Windows Phone 7 'Mango' Apps Now Accepted for Certification by Microsoft

Microsoft has cleared perhaps the last hurdle in its race to release "Mango", the first major update for Windows Phone 7, by announcing it is now accepting app submissions.

Microsoft's Todd Brix stated in a blog post that as of Aug. 23, Mango apps were being accepted by the App Hub. Mango is Microsoft's much-anticipated upgrade of WP7, adding features like "fast app switching, background audio, multiple and double sided Live Tiles, better Search integration," according to Brix.

Brix also sought to tamp down some of the expectations that the official Mango release is imminent. "Sorry, not quite yet" he pre-emptively answered those who assume that accepting Mango apps means that Mango is coming to end-user phones in the immediate future.

That wasn't the only WP7-related news coming out of the blog, as Brix announced the availability of the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Release Candidate. Just two languages are supported with this version of the SDK: English and Japanese. The SDK, Microsoft stated, is compatible with Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

One aspect of the SDK sure to please developers is the inclusion of the Marketplace Test Kit. The Kit allows developers to test their apps on their local machines, using the exact same requirements Microsoft uses to certify apps in the App Hub. "This should dramatically improve your chances at passing cert the first time," Brix said.

Also included in the bursting-at-the-seams SDK is the Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone. This is aimed at developers wanting to monetize their apps through advertising channels. The posting said to expect the final version of the SDK by the end of September.

Although Brix stated that Mango release isn't imminent, the announcements today would seem to be a strong indication that it's coming very soon. Mango, initially announced in May, was released to manufacturing on July 26. Other much-anticipated features of Mango include app multi-tasking and visual voicemail.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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