Microsoft announced that its Visual Basic add-on for Windows Phone Developer Tools is now available in its final RTW version ("Release to Web"). With this add-on, Visual Basic developers who have built Silverlight applications and games for the Windows Phone 7 platform can finally ship their apps after months of testing and then have those apps published in the official Windows Phone Marketplace.Today
In September, Microsoft released its Visual Basic CTP (Community Test Build) for Windows Phone Developer Tools, which the company said was the number one request in its development community to date. Developers wanted a way to use Visual Basic (VB) in addition to the supported platforms of C#, Silverlight and XNA, said Microsoft's Brandon Watson in a company blog post.
With VB now in place, Microsoft can tap into the development skills of several million to build apps for Windows Phone. What's more, those developers may be encouraged to do so - even if they haven't typically developed for mobile - thanks to the leaked job postings that seem to imply that Silverlight apps will soon run on the Xbox 360. Mobile apps that also work on a TV-sized screen? Hmm...isn't someone else doing that too? Oh yes, Google is. And Apple will as well, it's likely.
?The new release of the Visual Basic add-on is available for download from here and Microsoft has provided more VB for WP sample code here on MSDN. To use the add-on, you'll need Visual Basic 2010 Professional or higher; Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone is not supported.