Microsoft has rolled out the software developers kit (SDK) for its Windows Phone 7 series operating system. In fact, Microsoft’s annual MIX10 developer conference, which runs from March 15-17, has produced more information on the new mobile platform than was previously available, including a look at a couple of devices that will run the OS.
The new SDK is free and available now for download by developers. The SDK will give developers immediate access to some key APIs, including accelerometer, location, notifications, video with digital rights management, Internet and streaming information, multitouch, camera and microphone support.
“[Windows Phone 7] was designed to generate incredible opportunities for developers and designers to quickly and easily deliver compelling applications and games. With the best developer tools, an established ecosystem and marketplace, and a path for developers to use their Silverlight and XNA Framework skill sets, we are delivering an application platform that is simple, powerful and inspiring,” said Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president, Windows Phone Program Management, in a keynote.
Microsoft showed off three devices that will run the new OS, including touchscreen devices from Samsung, and Asus, as well as a slider phone from LG.
Microsoft also took the wraps off a new Windows Phone Marketplace. The marketplace features a new panoramic design and supports one-time credit card purchases, mobile operator billing and advertising-funded applications. The marketplace will also enable customers to try applications before buying them and allow developers to cross-promote their applications through deep linking. The marketplace will feature games (which include Xbox Live), applications, music, podcasts and videos.
According to various reports online, Todd Biggs, director of product development for Windows Marketplace for Mobile, told reporters that Microsoft will take an Apple-like approach to its distribution of apps for Windows Phone 7 devices. Apps will only be available through the Windows Marketplace, and certain guidelines will need to be met in order to receive approval for the app to go on sale.
It’s been a tough road recently for Windows Mobile, as Microsoft has to scramble to preserve its relevance in a smartphone market that is increasingly dominated by Android and iPhone. Recent AdMob metrics show that WinMo lost more than 75 percent of its monthly market share in 2009.