Last call for earlybird apps on Windows Phone 7

With less than a week to the launch of Windows Phone 7, developers have until today to register if they want to get their apps in early to the forthcoming Windows Phone marketplace.

According to a blog post by Todd Brix, Microsoft's senior director for mobile platform services, the company's Windows Phone Developer Tools have been downloaded more than half a million times in more than 200 countries.

Having fluffed its first big mobile launch of the year, when the ill-fated Kin handset spectacularly failed to make an impression with teenagers in the US, Microsoft is throwing all the hyperbole it can at the new release, promising apps aimed at "getting people from 'what if' to 'wow' as quickly as possible".

And that includes what sounds suspiciously like a dig at Apple's notoriously restrictive approach to app certification, Brix trumpeted the "fair and transparent policies that we use to govern app certification remain intact", and promised the new marketplace would be "the industry's best shopping experience".

The new marketplace also promises a separate beta channel that will allow developers to dish out privately apps for testing via Microsoft's online outlet.

Brix pledged to get its earlybird, fast-track developers' apps up on the site at or around the time the mobile OS is launched on 11th November, with the rest of the developer community getting a look-in by November, with self-service app submission and improved tools to enable developers to find out how their apps are faring with the public.

What won't be quite so fast-track, though, is payment - developers shouldn't plan on seeing the first financial fruits of their labours until next February.