From the Windows Phone Developer blog

“Microsoft is partnering with PreEmptive to provide Dotfuscator for Windows Phone for free to developers through March 31st, 2011.  Both companies are committed to working to ensure that come March 2011, there is an affordable (read: less than $10 per month) service for developers who want access to rich and deep customer insight.  We are extremely excited by this partnership and what it means for our developer community.”

Wow. That’s pretty impressive. Dotfuscator Community Edition has long been a part of the Visual Studio package but you can now get obfuscation and instrumentation of your Windows Phone 7 applications for free until next March (and after that for a decent price).

When I get a bit of time I’m going to do some digging and create a few examples of how this might be used. Meantime, there’s more information on the PreEmptive Solutions site and a great video of the product in action.

The analytics information is purely for your use – it’s not related to the App Hub reporting in any way. But given we’ve stated that App Hub reporting wont be available at launch (see below) it’s a great mechanism to understand uptake of your apps and many more detailed measures besides. eg how often your app has been launched, performance, popular features etc

“Shortly after new Windows Phones become broadly available, Marketplace will begin providing developers with individual insights on their app’s performance within Marketplace. The reporting will soon become more automated and self service. We’re also still working toward a beta distribution solution to allow developers to privately distribute their apps for testing through Marketplace. This solution will not be in place for the launch of Windows Phone 7, but it is a feature on our roadmap. And perhaps most importantly, developers can expect the first payout of sales to date to take place in February.”

Extract taken from Rolling out Windows Phone Marketplace for Launch