties have access to native APIs. Given that WP7S isn't based on Windows Mobile 6 even if you could P/Invoke I wonder if the code you wished to invoke is even present.
I just read on PC Mag that WP7S will officially NOT support multitasking. Tell me it ain't true! I can't buy a device that's just an iPhone knock-off with tiles! I need a minicomputer, like Windows Phone 6.5.
"Given that WP7S isn't based on Windows Mobile 6 even if you could P/Invoke I wonder if the code you wished to invoke is even present."
It's still CE, so I would say likely, yes, it's still there.
I understand that. Note that my question isn't about P/Invoke at all. It's about the use of "unsafe" features of .NET (those that typically involve the /unsafe compiler switch, and the "unsafe" keyword, in C#) - namely, unmanaged pointers & pointer arithmetic, explicit struct layouts, stackalloc etc.
The reason why I'm asking is that all those things can be used to "circumvent" the .NET VM in areas where this may yield a performance benefit. Addressing array elements via unmanaged pointers, for example, avoids array bound checks. Allocating memory via stackalloc, where applicable, avoids the strain on GC, and allows one to tightly control the amount of bytes allocated. And so on. This is an altogether different area from P/Invoke, hence why I feel the need to ask this separately (P/Invoke angle was already covered in the videos, but this wasn't).
I've actually went ahead and tried it in the Express CTP. The "allow unsafe code" checkbox is disabled for both Silverlight and XNA WP7 project properties. It can still be enabled by editing the .csproj file directly, and will permit such code to compile, but it throws VerificationException (with no Message, by the way) at runtime - so I presume the answer is "everything is sandboxed, all code must be verifiable, no unsafe optimization tricks" - but I'd still appreciate a definite confirmation on that.
Thanks for the update. I've just ported one of my Silverlight open source project onto WP7. It works great and can be done without any modification except my custom MouseWheel event handler.
Check this out!
@Pavel Minaev - That graces the boundaries of a somewhat popular misconception. Every build of Windows CE is customized or the device on which it runs. An impact of that customization is that if I'm a system builder I've got some hoice over what funtions will be included in the OS image. So two systems with a Windows Embedded CE based operating system may not have the same functions implemented. On Windows Mobile there's a larger set of functions and functionality that must be present which enables one to know with confidence tht certain functions will always be there. But the set of functions you can always expect o find n other CE derrived images will be smaller.
Silverlight is a tightly sandbox technology and has never supported unsafe features. Silverlight 4 is the first version in which developers are able to begin to reach outside of the Sandbox. XNA on the Zune and Xbox have also been tightly sandbox.
What is the underlying OS for Windows Phone 7? Is it Windows embedded CE 7 (Chelan)? The Silverlight in Windows embedded CE is based on native-code implementation, not managed code. What is the relationship between the Silverlight in WP7 and the Silverlight for Windows embedded CE? Please clarify. Thanks!
I don't want a device that I'm spending several hundred dollars (and up) to be that tightly sandboxed. I want to make it do what I want it to do -- that includes setting an alternate default browser and using an alternate shell. This is the reason I love my Touch Pro 2. So far, the Metro UI is a big ugly disappointment, and the fact that I can't buy, download, or create apps that reach outside the sandbox makes me really not want to spend money on Windows Phone 7.
I do understand why Microsoft made these decisions. But I still think they are too draconian. To me, it would have made more sense to use the historical codebase of Windows Phone 6.5, update the kernel and supporting libraries, and add a polished Silverlight/XNA layer ontop of that, for the same 'experience' they are offering with the Zune Phone / Windows Phone 7. From there, they could add an ability for techie users to break out of the sandbox via a setting deep in the advanced settings... Something like "Windows Phone Classic Support" where I can run one of the millions of 6.5 apps already out there, including stuff that makes unmanaged system-level calls, and has true multitasking support.
But this phone is designed for those who do not want a pocket computer. Those of us that liked the Windows Mobile / Pocket PC concept, well Microsoft raises their collective middle finger to us, despite the amount of cash we've paid for these devices back when the popular media wrote the platform off as a dinosaur.
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