Today, we are announcing the availability of Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools.

Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools enable you to design and test your Windows Phone 7 applications in Visual Studio. These free tools provide everything you need to build rich applications with Silverlight and XNA and deploy them to the Windows Phone Marketplace.

The Windows Phone Developer Tools include the following:

  • Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone
  • Windows Phone Emulator
  • Microsoft Express Blend for Windows Phone
  • XNA Game Studio 4.0

So, what's new?

What's changed in Windows Phone Developer Tools since the beta?

New Templates

We added two new templates for building panorama- and pivot-based Windows Phone applications that follow the Windows Phone 7 Design System guidelines.  The panorama template allows app authors to easily build designs that allow information to be presented across multiple horizontal screens. The panorama template comes pre-baked with the proper UX behaviors to ensure consistency in the platform.  Below is the panorama control in action within Expression Blend for Windows Phone emulator.

The pivot template provides a way to manage views or pages within your application. The pivot control can be used for filtering large datasets, viewing multiple datasets, or switching between application views.  Below, you can see an example of the pivot control in the Visual Studio for Windows Phone designer and emulator.

Enhanced Debugging

Windows Phone 7 Tools provide a seamless experience for debugging Windows Phone applications, allowing you to debug your application as it runs in the emulator, including the transitions between active and suspended modes.  This helps you work out the kinks in your application before you even deploy it to the device.

Localization Support

Developers can now test their applications in the supported Windows Phone 7 languages, including French, Italian, German, Spanish, and English.  Developers can use the Settings menu to choose a different language, and the Windows Phone emulator will then boot into the selected language. The below image illustrates the emulator in French after choosing French in the language settings.

Publishing to the Marketplace

Now that you've written your favorite and exciting application, are you ready to share it with the world and make some money? 

When your application is ready for publication, it must go through a certification process before it is eligible for listing in the Windows Phone Marketplace.  First, you'll need to register as a Windows Phone 7 developer at the Marketplace.  Then, using the Windows Phone Developer Portal, you can upload your application binaries for validation, certification testing, and publishing to the Marketplace.

Hook Me Up!

The tools are available free from the Windows Phone page. To learn more about Windows Phone 7 development, visit the Windows Phone Developer blog. To learn more about app submission to the Windows Phone Marketplace, please see the app certification documentation.

Namaste!