updated 01:00 pm EDT, Mon March 15, 2010
Microsoft shows WP7 dev features at MIX10
Microsoft at its MIX10 developer event detailed some of how app development and sales will work for Windows Phone 7. Confirming that it's based on Silverlight and XNA, the mobile OS will fence off third-party apps from true native code but will give them access to all the key features: it will recognize accelerometers, cameras and multi-touch gestures. WP7 will also mirror iPhone development by using background push notification for those not allowed to multitask and include a general location service that any app can use.
The Windows developer has also made available a preview version of a WP7 development kit that includes Visual Studio 2010, XNA 4.0, Expression Blend and a Windows Phone 7 emulator.
App sales have also changed somewhat. Now called Windows Phone Marketplace, it will have a "panoramic" layout like and focus more on active marketing to help users find apps they normally wouldn't discover. It will still support varied purchasing, including try-before-you-buy and carrier billing.
Early WP7 developers have now signed onboard and include the AP, EA, Foursquare, Namco, Pandora, PopCap, Seesmic, Sling Media and other high-profile developers. These should all have apps ready for the late 2010 OS launch or soon afterwards and points to game development and social networking that have largely been unavailable on Windows Mobile. Many apps, like AP Mobile, will echo Microsoft's own panoramic layout and produce multiple parallel layers, such as being able to view just news or just photos. Others can use custom layouts or integrate directly with Xbox Live for gaming.
Microsoft is heavily dependent on generating interest at MIX as the company has steadily been losing developers to competing platforms like Android and iPhone. Although thousands of apps exist for Windows Mobile, the existing Marketplace has a much smaller selection as few have wanted to develop or resubmit apps for the new portal.