The MIX '10 keynote today was the usual mix of announcements and slick-ish demos. Scott Guthrie announced Silverlight 4 and Blend 4 RC available for download today along with the news that it will ship inside Visual Studio 2010 when that is released on April 12.

More interesting over here however was the announcement and subsequent release for download of the initial developer toolkit CTP for the new Windows 7 Phone OS that was launched last month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The emphasis is definitely on enabling the whole dev lifecycle, so the toolkit released today includes:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone
  • XNA Game Studio 4.0 CTP
  • Windows Phone 7 Series Emulator for application testing
  • Silverlight for Windows Phone CTP

The direct link for this bundle is here (it's a web installer) but the home page for development is at http://developer.windowsphone.com/windows-phone-7-series/. If you do decide to install the tools, make sure you read the release notes. This release of the tools (if you decide against installing Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone CTP which is part of the above bundle) works only with VS2010 RC build and only in US English.

Blend 4 For Windows Phone

Also released today, but as a separate download is a CTP of Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone. Christian Schorrman has the complete run down on the new and phone-specific features in this new CTP, which I'll leave you to read separately, but note the following.

For this preview, the Blend tools for Windows Phone are still a separate installer. In order to use the Blend 4 beta for developing Windows Phone applications, you therefore will need to install:

Personally, I think this is a really exciting time to get stuck in straight away and the best reason I have come across thus far to sit down and learn how to work with Silverlight as well. Oh yes, and another damn good reason for Windows XP Mode to exist.

Phone eBooks

If you do take the plunge, it looks like Windows 7 Phone development will be well supported with documentation that'll evolve as the SDK does. The MSDN library already has a section available, and there are several additional PDF guides available on the main dev site for you to read.

Microsoft Press have also released a draft preview (153 pages) of "Programming Windows Phone 7 Series" by Charles Petzold (no less) on their blog. It's available as either a PDF or an XPS file. No sign of other such previews from Wrox, Manning et al, but it can only be a matter of time.

Windows Phone Developer Team

There are also many places to follow Windows 7 Phone developments, aside from the MIX site which will undoubtedly cover all the phone-related sessions at the conference.

And if you manage to digest everything in this post this week, well done you. You're officially a Phone Dev addict mainlining caffeine. To the rest of us mere mortals in the meantime, happy coding!