Windows Phone 7 Developers Get Copy-and-Paste, New Tools

Microsoft recently rolled out new Windows Phone Developer Tools, which include, among many things, the anticipated copy-and-paste functionality that will arrive in the operating system’s first major update. The public launch of that update is still unknown at this time, however.

Says Microsoft, the toolkit will let developers build apps using the new assemblies that ship with the forthcoming Windows Phone OS update. Plus, any app built using these tools will also work on phones that have not yet been updated to the new OS.

What’s Included in the New Tools

According to a Microsoft blog post from Brandon Watson, the update includes copy-and-paste functionality, improved app performance, updated reference assemblies and “other enhancements.” He also mentioned that Microsoft just crossed the 1 million download mark for the tools, which is notable since they have been out for less than a year.

For an OS that’s not selling well enough for Microsoft to publicly tout sales figures, it certainly has strong developer interest. There are now 27,000 registered developers with Microsoft’s AppHub and over 7,500 apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace, says Watson.

In addition, Microsoft also announced it has partnered with Zones.com, its OEMs and operator partners to sell phones to developers without a voice or data contract. To get this deal, developers are advised to go to http://www.zones.com/windowsphonedeveloperpurchase.

For a bit of fun, a new infographic has also been making its rounds on the Web lately, showcasing stats related to the WP7 ecosystem. Unfortunately, it’s already out of date – the image is only current as of January 17, it says. And the number of apps it cites is just 5,855. Assuming that number was accurate at the time, the Windows Phone app store is seeing rapid growth if now, only a couple of weeks later, there are 7,500 apps available.

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