According to the twitter rumor mill, certificates for free Windows Phone 7 devices are being handed out to select attendees at this year’s Tech-Ed North America in New Orleans (to be accurate 50 of them, according to Brandon Watson).
Looking past some of the grumbling from a few MIX10 attendees who feel they should have gotten a shot at the phones (we all got free Azure t-shirts left in our hotel rooms, didn’t we?), this is very exciting news. It suggests that a large number of Windows Phone devices are ready and will soon become available to WP7 developers.
<hypothetical>WP7 DEVICES for Phone application developers will soon be generally – more or less — AVAILABLE! Woohoo!</hypothetical>
For the past month or so I’ve been peering at these devices over the shoulders of Microsoft evangelists. At MIX I surreptitiously saw one hanging out of the pocket of a project manager on the Phone team. I don’t think I even saw one at the MVP Summit in February.
So how does one get one’s hands on the upcoming series of phones for developers? I have no hard information, but a good bet is to sign up for the Windows Phone Marketplace.
It’s $99 for a year – a very good price if you plan to develop Windows Phone applications in time for the Holiday launch later this year. And if, by chance, that registration puts you on a list to potentially get a WP7 device – well that’s just gravy, isn’t it?
The big message I’m hearing, though, is that you should really come up with a great idea for a phone app before asking for a phone. Microsoft isn’t looking to hand out phones so you can, only at that point, start thinking about what you might want to build. That would be putting the cart before the handheld device.
Our far-flung correspondent from self-promotion land writes:
I received an invitation this past week to speak at DevLink. I will be presenting on two topics:
The C# 4 Dynamic Objects session will be a longer version of the talk I gave at the MVP Summit in February. The Advanced Windows Phone 7 talk is one I find I am updating every few weeks as more tools and information about the platform become available.
DevLink is a three day conference being held in Nashville, August 5-7.
Shortly after the announcement at MIX that the Windows Phone Developer Tools were available for download, a free e-book by Charles Petzold on developing for Windows Phone showed up on the Internet. You can download it from his site here. It includes six chapters from the book and, from what I’ve read so far, is great. The XPS I downloaded is 156 pages – so it is quite a bit more than a tease.
The book begins in Petzold’s characteristically off-center and brilliant style:
“This is a short draft preview of a much longer ebook that will be completed and published later this year. That later edition will be brilliantly conceived, exquisitely structured, elegantly written, delightfully witty, and refreshingly free of bugs, but this draft preview is none of that. It is very obviously a work-in-progress that was created under an impossible timeframe while targeting quickly evolving software.”
Scott Guthrie announced at the MIX10 keynote this morning that the Developer Tools for Wndows Phone Series 7 are now available for download. You can get the tools here at http://developer.windowsphone.com/windows-phone-7-series/.
Silverlight 4 for the Visual Studio 2010 RC and the Expression Blend Beta are also now available here on www.silverlight.net.
Mr. Guthrie (AKA ‘The Gu’) also announced that Blend 4 will be a free upgrade for licensed owners of Blend 3, which is fantastic news.
The final release for all of these will occur in a month – one assumes it will coincide with the Visual Studio 2010 release on April 12.