Microsoft has announced the date for the launch of its last best hope of making it in the mobile phone market. The date is the 11 October in New York and London. Although it is likely that actual phones will be shown at the event most of us are going to have to wait a little longer to actually get devices though the usual channels. There is a raffle scheduled for the end of the event - I wonder what the prize might be?
Microsoft has been slow to create a mobile phone that can compete against Android and iPhone - but there is no doubt that the development framework that has been created is the best of any smart phone. The developer can work with tools, languages and controls that are similar if not quite identical to the desktop or web app environments. This makes app creation very much easier than for the iPhone, Android, Blackberry or Symbian and for the existing Microsoft programmer there is very little to learn that is new.
That Windows Phone 7 has been a hit with developers is fairly indisputable. The new Marketplace is almost ready to open. The current time table is:
- Oct 4: All registered developers have been contacted and invited to request early submission to the Marketplace certification process.
- Oct 6: Deadline for registered developers to respond to the invitation to participate in early submission. Of those that request access, an initial group of a couple of thousand developers will be accepted on a first come, first served basis to receive guidance and early access to the new application submission and certification process.
- Oct 11: Participating early certification developers will receive instructions on submitting their xaps, allowing those apps to be published in Marketplace in the lead up to, and after, launch.
- Oct 12-November: Microsoft will continue processing submissions and prioritizing new requests in the order they are received until the self-serve submission process is broadly enabled.
Microsoft also say that they expect the Marketplace to be available to all developers in November.
The big question is will the phone prove to be a success with the end user? This is a much more difficult question and it probably depends on marketing issues that are way outside of the realm of logic.
A lot now depends on what noises are made during and after the launch.
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