“Phone Developers, Phone Developers, Phone Developers”

Wow, what a day. It’s the end of day one, and I’m sitting here in my room along with Joe, Jeremy, and Hilary, our Microsoft sponsor and we’re all furiously typing away on our respective blogs.

Today at MIX 2010 it was all about Windows Phone 7 Series. There were some pretty exciting annoucements made today. First off, Microsoft announced the release of a CTP of the Development Toolkit for Windows Phone 7 series, a new version of Expression Blend is coming with support for Windows Phone 7 design, and Microsoft talked up Silverlight (60% of all PCs have Silverlight installed).

With Windows Phone 7 Series on the way later this year, Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President, gave the first “deep dive” around development for Windows Phone 7. Microsoft is taking more ownership and control over Windows Phone 7 than they have in the past with previous versions of their mobile OS. It was mentioned that Microsoft will be allowing OEMs to create Windows Phone devices that are only made in two different screen resolutions. The first being WVGA (800×480) and the second being HVGA (480×320). All Windows Phone 7 Series devices will be required to contain the following features.

    • GPS, Accelerometer, Compass, Light and Proximity sensors
    • 5 megapixel or more camera, flash required, and a hardware button to access the camera will be required
    • 256MB or more of RAM, and 8+ GB of storage
    • DirectX 9 acceleration
    • Mandatory hardware buttons for Start, Search and Back

Microsoft is also “owning” push notifications and location awareness. Microsoft will be providing location and notification services that developers can take advantage of to enable these services within their applications.

The most exciting part of today’s keynote is the release of development tools for Windows Phone 7. The best part is that these tools are and will remain free. In today’s release they provided the following tools.

    • Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone (Note: if you have already have another version of VS installed it will install the Windows Phone portion as an add-in your existing install)
    • XNA Game Studio 4.0
    • Silverlight 4 Release Candidate
    • Expression Blend 4 Beta (Note: This is a separate download (which you can find here). According to Microsoft, the bits didn’t make it in time for inclusion into the broader tool package)

If you are interested in developing for Windows Phone 7 Series, which after seeing all the demos so far I encourage developers to do, head on over to the Windows Phone 7 Series Developer Center and download the bits.

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