From Microsoft:

Since Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 7 Series at MWC in February, I know you’ve heard a lot of “stay tuned to MIX for more details.” Well here’s a peek at some of those details Microsoft is addressing today. To help set the tone leading into MIX, Microsoft is sharing some important elements for the Windows Phone 7 Series development platform.

First and foremost, let me stress that Microsoft isn’t working alone on this. The company has had hundreds of face-to-face conversations with ISVs over the past year to help ensure that we are delivering a platform that address their core needs. Interestingly, nearly 70% of developers cited “ease of use” as the most important factor in selecting a development environment.

Microsoft is drawing upon the best of the wide array of development technologies and resources across Microsoft in order to achieve our goals. Specifically:

Silverlight. Developers and designers want a separation between design and code, and a lightweight markup language that allows the quick delivery of rich, well performing applications  that can provide experiences on multiple screens. Microsoft Silverlight is a robust, mature, and popular runtime that meets these needs, and our developers have been asking us to bring this to mobile for some time. With Silverlight and Microsoft’s Windows Phone development platform, developers will have effective development tools and platform for creating and deploying high performance, compelling mobile applications.

XNA. Many developers want to expand their portfolio to include 2D and 3D games, but are not equipped to handle the expense of modern game development. XNA give more developers the opportunity to bring games to the phone.

For Microsoft, the cost of going from good to great is a clean break from the past. For example, previous Windows Phone content will not run on Windows Phone 7 Series.

More information is available in this blog post from Charlie Kindle.


Phone comparison: iPhone, Android, Blackberry, WebOS, Windows Phone

Note, too, that Microsoft will be discussing the Windows Phone 7 Series development platform--its components, capabilities and opportunities--in depth at MIX starting March 15. I'll be in Las Vegas for MIX, so expect more info then.