Ahead of the early October launch, Microsoft still has a lot of work to do. First, it is putting the finishing touches on the WP7 software developer kit. The final version -- which will include new tools for developers -- will be made available starting September 16. Microsoft said that the final tool set will allow developers to finish and test their applications for WP7 devices before submitting them to the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Microsoft is concurrently prepared to trial the app submission and approval process for the Marketplace. Microsoft insists -- in thinly veiled language -- that it will do a better job than Apple at approving applications in a timely manner and with clear visibility of the process.
It said, "We’re also taking additional steps to make sure that the developer experience with Windows Phone Marketplace is even more friendly and intuitive. The Windows Phone Marketplace continues our commitment to having a clear and open process for certifying apps and games."
Microsoft was sure to boast about how developers are excited for the WP7 platform launch and developing applications for it. "These first six months have affirmed that a rich application platform based on the well understood Silverlight and XNA technologies, combined with great free tools based on Visual Studio 2010 and Expression Blend is the right approach for enabling developers and designers of all skill levels who are looking to capitalize on the opportunities presented by Windows Phone 7. Throughout the process, the developer community has continued to astound us with their creative ideas. Their use of the unique Windows Phone 7 features - like our design system, Live tiles, and location and notifications services - demonstrate that the experiences a developer can build on Windows Phone 7 match their imaginations."
According to Microsoft its initial set of developer tools has been downloaded over 300,000 times. That means a lot of developers are at least taking a look at what Microsoft is offering.
The Marketplace is launching in six or seven weeks, so time is running short. What's interesting is that Microsoft hasn't announced when Windows Phone 7 will actually launch. The initial launch of the Marketplace will be for app submissions. Microsoft didn't say if it expects to reach a specific number of apps before the store opens to actual customers.
The early October launch of the Marketplace also implies that Windows Phone 7 itself might launch shortly thereafter.