Mar 22, 2010

Microsoft speeds up app development with free tools

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

Microsoft has opened up a suite of software tools for the international developers, free, for them to write applications and games for its Windows Phone 7 series of mobile devices that are scheduled to go on sale later this year. The move to speed up application development follows a clear global trend, of growing mobile data consumption and flat revenues per phone user.

As mobile data use becomes ubiquitous, the market for application software is expanding fast. Applications sales are estimated to be worth $17.5 billion by 2012, up from about $ five billion in 2009. Several phone and software companies are opening up their online marketplace to application developers, who now have the opportunity to write ‘apps' that help users do anything from playing games to accessing social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, to booking tickets, tracking flights and listening to music. This they can do for various platforms built by Apple, Google, the upcoming Microsoft Windows Phone 7 series, and others, on different commercial terms.

As it prepares for the coming festival season launch of Windows Phone 7 series mobiles, Microsoft recently announced free access to its main developer tools for phones — Visual Studio 2010, Expression Blend 4 and XNA Game Studio 4. The new phone series provides support for the Silverlight framework of Microsoft, which helps to build rich media applications for business and entertainment on computers, the web and on mobile devices.

Free access to tools were among the highlights at the MIX 10 conference for the developer community held in Las Vegas, the U.S., between March 15 and 17. The guided approach to application development complements Microsoft's decision to define hardware standards for its Windows Phone 7 series devices to be made by leading vendors. By guaranteeing the specifications of a phone belonging to this series, the customer can be sure of performance levels, company executives say.


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