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Windows Phone 7 released to manufacture, on sale within weeks

Cliff Saran

Windows Phone 7 has been released to manufacture, which means devices could be on sale in a matter of weeks.

Writing on the Windows Phone 7 blog, Terry Myerson, corporate vice-president, Windows Phone Engineering, said, "We had nearly 10,000 devices running automated tests daily, over a half million hours of active self-hosting use, over three-and-a-half million hours of stress-test passes, and eight-and-a-half million hours of fully automated test passes. We've had thousands of independent software suppliers and early adopters testing our software and giving us great feedback. We are ready."

But while Microsoft is confident it will have applications for the new OS available when smartphones start shipping, developers wishing to build Windows Phone 7 apps face a dilemma.

Writing on the Computer Weekly application developer network blog, mobile development specialist Terence Eden said, "Porting apps to WP7 from iPhone is close to impossible in the traditional sense of porting. This is simply because iPhone development requires a Mac running OSX and WP7 development requires a PC running Windows Vista or Windows 7. So, essentially, I have to buy another machine and/or another operating system if I want to do both."

"While there are some coding similarities - the platforms are different enough to render porting ineffective. It really does require ground-up rewrites. Of course, the same assets can be used - graphics, network APIs, sounds, etc - but the user interface guidelines are strict enough to warrant redoing many screens from scratch."

"That said, the development tools for WP7 are fantastic. The demos, tutorials and support from Microsoft are second to none. But you won't see many 'ports' of complex iPhone apps unless they're created by companies with significant resources."


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