Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta Released

Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta Released

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First things first: go get the Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta. It has arrived!

The term “Beta” is understood to mean that things are close to being finished.  Well, that’s what we mean anyway. This Beta release represents the near final version of the tools for building applications and games for Windows Phone 7. 

Since the initial CTP release of the tools just this March, the Windows Phone Developer Tool CTP has been widely embraced by the community, and they have shown what’s possible on our new development platform.

It’s time to get serious about building the actual apps and games for Windows Phone 7 that consumers will be looking for starting this holiday season.

One of the things I really want to do is just take a step back and congratulate the entire Windows Phone 7 team.  They have done an amazing job of delivering code month after month on our path to releasing later this year.  Check out this timeline:

  • Feb 2010 – Windows Phone 7 was unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
  • Mar 2010 – The application platform was unveiled at MIX 10 in Las Vegas.  With that, we had the first CTP of the Windows Phone Developer Tools.
  • Apr 2010 – The tools received an updated, and the CTP Refresh shipped.
  • Jun 2010 – Windows Phone Marketplace details unveiled at TechEd 2010.  Get the Windows Phone 7 Application Certification Requirements.
  • July 2010 – Beta release of Windows Phone Developer Tools, and the preview developer phones start shipping to ISVs

Whew! The Windows Phone engineering team has been crushing it.

Here’s a link to the release notes for the beta, but I wanted to talk about a few top level items:

  • 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 – we’re 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.

Get Trained – Windows Phone 7 Jump Start

Windows Phone 7 JumpStart is a FREE virtual live class for developers interested in developing applications and games for Windows Phone 7.  We’re providing this in partnership with our MS Learning team. 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

Go register for the course now!

Devices for Developers

We made a promise last month that we would be getting pre-production preview devices to developers this month. We are keeping that promise. In fact, the very first preview devices were awarded last week to a pair of pretty amazing high-school students who won the Windows Phone “Rockstar” contest as part of the Imagine Cup. When we saw what they had done, we knew we had to get them preview phones.

Starting next Monday (July 19th), we start shipping the devices more broadly. Sadly, we will not be able to meet all of that demand.  We are planning 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. More on that soon.

Lastly, to get your name in the queue, assuming you haven’t already sent in an email, you can now send an email to wp7req@microsoft.com.  A field representative will get back to you as soon as possible. Again, these are preview phones, so they are limited in quantity. When you send email, please include the following information:

  • Your name
  • Company name, if applicable
  • What city/state/country you are located in
  • App(s) you plan on developing (category and brief description)

Twitter

At some point, we had to mention Twitter, right? We strongly encourage developers establish a connection with their local field evangelist, since they will be the ones ultimately putting phones into the hands of developers, but they can also point you in the right direction for solving problems, get you connected to other partners, and generally help out. To make it easier to get to know your local evangelist, we’ve set up this list - wp7dev/champs (http://twitter.com/wp7dev/champs).

You can also follow other members of the team based on their area of coverage:

In Closing

This is a big milestone for everyone involved in Windows Phone 7 – inside and outside of Microsoft - and we hope you share in our excitement. With the Beta release of the tools, developers can build apps with a “ship it” mentality. There have already been so many amazing apps shown running on the emulator, and a lucky few who have been able to deploy to the phones at our developer events. We’re blown away by the early look at the apps, all of the sharing in the community, the blogging, and the screenshots. There’s a huge team of people here in Redmond who are all watching for new content tagged with “wp7dev” or “Windows Phone 7 Development.” It’s not uncommon for links to get passed around with a “wow, check out what these guys did!”  Keep it up, and keep the faith.

21 Comments
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  • HaBiL
    1 Posts

    Great news.. let's get start  developing ..

  • Wrappers for Windows Phone 7 SDK that work with Windows XP SP3 for Educationists, wonderful developers who dont have access to Windows 7 Operating system would be highly beneficial in learning fast the features of this new exciting platform

  • At first the installation failed because it could not download the emulator. When that fixed I have uninstalled and installed the new tools and it worked like a charm.  

