PERENNIAL MOBILE LOSER Microsoft has released a Windows Phone 7 Beta, which might mean that it is nearly ready to be foisted on the great unwashed.
In a statement the Vole said that the Beta release represents the near final version of the tools for building applications and games for Windows Phone 7.
A spokesperson said that the Windows Phone Developer Tool CTP has been widely embraced by the community, because they do a lot of that hugging stuff in Silicon Valley.
But now that the hugging is over it is time to "get serious" according to the Vole and build apps and games for Windows Phone 7 that consumers will be looking for starting this upcoming holiday season.
The beta has a few interesting things. The first is Microsoft Expression Blend for Windows Phone. Blend is now integrated completely into the Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta.
There is the Developer Registration Utility, which allows you to unlock your Windows Phone 7 device for development purposes. There is an XAP Deployment Tool in case you ever want to stick an XAP file into an unlocked device.
"Many namespaces that were previously distributed over several different DLLs have now been consolidated into one. In addition, there have been realignments and changes in several other namespaces as well. Push Notifications, Accelerometer and App Bar APIs have all been updated," the Vole said.
Still to come are more controls for the devices. Stuff like Panorama and Pivot didn't make the beta release.Microsoft's Paul Bryan burbles enthusiasically about the beta in the Windows Steam Blog, if you like that sort of thing.