During the keynote and a Windows Phone 7 session at TechEd North America 2010, Microsoft showed off a newer build of Windows Phone 7. Long Zheng has put up some images of this new build. He notes that the most obvious you’ll notice is a more compact lock screen. He also said that the build appeared to be more complete and responsive and that soon Windows Live Phone Developers will be able to get their hands on a Windows Phone 7 device.
Say what? Yea, you read it right: Microsoft is sending out Windows Phone 7 devices to developers. This will take place next month (July) and genuine Windows Phone Developers in any of the 29 countries where Windows Marketplace for Mobile is available will be considered. Interested developers should reach out to Microsofties through any of the Windows Phone 7 developer channels to register their interest. Microsoft will determine each request on a case-by-case basis. Exactly how many of these devices are being send out is something Long couldn’t tell, but apparently there be plenty.
The devices Microsoft are seeding to developers will range from a number of undisclosed OEMs but are all similarly specced. Although the devices (and presumably OS) won’t be of retail quality, the devices will be free so you can’t complain.
And the news doesn’t stop there! There will be private beta distribution through Windows Phone Marketplace. Charlie Kindel explains:
The public model enables developers to market and distribute applications to all phone users globally or based on a particular geography. In contrast the private model enables developers to use the same Marketplace service to distribute applications to a defined set of people that they select for beta-testing. Developers will identify their beta-testers and then upload their application to the developer portal. The Windows Phone application deployment system will then ensure that the application is available on the beta-tester’s phones via a “deep link” the tester will receive in email.
This will be rolled out this fall as the developer portal gets finalized.
P.S. The latest update of Silverlight 4 (the “GDR0 of SL4”) which hit Microsoft Update last Thursday can cause the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP – April Refresh to fail to install. Charlie Kindel posted how you can solve that too. This issue will be addressed in a future release of the Windows Phone Developer Tools.