Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Dev Tools Released

Earlier this month, Microsoft released the Windows Phone 7 OS to handset manufacturers. Now the final versions of the free Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools for building Silverlight and XNA applications are available for download—just weeks before the first devices are expected at retail.

Today's RTW is English only. French, German, Italian and Spanish versions of the tooling are slated for release in the next few weeks, according to Microsoft.

Developers who intend to market their apps in the Windows Phone 7 marketplace will need to use the final versions of the tooling to receive app certification, explained Brandon Watson, Microsoft director of developer experience for Windows Phone 7, in the Windows Phone Developer blog. The certification process is expected to take about five days, he said.

Available as a single download, the Windows Phone Developer Tools consist of Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, the Windows Phone Emulator, Expression Blend for Windows Phone, Silverlight 4 Tools for Visual Studio and XNA Game Studio 4.0. A Phone Registration Tool is also included as part of the download for unlocking physical devices for app testing and deployment. The Window Phone 7 Developer Tools are compatible with Visual Studio 2010 and require Windows 7 or Windows Vista.

This release of Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools adds support for two Silverlight for Windows Phone controls with associated Visual Studio project templates: the Panorama user interface design (formerly codenamed Metro) and Pivot data applications. The Bing Maps control, which is also supported, comes with a free commercial license for Windows Phone apps.

Separately, Microsoft is making six Silverlight controls available on CodePlex under the MS-PL license in the Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit. The controls consist of a GestureListener (Tap, DoubleTap, Hold, Drag, Flick and Pinch), DatePicker, TimePicker, ContextMenu, WrapPanel and ToggleSwitch.

Microsoft Senior Technical Evangelist John Papas offers some details on the out-of-band Silverlight for Windows Phone controls in his blog.

"Once you download the bits and add a reference to the assemblies, you are ready to go. The key assembly containing the Toolkit controls Microsoft.Phone.Controls.Toolkit.dll," he explained.

An RTM refresh of the Windows Phone 7 Training Kit for Developers, which offers step-by-step tutorials of Windows Phone programming concepts is also available. The latest training kit adds five labs, bringing the total to 12, according to Microsoft. The Silverlight labs and XNA Framework labs are available together, or as separate downloads.

With the first commercial Windows Phone 7 devices expected in October, the push for mobile applications is on. Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president for Microsoft's Developer Division, offered more details about the final tools release in his blog and links to multiple developer resources and sample applications from Twitter, Netflix, Travelocity, among others.

"We have had hundreds of thousands of downloads of the development tool previews – and are already seeing some awesome applications being built for the Windows Phone 7 launch," Guthrie said.

Download the final version of the Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools here.

The Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone 7, which allows developers to integrate ads from the Microsoft Ad Exchange for Mobile into apps for monetization is also available for download today.

About the Author

Kathleen Richards is the editor of and executive editor of Visual Studio Magazine.