Microsoft is preparing for the launch of its new Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system and Marketplace app store by releasing the final version of the Windows Phone Developer Tools on 17 September.
The current beta version of the developer tools has been downloaded more than 300,000 times. Microsoft says that the new tools will allow developers to tweak current apps and games to be ready for submission in early October.
The final tools will include several Silverlight controls as well as panorama, pivot and Bing Maps controls that will be available to drop into applications.
Apple, Research in Motion (RIM) and Google Android all currently offer established third-parry application stores for their mobile platforms.
In a blog post yesterday, director of developer experience for Windows Phone 7 Brandon Watson wrote that the new tools would enrich experiences for future Windows Phone 7 owners. "We aren't just building a marketplace to deliver apps and games, but rather testing and certifying every one for quality and performance — all the while maintaining a fully open and transparent process to support the developer and their Marketplace success. Our rich developer ecosystem is creating a variety of quality apps and games that take advantage of the phone's unique features and design."
Several other incentives are being provided by Microsoft to further entice developers to create products for the Windows Phone 7 platform. A new 12 hour training course called Windows Phone 7 Jump Start has been launched, as has as an updated Windows Phone 7 Developer Training Kit.
Microsoft announced last week that Xbox game titles would be available at the launch of Windows Phone 7, expected in time for Christmas.
To see some of the technical features of the upcoming Windows Phone 7 operating system, check out our comprehensive Windows Phone 7 preview.