Windows Phone 7 to offer both Silverlight and XNA development

A week after Microsoft formally announced the forthcoming release of Windows Phone 7 at the Mobile World Congress event, the software giant remains mum on what the new platform means for developers, promising their questions will be answered at its MIX event taking place in Las Vegas next month. In the meantime, documentation is already beginning to leak, presumably from Microsoft's OEM partners, and the details indicate that WinPhone 7 development will rely almost exclusively on managed code--Microsoft will enable developers to write their apps in two frameworks, one based on Silverlight (its cross-platform .NET environment rivaling Adobe Flash and Adobe AIR) and the other based on its XNA gaming platform.

"In addition to the standard Windows Phone Application Platform that will be publicly available to all developers, partner applications will have access to an extended set of managed APIs and a limited set of native APIs," reads one leaked Microsoft document. "The extended managed APIs are meant to support extending the phone experience with functionality that is specific to a phone or network. This set of APIs  supports functionality such as camera mode extensibility. Access to native APIs is limited to a defined subset that is driven by partner needs, and adherence to that subset will verified during application submission." Microsoft adds the requirements of OEMs and mobile operators "necessitate the exposure of added functionality."

Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and Microsoft Expression Blend are the primary tools for developing applications for Windows phones, the documentation continues. "Microsoft Visual Studio, combined with phone-specific tools like a Windows phone emulator, provides an excellent environment for defining, designing, debugging and deploying applications," it reads. "Expression Blend helps you design and create compelling user interfaces."

Microsoft also emphasizes the growing role on cloud computing in the Windows Phone 7 ecosystem. "This platform is designed to support the 3 Screens + the Cloud world that consumers live in... The 3 Screens + the Cloud concept covers the screens consumers are using--Phone, PC, TV--all equally important and all tied together by the Cloud, which connects all the relevant information together, providing users with all the information they need as they move from device to device. Common user experiences make it easy to move between devices, and a common development platform makes it easy to develop applications for all the device types."

For more on the Windows Phone 7 documentation:
- read this article

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