Its not the RTM version of Windows Phone 7 that we were hoping for, but the new beta now available is pretty close, usually meaning the software is now feature-locked and it is simply a matter of working out all the bugs.
The new version of the tools contain:
- Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone Beta
- Windows Phone Emulator Beta
- Silverlight for Windows Phone Beta
- XNA Game Studio 4.0 Beta
Some major changes include:
- Microsoft Expression Blend for Windows Phone â€“ Blend is now integrated completely into the Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta.
- Developer Registration Utility â€“ Now you can unlock you Windows Phone 7 device for development purposes.
- XAP Deployment Tool â€“ if you want to deploy XAP files directly to an unlocked device, now you can.
- The Windows Phone 7 API â€“ weâ€™re getting close to completion. Many namespaces that were previously distributed over several different DLLs have now been consolidated into one. In addition, there have been realignments and changes in several other namespaces as well. Push Notifications, Accelerometer and App Bar APIs have all been updated.
- Additional Controls â€“ There are some additional controls coming in the next few weeks (i.e. Panorama and Pivot) which didnâ€™t make the beta release. They are coming soon.
- Control Templates â€“ Silverlight for Windows Phone control templates have been updated to match evolutions in the overall OS.