LAS VEGAS--Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is set to be the star of the show on Monday as the Mix10 trade show gets under way. The software maker is detailing how developers can write software for phones running the new mobile operating system, which are set to hit the market later this year.
In a press release, Microsoft detailed some of the features of the OS, including a built-in location and push notification system, which works whether an application is running or not. The phones will also support hardware-accelerated video with digital rights management and smooth streaming.
At the event, Microsoft said it is making available the tools developers need to write software in either Silverlight or XNA Game Studio, the tool first developed for writing Xbox software. Microsoft said that developers will be able to sell their programs using a new Windows Phone Marketplace.
At the show, Microsoft is also showing a number of concept, prototype and early applications for Windows Phone.
Separately, Microsoft is releasing a near-final "release candidate" version of Silverlight 4. A beta of Silverlight 4 was released at November's Professional Developer Conference in Los Angeles.
Check back for more live coverage of this event, which is just getting under way.
Update 9:20 a.m. PDT: Developer unit executive Scott Guthrie is on stage.
As expected, Silverlight and Windows Phone are taking the stage today, with Internet Explorer 9 talk on tap for tomorrow. Guthrie says that Microsoft is open-sourcing the player used to offer high-definition streaming of the Olympics.
Microsoft is also providing a first look at its Expression Blend 4 developer tool, which will be a free upgrade for users of Expression Blend 3.
9:20 a.m.: Now on stage, eBay, which is showing how Silverlight could be used to develop an out-of-browser Silverlight application for posting products to eBay. The application can scan a bar code to identify the product and use a Webcam to take a photograph.
Cynergy, which helped create the program for eBay, is now showing how it went from a digitized sketch to working code in eight weeks. Also, Cynergy notes it went from being a primarily Adobe shop a few years ago to one that now gets more than half its revenue from projects developed in Microsoft-based tools like Silverlight.
9:35 a.m.: Silverlight 4 will be released in final form next month.
Now on stage, Microsoft Vice President Joe Belfiore, talking about Windows Phone 7 Series.
He's giving a demo of Windows Phone 7 Series running on a prototype device. So far, showing the interface we've seen with Live Tiles, etc.
9:43 a.m.: Belfiore is showing how to delete multiple e-mail messages on the phone.
Here's something new. He's showing an "I'll be late" button within calendar items lets you easily e-mail meeting participants to let them know you won't be on time.
He's highlighting one of the key design concepts of the Windows Phone software--its panoramic interface, which is wider than the screen. People flick the screen to move left or right, with design cues on screen to show there is more content to the right of the screen.
9:48 a.m.: Now we're getting to the demo of the different applications on stage. We have a slideshow of these apps, linked to above. First up is the Associated Press demo of the AP Mobile News Reader program.
Next up is Hush Hush, an online journal program by Jackson Fish Market that lets you keep a digital diary complete with a combination lock. It lets users combine photos, text, and other media. Belfiore is showing a journal his son did on vacation. (It's only marginally disturbing that Belfiore is not only reading his kid's diary, but doing it on stage.)
9:57 a.m. PT: One of the cool things in the Windows Phone is the fact that it has a central place for managing photos. Programs that edit and do things with photos can identify themselves as related to photos and show up as add-ons within the pictures "hub."
Up now is The Harvest, a 3D Xbox-style game that runs on Windows Phone 7 Series.
10:07 a.m.: Guthrie is back on stage, getting all geeky and coderish (to use some highly technical terms). He's writing a Twitter app for Windows Phone using Silverlight and Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, which Microsoft announced today, along with new XNA tools and a Windows Phone emulator.
"This isn't Silverlight lite. This isn't Silverlight different. This is Silverlight," Guthrie said.
10:17 a.m.: More coding demos, so I'm reading through the press release and other info that Microsoft posted on Monday. Here's an interesting tidbit on the Marketplace where Windows Phone 7 apps will be sold.
Microsoft said it supports one-time credit card purchases, mobile operator billing, and advertising-funded applications. It will also allow customers to try applications before buying them and allow developers to cross-promote their applications through deep linking.
The latest demo, by the way, was building a Windows Phone application from scratch using Expression Blend for Windows Phone. Visual Studio and Expression Blend for Windows Phone will both be free for developers and Guthrie said people should have the programs up and running quickly.
"It should hopefully only take 20 to 30 minutes end-to-end," Guthrie said.
10:25 a.m.: Scott Stanfield, CEO of design house Vertigo, is showing a prototype Netflix app on a Windows Phone. He starts playing "Rescue Me" on his phone. This gets a lot of applause from the crowd and definitely would be a cool feature to have on a phone.
Next up is Graphic.ly's comic book reader, which uses Silverlight's Deep Zoom feature to allow for a portable environment to buy and view comics.
That's followed by a demo of the Foursquare app for Windows Phone, taking advantage of built-in mapping and location features of the phone.
10:37 a.m.: A demo of the Shazam app for Windows Phone 7 Series shows how developers can get access to microphone input, allowing for things like Shazam, which identifies a song that is being played, in this case "Imma Be" by the Black Eyed Peas.
Meanwhile, Charlie Kindel is on stage showing a Major League Soccer application that shows the push notification system on Windows Phone 7 Series devices.
That's followed by Marionette, an application that uses Windows Phone's built-in accelerometer to move an avatar around. Guthrie shows a Steve Ballmer avatar, puts him in a red sweater, and then has him chant "Phone developers" while bouncing around the screen. "You know how much he likes developers," Guthrie said, adding, "If I don't have a job next week, you know why."
10:48 a.m.: Seesmic is on stage showing how Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks integrated into Seesmic Desktop as customizable plug-ins. Bing Maps can be added in for location, photo sites for photos, link shorteners, etc.
10:53 a.m.: First major glitch as "Coding4Fun: Cannon" application can't seem to find a network. Now supposedly up and running with a cannon on stage being remotely controlled by a Windows Phone.
Guthrie uses the application to launch a few of his trademark red polo shirts into the crowd. Fun stuff.
10:59 a.m.: Thus far, the applications have been Silverlight-based. Now talk is shifting to XNA-based games. On stage, Larry Hryb, also known as Major Nelson on Xbox Live, who is showing Goo Splat, an Xbox Live game ported to the Windows Phone as well as Battle Punks, a Facebook game that, because it is turn-based and lives in the cloud, can also be played on things like Windows Phone Series 7 devices.
11:04 a.m.: Guthrie shows off the Marketplace features I talked about earlier--try before you buy, etc. He also announces that all the developer tools for Windows Phone--Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone, and XNA Game Studio 4.0 for Windows Phone--are available now, free for download.
11:06 a.m.: Keynote ends.