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Microsoft releases tool to simplify development on Windows Phone 7

Everyone knows that the size of its online app repository is one of the biggest factors that decides whether an operating system designed for use on a highly mobile, networked device such as a smartphone or slate PC will be able to hold its own against the likes of the competition currently available on the market. And with Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 being widely considered as a late entry to the competition, it is only prudent that growing its app repository is one of Microsoft's priorities in order to ensure the attractiveness of its platform. So what is the Redmond giant's answer to that problem? Simple: to release an API which supposedly makes it easier for Android and iOS developers to port their apps over to the Windows Phone 7 ecosystem.

There is no denying that Microsoft has been gathering quite a fair bit of positive reviews in the press for doing many things right in recent years, especially when one considers the fact that major software applications such as Windows 7, Office 2010, Windows Phone 7 and Internet Explorer 9 were all released to major fanfare.  This is especially true for the case of Windows Phone 7 where, in spite of its lack of age as compared to the other two major smartphone operating systems on the market, has been praised by many for its well thought-out user interface, remarkable performance and more importantly, tightly integrated services with the Windows Live and Xbox Live ecosystems.

However, as impressive as Windows Phone 7 may be, it still comes with its own set of shortcomings, and its rather small app repository known as the Windows Marketplace is probably the biggest flaw, especially when it is common knowledge that the number of downloadable apps available can make or break an entire mobile platform. Clearly, Microsoft is aware of the problem, and has since moved to court Android and iOS developers with the release of a Windows Phone 7 Interoperability website, which contains a set of tools and APIs that are reportedly designed to make it easier for them to familiarize themselves with the Windows Phone 7 platform.

In addition to the downloadable tools and APIs needed to craft a working application on the Windows Phone 7 operating system, the Windows Phone 7 Interoperabiity website also contains other developer-centric resources. For example, white papers and information on various other subjects, such as the porting of apps from iOS to Windows Phone 7, Human Interface guidelines to adhere to during development, and code samples are available as well. If that has gotten the developer in you interested, the Windows Phone 7 Interoperability website can be reached at http://windowsphone.interoperabilitybridges.com/

Source: Windows Phone 7 Interoperability via ITmedia

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