Microsoft has announced free training days for UK developers looking to make the leap into application programming on the company's Windows Phone mobile platform.
In an effort to boost its development ecosystem, Microsoft is running two days in the UK during which developers will be shown how to build a Windows Phone app from scratch, free of charge.
The move comes as Microsoft tries to push its Windows Phone mobile platform against the market giants Apple and Google, whose own mobile platforms - iOS and Android respectively - have a staggeringly large quantity of developers working on third-party applications.
The plethora of apps even forms a cornerstone of Apple's advertising policy for its iOS product line, with the company proclaiming the existence of 'an app for that' for all manner of common - and uncommon - tasks.
While Windows Phone certainly has its own selection of applications, the quantity is nowhere near that of iOS or Android. Worse, as more developers flock to the two opposing camps, Microsoft is left looking at an ecosystem which is dwarfed by its rivals.
The two training days are being run in London and Manchester, with the hopes of attracting existing developers from alternative mobile platforms as well as hobbyists, enthusiasts, and students. Attendees get a free sketch pad with Windows Phone design guidelines pre-printed and a customised T-shirt, along with the all-important training on development and design of Windows Phone apps.
Attendance is free, with those wishing to attend either the London training day on the 17th of September or the Manchester training day on the 24th of September asked to register ahead of time to ensure there'll be enough room for everyone. The days begin at 09:00 and finish at 18:00.
It's a bold move, and represents a clear desire on Microsoft's part to have Windows Phone enjoy the same level of third-party development as its more popular rivals. More details are available over on the MSDN Blog.