Microsoft has begun testing the software development kit (SDK) that will allow third party firms to build apps for Windows Phone 7.
The finalised SDK is nearly ready for widespread deployment and beta testing of the tools is underway, with key developers getting the chance to test out the capabilities first showcased during Community Technology Preview (CTP) back in March.
Brandon Watson of Microsoft said: "Since the initial CTP release of the tools just this March, the Windows Phone Developer Tool CTP has been widely embraced by the community.
"It's time to get serious about building the actual apps and games for Windows Phone 7 that consumers will be looking for starting this holiday season."
The beta version of the SDK allows developers to trial apps on a PC thanks to a Windows Phone 7 emulator and also activates the pre-release Windows Phone 7 smartphones that developers will be given to test their applications.
Mr Watson said that developers will get Windows Phone 7 mobiles from the beginning of next week, but that he expects demand to outstrip supply.
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