As Microsoft approaches its fall Windows Phone 7 launch, its evangelists are working overtime to try to build momentum for the platform.
Microsoft officials are announcing on August 23 that there have been 300,000-plus downloads of the beta of the Windows Phone 7 developer tools
to date. They said the final version of the tools will be out September 16, but stressed that those interested in writing games and applications using the XNA Framework and Silverlight don’t need to wait for the final.
“Of course, the final tools will have some minor breaking changes from the Beta tools, so developers may have to fix some bugs which arise,” acknowledged Brandon Watson, a Director in Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business, in a new post to the Windows Phone Developer blog
. “The final tools will also include several highly requested Silverlight controls which will make it even easier for developers to deliver high quality Windows Phone 7 experiences. Also in the September 16th final release, the panorama, pivot and Bing maps controls will all be available to drop into applications,” Watson added.
The latest version of the Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools beta, released in July
, included test builds of Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, Windows Phone Emulator, Silverlight for Windows Phone, Expression Blend for Windows Phone and XNA Game Studio 4.0
, for those who haven’t bumped into him at various Microsoft shows and events, is the guy who heads up Windows Phone developer marketing and field and sales readiness for developer engagements. He formerly worked on the technical marketing team for Server and Tools, focusing on developer platforms for Windows Azure and .Net. (He’s also founded a company that developed online-safety solutions for kids, and was a principal with Soros Private Equity Partners, in between his stints at Microsoft.)