Microsoft has been quietly and steadily pushing forward the progression of its Windows 7 developer tools in the wake of what has arguably been generally positive reception for the platform. Of note in this month's updates are new copy and paste functionalities, which have been released in advance of forthcoming more formal updates to the OS.
With a focus on delivering improved app performance, Microsoft is also including new reference assemblies, a new version of the Windows Phone OS emulator image and several minor bug fixes. The company says that it wants to encourage developers to install the updated tools immediately as, despite the out of sequence nature of this update, most apps will not need to be recompiled or resubmitted because existing applications automatically receive the benefits of copy and paste and performance improvements when customers update their devices.
The caveat here to watch out for is the instance where some applications allow users to access and interact with Silverlight textbox controls within other controls such as Panorama and Pivots. In these instances, Microsoft says that developers will need to recompile and resubmit the application to the Windows Phone Marketplace.
"This update replaces the October 2010 update, including all of the fixes from that patch. If you are building a new machine with a new developer environment, this version of the Windows Phone Developer Tools is all you need," said Brandon Watson, director for Windows Phone 7 on his company's official product blog. "Additionally, we understand that many new Windows Phone developers have experience with other platforms, so we’ve been compiling tools and guidance on the Windows Phone Interoperability site to help developers who have been creating phone applications on various platforms ramp up quickly on the Windows Phone 7 platform. The site addresses interoperability scenarios aiming to provide tools and guidance to help developers who are building applications for multiple platforms."
To date, 27,000 individuals have become registered developers in the MSDN AppHub, and Microsoft says that it now has over 7,500 apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace.