Microsoft courts Windows Phone 7 devs

Posted by Mark Raby

Microsoft will be hosting "boot camp" training sessions on Windows Phone 7 this week.

It's part of the company's annual Mix conference, a place for developers to get together, meet with Microsoft executives, and learn all the latest tools of the trade.

It used to be focused on computer software development, but this year Microsoft wants to place a lot of emphasis on mobile. This is the first Mix event since Windows Phone 7 launched last year, and the company needs to show developers above everyone else that its new platform is worth looking at.

Windows Phone 7 got off to a rocky start, with launch sales reporting rather dismal interest. However, it's starting to gain some street cred, thanks in part to a refined marketing message and a recent software update (which, admittedly, was delayed multiple times).

The biggest injection of life was when Nokia said it would finally abandon its outdated proprietary Symbian platform and make Windows Phone 7 its smartphone operating system of choice. Since Nokia has a commanding lead in many parts of the world, there's now reason to be optimistic about WP7's long-term future.

Relaying that message now is key. While there are thousands of apps available on Windows Phone 7, it doesn't compare with the "tens of thousands" or even "hundreds of thousands" numbers that fit in with Android and the iPhone.

A lot of updates, like Twitter contact integration and further support with Xbox Live, are planned to hit Microsoft's mobile operating system in the coming months. As time goes by, the company hopes consumers will see increasing value in the platform.