    One question though: I am developer from Israel and could not register as a developer on the Marketplace. What should I do to be able to publish my apps? When do you intend to enable Israel in the list of countries?

    Thanks.

  • khalil
    2 Posts

    what about supporting RTL languages like arabic and hebrew ?... is it will be avaliable in the released version ?

  • I'm really excited to see the mobile stuff coming from Microsoft lately. For a while, I was seriously worried that the company, in response to severely lagging mobile market share, was going to decide to abandon mobile altogether and focus on the cloud and the desktop.  But it looks like that isn't going to happen and I super excited to see something that really competes with the iPhone UI.

  • falven
    4 Posts

    Looking forward to the free training, again, awesome job!

  • same problem installing here. running vm_web.exe always presented me with: "Visual Studio setup cannot run in compatibility mode..."

  • Press the Pause/Break button on the keyboard to switch between the Software Keyboard and the Hardware Keyboard.

    For C++ apps, you need to re-write the code as C#, and use XAML for the UI.

    And a question of mine.  Will Microsoft consider releasing some application templates or theme packs for third-parties to use in building apps.  This may encourage people to work on apps, even if they are not keen on the WONDERFUL Metro UI.  I am sure someone will come up with an iPhone and Android theme pack, to help people recreate existing apps.

  • Any chance to add support for using the keyboard for input while debugging in the emulator? Developing apps will not be joyful if I have to use the onsceen keyboard every time.

  • Hi Brandon, great news! Do you have any timeframe to release a vb.net version of the project templates for wp7?

  • A question:

    How can I port a C++ program for Windows 7 Pro to Windows Phone 7?

  • Great tools !!!!

    Starting building apps for...hmmm.uhhhh...hmm....ok never mind.Great tools :)

  • Does Microsoft still have the chance on overtaking Java and other technologies in the Mobile area? because as for now (according to Wikipedia), Microsoft is the weakest as far as it concerns the Mobile zone.

    I do give a chance! because I love XAML, Visual Studio and Expression Studio. And this is what they really, but really don't have (Eclipse? Emacs? o c'mon gimme a break, vs is zillion types better, and even i hate the fact that it cost like an arm. for most users Express version is enough.

    I think there should of been an Expression Studio Express version as well, then Microsoft surely takes over.

    With all due respect to google's products, the App Inventor of Google's Android is bs against VS.

  • roteague
    26 Posts

    If you are going to provide the Beta, please at least make a way to uninstall the CTP. Gee, did anyone over there actually even test the install process? Please tell me why I have to install XNA studio when I'm running the "UNINSTALL" process. This whole WP7 phone tool install has not been up to the standards I expect of Microsoft since the beginning of the project.

  • @Simon - We expect to have the offline docs updated within the week to match the beta docs online.

  • phenry
    4 Posts

    I whipped up a quick blog on what you'll experience with the WP7 beta install.  Only one small hiccup IMHO, rather smooth otherwise.

    www.pchenry.com/.../Default.aspx

  • Great stuff from what I've seen so far.  Great work also updating the samples and expanding them for more coverage

    Back to work updating tutorials now ;-)

    Although the local help seems to have been broken in the update, not a biggie since the online stuff is still the best resource.

  • While I'm happy that Pivot and Panorama are coming, there are other controls (date and time pickers at the very least) that you'll need to provide if WP7 apps are to have a consistent UI that has people comfortable as they move from one app to another. I don't like to be whiney, but Microsoft really should have eaten some of their own dogfood and implemented the Settings dialogs (at least) in Silverlight: it would've been an incentive to create those controls early on.

  • The changes made in Expression Blend alone for this beta release are astounding.  I have only one minor issue.  There is no automatic support for the rotation effect which almost all the native touch controls feature as you hold your finger press down and move your finger.

    Will Microsoft consider releasing a behaviour which can be dragged and dropped or applied to the controls to support these nice touches, or a property option on the controls or app level to turn these "blessed" effects as Peter Torr referred to them as, on and off for silverlight apps?

  • Any way we can access the courses after the specified live time? As in, if we aren't available at that time?

  • Seems like there's still issues with uninstalling CTPs. Where's the updated cleanup utility?