Windows Phone 7 Launch Today

Windows Phone 7 Launch

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving today, which means it’s a day off here, but it’s a regular working day for our American neighbours, and it’s the day that a lot of big announcements about Windows Phone 7 get made at an event in New York City.

As Mary Jo Foley points out in her article on today’s event, today is about announcements and not about phones hitting shelves, but the day when you can go buy a WP7 phone isn’t far off. You’ll find out more about the phone today starting at 9:30 a.m. Eastern, and I believe a lot of your questions will be answered. (And if you have questions, you can always ask us, either here on the blog or in person at the various TechDays, Coffee and Codes or other opportunities to have a face-to-face chat with us.)

I think you’ll find that Windows Phone represents a tremendous opportunity for phone app developers and designers. Consider that:

  • Gorgeous design. In starting from the ground up and redesigning what it means to be a Microsoft Phone, the WP7 team came up with a design that isn’t just “me too”. Even Jon Gruber, the ultimate fanboy for the Esteemed Competition, says it’s really nice.
  • It’s early in the game. The phone app market for WP7 is a new one, and it’s your chance to make your mark and shape the app market with your ideas, designs and coding skills.
  • You’re working with great developer tools. Even the most die-hard fanboys of the Esteemed Competition grudgingly acknowledge that Visual Studio is a great IDE. Combined with Expression Blend, you’ve got a killer combo for developing, designing and debugging phone apps.
  • It’s not just great developer tools, but great frameworks. First, there’s the .NET framework, which gives you a big library with loads of built-in functionality. Then there’s the fact that you have not just one, but two app frameworks! You have Silverlight, for more “application”-like app development with controls and an event-driven model, and XNA for game development with its game loop programming model.
  • Windows Phone Marketplace. It’s your chance to directly sell apps to customers, and it’s straightforward. The rules for submitting apps and what is and isn’t an acceptable app are spelled out clearly. If your app isn’t accepted, you’ll know why. Telling this stuff to app developers is such a crazy idea that it might catch on!
  • Here’s something that we need to point out: You are important. As developers, you shouldn’t feel like pseudo-competitors who are barely tolerated by the people behind the phone platform. You should feel like a key part of Windows Phone 7, because you are! WP7 doesn’t happen without you. Your creativity, hard work and passion as app developers is as much a feature as anything else that goes into WP7. What you do is our best feature!

Keep an eye on the announcements coming out today, and if you have any questions, ask away in the comments!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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