In addition to the Fast ring for Insiders, Microsoft has its own internal rings and test releases of the Windows 10 SDKs, meaning that keen developers can sometimes get a heads-up on changes that are heading everyone’s way. In this case, it’s Gustave M., with a screenshot seemingly showing that support for (ye olde) Silverlight applications is being dropped in an upcoming version of Windows 10 Mobile.
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Potentially confusingly arriving as Windows v10.0.12648.133, what's rolling out to Windows Insiders today is 'Build 10149', bringing its own swathe of improvements across the board. I declared that build 10136 was close to being useable day to day and build 10149 marks that point for real. As of today, I'm going to be living with Windows 10 Mobile 24 hours a day - I'll report back, of course. See below for the main improvements over build 10136.
Following the announcement that the desktop/tablet SKUs of Windows 10 are to be available officially on July 29th, Insiders Preview builds of Windows 10 Mobile will start coming with more urgency and solidity from this point onwards. There's been no timescale announced for the phone SKU as yet, but it can't be more than a couple of months behind, otherwise the raft of 'one platform, one store' marketing that's been accompanying the Windows 10 ramp-up won't make sense to the consumer. Anyway, there's another big new build (10136) available right now, if you've joined the programme and are happy to take on the usual risks.
BUILD, Microsoft's developer conference, got underway yesterday evening in the USA, with a number of announcements that will be of interest to anyone with Windows on their smartphone. Much of it is looking into the future, of course, many months at the earliest, but it does give a good glimpse of where Microsoft is heading with Windows 10 on phones, tablets and desktops. See below for a summary.
One of the more interesting aspects of the Build 2014 conference for developers was the principle of the unified Windows application. Can this really be a write-once run-everywhere (everywhere that is Microsoft)? Not quite, but it's as close as you can practically get and allows the Windows platform to be promoted as a single entity over all the platform options, which will be of benefit to Windows Phone.
On Tuesday, February 25th, on the second day of MWC, Nokia is holding a developer day. The main focus is expected to be on the new Nokia X family, but we can also expect to hear about how developers benefit from working with Nokia in general. The event kicks off at 11:00 CET (10:00 GMT). We'll be updating this story with our on-the-scene live coverage as the event takes place.
At the National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Convention and Expo, Microsoft is showcasing a range of technologies aimed at helping retailers create digital platforms for their businesses (e.g. fulfillment systems, management of data flow and consumer insights, and more). On public show for the first time is the next generation of line-of-business geared mobile devices powered by Windows Embedded 8 Handheld, which is based on the Windows Phone 8 platform.
Microsoft today formally announced the forthcoming availability of Windows Phone Update 3 for existing Windows Phone 8 devices. For the first time, as part of a Preview Program for Developers, the update will be available for developers ahead of the consumer roll out. This is designed to enable developers to fully test their apps on the update version of the Windows Phone 8 platform. While there are no new APIs, there are some behavioural changes in the platform that developers may want to check their apps against.
Microsoft has released a beta of a new tool, Windows Phone App Studio, that lets you build basic Windows Phone apps in your browser for free. It is envisioned as a way for first time developers to get started with app creation without having to know any code, but may also be useful for more experienced developers as a prototyping tool.
The Windows Phone SDK 8.0 is now available for download. It is a full-featured development environment, sitting on top of Visual Studio 2012, which can be used to create apps and games for Windows Phone 7.5 and Window Phone 8.0 devices. In addition the Dev Center has been refreshed, and is now open for Windows Phone 8 app submissions. As an added incentive to encourage developers to submit apps for publication Microsoft is reducing the registration fee for Dev Center to $8, after a $91 rebate, for the next 8 days.