MS boosts Windows 7 Mobile development

Microsoft has unveiled a batch of developer tools for its Windows Phone 7 mobile software platform.

The software monopolist also released a new iteration of its Silverlight software, presently in candidate build, which the company reckons will play a major role in its new smartphone operating system.

Microsoft hopes the Windows Phone 7 platform will enable developers to produce applications, using Silverlight for "rich" apps and the XNA framework for games. Testing and debugging of the software can be carried out through an emulator,

In a statement, Scott Guthrie, VP at Microsoft, said: "By extending our familiar platform technologies and tools to phones, Microsoft is delivering the premier application development experience across a variety of devices and form factors.”

Amongst the developers’ tools Microsoft is punting are the Windows Phone 7 Series Emulator for application testing, Expression Blend 4.0 for designers, XNA Game Studio 4.0, and Visual Studio 2010.

Microsoft also showed off its own version of Apple's highly-successful App Store in the form of the Windows Phone Marketplace. Microsoft said the Marketplace now features active merchandising to increase the "discoverability" of games and applications, and supports one-time credit card purchases, mobile operator billing and advertising-funded applications.