Windows Phone 7 Comes Home

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Windows Phone 7 Comes Home

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After an early release in the UK, Europe, and beyond; Microsoft brings the Windows Phone 7 platform back home to the US with the first handsets now available for purchase.  The first three models available today include the HTC HD7 for T-Mobile, HTC Surround for AT&T, and Samsung Focus for AT&T.  Some savvy buyers have already found bargain prices for these handsets as well.

Each of today's three available WP7 handsets can be purchased in the US for $199.99 at the Microsoft online store.  Prices can go lower on the Dell Mobility website (down to $149.99) and on Amazon Wireless (down to $99).  Like most discount phone prices, these prices require the purchase of new service plans.  

The HTC 7 Surround is an interesting model with a slideout speaker and a stand.

The LG Quantum, which has a 3.5 inch sliding screen, is available for delivery in 8-9 days according to Amazon.  The 4.1 inch Dell Venue Pro (for T-Mobile) should also be available either today or sometime this week. 

Microsoft also announced that WP7 Application Submission is now fully open.  The App Hub is now opened to the worldwide developer community.  The application acceptance process takes 3-5 days, and the step-by-step submission process can be seen here.  Beta developers who had accounts at developer.windowsphone.com will be automatically migrated to App Hub.  

Finally, Microsoft recently unleashed some new updates for WP7 development:

  • Windows Phone Capability Detection Tool – Detects the phone capabilities used by your application. When you submit your application to Windows Phone Marketplace , Microsoft performs a code analysis to detect the phone capabilities required by your application and then replaces the list of capabilities in the application manifest with the result of this detection process. This tool performs the same detection process and allows you to test your application using the same list of phone capabilities generated during the certification process. For more information, see How to: Use the Capability Detection Tool.
  • Windows Phone Connect Tool – Allows you to connect your phone to a PC when Zune® software is not running and debug applications that use media APIs. For more information, see How to: Use the Connect Tool.
  • Updated Bing Maps Silverlight Control – Includes improvements to gesture performance when using Bing™ Maps Silverlight® Control.
  • Free eBook on Programming Windows Phone 7 -  This eBook has had a couple of draft releases since MIX10 and is now available in final complete form.  The book is written by Charles Petzold and goes into a lot of depth on programming for both Silverlight and XNA for Windows Phone 7.  Download it and enjoy!

For more info on the release of Windows Phone 7, check out the Launch Day details.

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