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Windows Phone 7 Dev Kit Nears Release

Microsoft promises "best in our history" development platform for its slick new mobile OS.
With the debut of its Windows Phone 7 operating system, Microsoft has essentially restarted from scratch when it comes to mobile device platforms.

Unlike its predecessor, Windows Mobile, the new OS makes a break from the desktop versions of the Windows family, opting for a new interface paradigm that rejects static icons in favor of always-on apps that display live content from office tools and social networks.

While Microsoft's decision to effectively end its efforts to jam a PC onto a mobile phone have helped the company recapture some buzz in the market, it also means Windows Mobile developers are going to need new tools to build apps for the Windows Phone 7 environment.

Microsoft said a new mobile development platform is, in fact, on the way, adding that details would be released at its upcoming MIX10 developers conference, March 15-17 in Las Vegas.

"Developers are already speculating about the app platforms and tools," wrote Microsoft's Eric Urban, in a blog post Wednesday. "All I can tell you is that we are going big at MIX10," wrote Urban.

"I will proudly say that we are about to launch a very compelling mobile development platform—arguably the best in our history," Urban said, without providing further details.

Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 7 Monday at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona. Early feedback has been generally positive, with tech bloggers and pundits gushing over its sleek, minimalist touch-screen interface that, among other things, offers instant Facebook updates.

Microsoft said devices based on Windows Phone 7 will hit the market in time for the 2010 holiday season.

Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC, HP, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba, and Qualcomm have all committed to producing cell phones based on the software, Microsoft said.

And AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless, Vodafone, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, and Telstra are among the network providers who are on board.

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