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Summary:

At today’s MIX10 event, Microsoft announced both the development tools and the software partners already on board for Windows Phone 7 Series. Several software title demonstrations show a very mature mobile platform that’s sure to impress when the new devices land later this year.

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Earlier this morning, James shared news on Microsoft’s MIX10 event, currently in progress. MIX10 is a developers conference, but one I’m watching avidly thanks to video streaming from the event — I did have to upgrade my Silverlight plugin to watch, which is a very fitting topic. Silverlight will power the third party applications for Windows Phone 7 Series devices and although I had some doubts when I first heard this, the video demos have started to change my mind.

For instance, there was a Netflix app demo that allowed for live video streaming to the handset. I watch Netflix vids on my PC, which already uses the Silverlight platform — porting it over to mobile devices makes it that much easier for these service types on the go. Another example is the Graphic.ly comic-book software. Combining Silverlight with hardware acceleration enables fast, hardware deep-zooming when enjoying the latest comic.

Capabilities and toolsets aren’t the whole story, however. To offer a wide range of software titles, Microsoft needs to court large numbers of third-party developers. Based on the list provided in a press release, Microsoft is off to a good start:

  • The Associated Press
  • Archetype International Inc.
  • AWS Convergence Technologies – WeatherBug
  • Citrix Systems Inc.
  • Clarity Consulting Inc.
  • Cypress Consulting
  • EA Mobile
  • Fandango Inc.
  • Foursquare Labs Inc.
  • frog design inc.
  • Glu Mobile Inc.
  • Graphic.ly,
  • Hudson Entertainment Inc.
  • IdentityMine Inc.
  • IMDb.com Inc.
  • Larva Labs
  • Match.com LLC
  • Matchbox Mobile Ltd.
  • Microsoft Game Studios
  • Namco Networks America Inc.
  • Oberon Media Inc.
  • Pageonce Inc.
  • Pandora Media Inc.
  • Photobucket Inc.
  • PopCap Games Inc.
  • Seesmic
  • Shazam Entertainment Ltd.
  • Sling Media
  • SPB Software Inc.
  • stimulant
  • TeleCommunications Systems Inc.
  • Touchality LLC
  • Vertigo Software Inc.

As I watch the MIX10 event online, I’m seeing more of how Microsoft is courting these development shops. The software development tools are freely available and build on platforms that Windows and Windows Mobile developers are likely familiar with. Even more important however, is the core integration of base services available to developers. Apps can access location data, use the Microsoft Notification push service for apps that aren’t running, or leverage the camera and microphone. In short, I’m seeing and hearing about development frameworks that open up the device potential in ways similar to the Android and iPhone platforms, to name a few. That’s exactly what Microsoft needs to do to maintain relevance in this space. MIX10 is only just beginning and there’s still many questions about Windows Phone 7 to be answered — but so far, so good from where I’m standing.

 

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Mobile OSes Are No Longer Just About Mobile

  1. GoodThings2Life Monday, March 15, 2010

    Very nice. Very nice indeed! :)

  2. No mention of Tomtom or other GPS turn by turn navigation, that’s a deal breaker.

    1. These were just initial partners at the first developer conference for the new platform — not the only software shops that will have apps for Windows Phone 7 devices once they hit. It’s way to early to say that certain apps or titles are missing and will be a “deal breaker.” ;)

      1. But it’s also far too early to say if any of the announced partners will have anything available (other than perhaps a web site that you can view with the built-in browser) once Series 7 devices hit the market. Having been involved with events like this in the past, all I can say is it didn’t take much to make this list.

        This far out, we’re still in wait-and-see-mode. Most of the vendors listed above are in that mode too.

  3. MS is off to a pretty good start. In the past I’ve been critical of their mobile strategy. Let’s hope MS can make Silverlight work better on phones than Adobe has demonstrated with Flash.

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