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Windows Phone Marketplace Developer Newsletter from Microsoft




Microsoft Nokia Strategic Partnership

Last week we announced a strategic partnership with Nokia. With this partnership, Nokia will adopt Windows Phone 7 as its primary Smartphone Operating System. This alliance will dramatically increase the customer base for Windows Phone 7 and, by extension your apps and games. For more details on what this deal means for you, check out our Windows Phone Developer blog. And for more information about the partnership, please go to Microsoft News Center.



Windows Phone 7 Announcements

Last month at CES, we announced that we would be delivering a series of Windows Phone 7 updates that would reflect the feedback we have been receiving from customers and partners to improve the products we deliver.
We will soon deliver an update that will include copy and paste functionality and significant performance improvements when loading or switching between applications, in addition to several other enhancements. We have also been working hard to extend the reach of Windows Phone 7. As announced earlier, Sprint and Verizon will soon offer Windows Phone 7 to their customers.
Last week at the MWC, our CEO Steve Ballmer revealed that we will release a significant update to Windows Phone 7 later this year. The update will include several changes, but the most noteworthy for Windows Phone 7 users are the addition of multitasking, Twitter integration with the People Hub, the support of Internet Explorer 9 and HTML5 on the phone, and a broader connectivity to our Skydrive.
If you are interested in learning more about this next major update and how to take advantage of the new platform and service capabilities, please join us at MIX April 12-14 in Las Vegas.

More Free App Submissions

During the past months we have been working hard to improve our overall Windows Phone Marketplace experience based on the feedback we received from you and our partners. We heard from many of you that you wanted a higher limit on the maximum number of free apps you could submit for free.
We’ve heard you and are pleased to announce that we‘ve increased that limit from 5 to 100.
If you’re having trouble submitting your free apps, please contact support.

Technical Certification Requirement Update

Another common feedback we heard from you, was about the technical requirement to include support contact information to your apps. While we strongly believe that apps which include support contact information are more likely to receive favorable ratings and valuable feedback from users, we decided to change this to a highly recommended practice. You can now choose whether to include support contact information to your apps.
Thanks for your feedback and support.

Windows Phone Developer Tools January Update Now Available

As announced earlier this month, the Windows Phone Developer Tools January 2011 Update is now available. The January Update is comprised of two files: one that updates the Windows Phone runtime files, and a second for Visual Studio. It also includes updated reference assemblies, a new version of the Windows Phone OS emulator image, and several minor bug fixes in addition to those previously released as part of the October 2010 update.
Download the January Update here and test your apps with the new Windows Phone emulator!
For more information visit the Windows Phone Developer blog.

Windows Phone 7 Handsets Available for Developers

We are pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with Zones.com, our handset OEMs, and mobile operator partners to offer you phones that do not require a voice or data contract. The phones are still carrier-locked (varies by region), but you can now head over to Zones.com to purchase a Windows Phone 7 for your development purposes. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to our partner’s site: http://www.zones.com/windowsphonedeveloperpurchase.
  2. Pick the phone you want to use (note: these devices are carrier-locked, based on region).
  3. Complete the site’s check-out process.

Please be aware that you will be responsible for all sales taxes and shipping charges.
We have codes for free phones, so don’t be shy about reaching out to your local field evangelist to show them the app you’re building. Or you can find one of us on twitter @wp7dev.

Give Back to Your User Group Community with Free Telerik Controls and PreEmptive Solution Analytics

Last week, Microsoft announced a partnership with Telerik and PreEmptive Solutions to launch a special offer for Windows Phone Marketplace developers and their developer user groups.
For each eligible app you publish at the Windows Phone Marketplace, Telerik, PreEmptive Solutions, and Microsoft will donate 100 USD to your developer user group. As a Windows Phone Marketplace developer, you can keep the app and make money selling it on Windows Phone Marketplace. You can also use Telerik RadControls and PreEmptive Solutions Runtime Intelligence for free until the end of 2011. Here’s how to participate:

  1. Develop a Windows Phone 7 app using Telerik RadControls for Windows Phone 7 and PreEmptive Solutions Runtime Intelligence for Windows Phone.
  2. Submit your app to the WP7 marketplace.
  3. Ask your user group leader to notify Telerik (usergroupcompetition@telerik.com) of your published application, and the user group will receive 100 USD to toward its annual expenditures. This offer is limited to the first 500 participants based on the timestamp on the email submission to usergroupcompetition@telerik.com.

