The Windows Phone 7 launch is getting nearer, with a likely release date expected between October and early November. As Microsoft gears up for the launch, it boosts its device and distributor partnerships, and increases efforts towards building its developer market.
Microsoft has been doing a great deal of prep work on the developer end, releasing a number of software updates, revised applications and web-based tools, with accompanying perks for the developer community. For the mobile space in particular, Microsoft has been blowing its own horn all year, raising expectations around the device and platform combo in relation to its other company efforts.
At the Mobilize event this week, Microsoft GM of developer and platform evangelism Matt Thompson announced an upcoming set of robust tools for developers to quickly write apps in Silverlight or XNA. This will be important for attracting game developers and others interested in graphic-rich content, which are driving a great deal of revenue to mobile advertising.
Gigaom mentions the importance of social gaming as a selling point for the Windows Phone 7 platform, as the company is also extending its Xbox Live service to the newest phones. This pulls in more factors around Microsoft’s personal cloud efforts, while also broadening the types of gamers they can attract, develop for and market to. Integrated marketing is something around which Microsoft has already initiated a developer community.
This could include a virtual currency of some sort, which would fragment the market further, based on networks or platforms, though this is of little consequence for a company as large as Microsoft. For the case of its mobile strategy, Microsoft will need to offer a lot right out of the gate, and if they want to maintain control over the Windows Phone 7 platform, they’ll continue to expeditiously entice developers.