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March 21, 2011

New phones, new apps, and an app-iversary

There’s a flurry of news to report today: a new Windows Phone on the way from AT&T, the first CDMA-compatible phone goes on sale at Sprint, our popular app-making tools turn one, and Microsoft shows off some hot new apps this week in Orlando.

Two new phones join the family

Yesterday, Sprint started selling the first Windows Phone handset, the HTC Arrive. If you haven’t seen this phone yet, definitely take a look. The $199 handset—the first on a CDMA network—features a cool metallic design and slide-out keyboard that’s already drawing kudos from reviewers.

Meanwhile AT&T today announced it will be adding a new model, the HTC HD7S, to its popular lineup of Windows Phone handsets.

The HD7S, expected to arrive in the coming weeks, is aimed especially at people who love movies and videos. The phone features an eye-popping 4.3-inch super LCD touchscreen and a built-in kickstand that basically turns any tabletop into a mini-movie theater.

It’s also ideal for making impromptu home movies. The phone’s 5-megapixel camera records pristine 720p high-definition video, and sports autofocus and a dual LED flash.

The HD7S—which comes preloaded with popular AT&T apps including U-Verse Mobile, Navigator, and Family Map—joins AT&T’s three other popular Windows Phones models: the Samsung Focus, HTC Surround, and LG Quantum.

The HTC HD7S, coming soon to AT&T, features a 4.3-inch super LCD touchscreen that's great for watching movies.

The HTC HD7S, coming soon to AT&T, features a built-in kickstand designed for watching movies easier.


It’s official: 10,000 apps

As I mentioned last week in my column, there’s been a lot of buzz lately about the Windows Phone Marketplace passing the magic milestone of 10,000 apps, and doing it just 4-odd months after launch—an apparent record.

Everyone here who works on the phone is obviously thrilled. But the credit really goes to all the talented and enthusiastic Windows Phone developers out there—all 30,000 or so of you. Take a bow, everyone! Thanks to your dedication and creativity, phone owners already have some killer apps and games to choose from.

The Marketplace milestone arrived one year (to the week) after Microsoft first unveiled its Windows Phone Developer Tools, at last year’s MIX conference. New to app making? You’ll find the free tools, along with tips and tutorials, at App Hub, our one-stop resource for Windows Phone developers.

And if you’re attending the CTIA Wireless 2011 conference in Orlando this week, stop by the Windows Phone booth (#2410) and enter our new Windows Phone Fast Pitch contest. It’s simple: You get 10 minutes to convince our judges that your app is the next runaway hit. If they buy your story, you could win up to $30,000-worth of co-development and marketing help to create it.

Coming soon: AccuWeather, New York Times, and more

Meanwhile, great new apps continue to roll in.

At our CTIA booth this week, we’re also previewing hotly-anticipated apps from the New York Times and AccuWeather, as well as showing off new Marketplace arrivals like RunKeeper, a popular app for tracking and measuring workouts.

With Angry Birds, Doodle Jump, and other hit games on the way in the coming months, it’s shaping up to be a fun spring.