Go to the Telerik website for more information.

Windows Phone Interoperability Site

The Windows Phone Interoperability site features scenarios designed to help those of you who have been creating phone applications on various platforms to ramp up quickly on the Windows Phone 7 platform.

Check out our Windows Phone Interoperability site.

Top App Design Tips

In our last newsletter we mentioned a new series on the Windows Phone Developer Blog that offers tips with step-by-step advice on common issues that can surface when developing a Windows Phone 7 application. Since then, our Windows Phone Design team has posted two more very useful tips:

  1. Understanding Pivots and Panoramic views.
  2. Make your life easy. Use our common controls, and use them right!

Check out our Windows Phone Developer blog and get all the design tips.
Windows Phone 7 QuickStarts Live
We have published a set of Windows Phone 7 development articles aimed at guiding you through all the fundamentals of WP7 development, starting with "Hello World." The topics are presented in a recommended order for newbies, but they are also designed to be modular, so you can skip around to learn about specific tasks and features. The content uses a lot of code snippets along with screenshots, videos, and even embedded Silverlight to demonstrate how the code behaves.

New Windows Phone Recipes Available Now

Windows Phone recipes are a group of open-source Microsoft Public License (MSPL) projects aimed at helping Windows Phone developers with their Windows Phone applications. The first of the new Windows Phone Recipes is the Windows Push Notification Server Side Helper Library. This library shows you easy ways to send all three kinds of push notification (PN) messages currently supported by Microsoft Push Notification Services (MPNS)—Tile, Toast, and Raw. The main goal is to extract any complexity for sending push notification messages from your website (or web service) to a Windows Phone. You can download the recipe here.

The other new Windows Phone Recipe is the Windows Phone GPS Emulator. This recipe helps developers build applications that rely on the Assisted GPS (aGPS), a functionality that is used by various phone applications including maps, camera, and location-based services. You can download the recipe here.
For more details on the Windows Phone Recipes available to you, visit the Windows Phone Developer blog.
Finally, we published a paper on "Ways to Load Applications Faster". While this is not a recipe, since it does not include real code that you could use, it introduces a set of steps that you can follow to address this issue. You can find more information about this helper library here.

Windows Phone Training Kit Update

We are pleased to announce that we have recently updated the Windows Phone Training Kit. Besides fixing some bugs, we have introduced two brand new labs—Accessing Windows Phone 7 Devices and Multi-touch Game Development XNA Framework. You can download the full kit or just the Silverlight or XNA framework labs. The online training kit was also updated.

Windows Phone 7 Developer Events

  • Want to know where you can find the Windows Phone developer team? Come check us out at the following upcoming events:
    GDC (San Francisco, February 28–March 4): Be sure to visit the Windows Phone 7 developer team in the Lobby Bar at the Moscone Center. They’ll be there every day. Get hands on with some of the latest Xbox LIVE games as well as other great apps created by the developer community.
    To learn more, visit GDC Web site.
  • SXSW (Austin, March 11–15): Swing by the Interactive Lounge and see what’s new with Windows Phone. Also be sure to check out our SXSW app. You’ll be able to get all the up-to-the minute information on the happenings throughout the show.
    For more information, visit http://sxsw.com/interactive.
  • MIX (Las Vegas, April 12–14): See the latest tools and technologies and draw inspiration from a professional community of your peers and experts. The Windows Phone 7 developer team will be onsite sharing the latest and most relevant information. And we’ll answer all your burning questions.
    To learn more, visit MIX.

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