Windows Phone 7 Device Requests

Well, there’s an old adage that you should be careful what you ask for because you might just get it.  The avalanche of emails and phone calls looking for developer devices was a welcome development.  There are some out there who think that we might as well pack it in on this whole mobile thing.  Developers, however, know better.  New markets == new opportunities for big ideas to break through.

I personally have seen, erm, a surge in the amount of email I get on a daily basis, thanks in no small part to Long Zheng.  I love that there are so many developers with so many great ideas wanting to get phones, and I particularly love all the electrons being harmed to fill my inbox.  My email is the one that’s out there [brwatson (at) microsoft], but there’s a whole team of evangelists who will be getting the phones to developers.  I’m just acting as a switch, and have been fortunate enough to be something of a public face.  We’re still working on the specific plan details for devices going out next month, but we wanted to lay out some principles for how we are going to actually get phones in developers’ hands, as well as what we are hearing from developers.

First, we are going to prioritize for apps being built by large and small teams, which represent some pretty big ideas, specifically targeting the launch timeframe.  At Mix10 we showed a pretty long list of partners, and we have continued to add to that over the last few months.  Second, as some of you may have heard, we are getting phones to our existing published Windows Phone Marketplace ISVs.  There’s several thousand apps and companies who are part of the 6.x marketplace, and we want to help jump start their transition to Windows Phone 7.  Finally, we are prioritizing for those committed developers who are building apps for Windows Phone 7 and sharing their knowledge about Silverlight, XNA and Windows Phone 7.

What has surprised me is the creativity that some people have used in getting in touch with us.  For example, Dan Ardelean, in Italy, hit me up on Facebook:

imageMost of the emails I have received start the same way: “I am sure you are getting a ton of emails, but…”  It’s pretty funny actually.

Dan, thanks for reaching out, and excellent blog.  Our guys in Italy now know who you are.

Next up is Jeff Weber.  He has a great games focused blog where he shares lots of knowledge, specifically around Silverlight.  He put up that blog post with a special request for a phone.  Nice.  On his site, I found this recent video of his physics engine he is using for his Windows Phone game, and it made me smile and smile big.

If you really want to get our attention, do something EPIC.  For example, when you identify an opportunity to build and extend the Windows Phone 7 platform, and build your own solution, that can be epic.  Building a database for Windows Phone 7 qualifies as epic.  The guys over at Appamundi have done something that certainly caught our eye, and we are going to be following up with them.

Jonathan Yong put his video up on YouTube, and while he made it clear it was very rough, he tagged it “wp7dev” and we found it right away.  He was the first to do this…well done.

Last is Adrian Tsai, a registered Marketplace ISV.  He also sent me a youtube video, but this was actual gameplay.  It looks like a tower defense game, and a nice Tron like feel to it.

His NextWar game started out as a PC game written in .NET, in C#.  He ported the game to the XBox using the XNA Game Studio.  His email made a point of describing the process of moving from XNA for XBox to Windows Phone 7.  We would love to see that in a blog post for the rest of the community.

Ways To Get Noticed By The Windows Phone 7 Team

1) Get the tools and start building apps – asking for a phone without any kind of app development in place is not going to get it done.  If you need ideas, go to our site where customers are posting app ideas for apps they want.  As of this writing, there’s almost 1,000 app ideas up there.

2) Blog about your development progress.  Screenshots and videos help a lot.  So do tips and tricks on how to do amazing things on the platform.  The important thing here is to share what you know with the rest of the community.  Those who share are engendering much love from us.

3) Tag your posts with “Windows Phone 7 Development” or “wp7dev” so that we, and other developers, can find you.

3) Build something which extends the platform and can be used by other developers.  Being developer friendly is top form.

4) Post videos of your app running in the emulator to youtube.

5) Register in the Windows Phone Marketplace.  When we know your Marketplace ID, it’s a lot easier to find you and get you a phone.  Besides, to unlock your developer device, you are going to have to register anyway, so might as well get it out of the way now.

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  • Carlos Aguilar

    I tried to contact you directly through your e-mail and got no response (I'm sure you're too busy to answer or even read all those e-mails) but I would like to know if more countries would be added to the list for registration at the marketplace, because I'm registering from Honduras, and I'm already working on apps but if I can't register myself most probably I'll be losing my time and instead could be developing for another platform. So maybe you know if other countries would be added to that list and what are the chances of getting a WP7 developer device. Thanks!

  • Carlos, we currently do not support Honduras as an app creation country. We are working hard to increase the list of support countries, but unfortunately yours is not on the list. I did get your email, but you can imagine what my inbox looks like. Quite a mess. Apologies for not getting you a reply sooner.

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  • Thanks for the tips and guidance Brandon! I definitely want one, but instead of asking I'm going to make it a personal challenge to earn it. Much more satisfying that way!

  • Carlos Aguilar

    Well, thanks for your reply, and yes I can imagine how your inbox looks like. That was the only thing I wanted to know, and now I'm just hoping more countries to be supported, best of all would be that all or at least most of the countries around the world to be supported, since Microsoft as an international company most probably could realize. It's just a suggestion because more countries supported it means more developers. Any suggestion on what to do if my country never gets to the list of supported countries? Thank you again! 🙂

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  • When is the next batch of supported developer countries is going to be announced? As far as I remember June was mentioned at MIX ant it's second half of the June already 😉

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  • Chaitanya


    We are a group of three graduate students from NC State University, and we are developing apps for Windows Phone 7. One of our apps depends heavily on location services, and it is vitally important for us to test it on real device.

    We have also e-mailed you in this regard.

    We have watched the e-mail account round the clock for your reply. And now it is looking like we are not among the select developers to get the devices.

    Though we will continue working with the emulator if it comes to that, we would love to hear back something positive from you – it will certainly fill our sails with a gust of wind.

    We are registered on the marketplace with this id: [chaitanya__kulkarni(at)live]

  • Robert Firth

    Haha, I figured that would happen. I guess I'll be stuck using just the emulator.

  • Guest

    Wow… the ” Ways to notice” part is rather presumptuous – coming from a group that has done little else than watch the market share wane. Only the success of iPhone and Android seems to have spurred you into action. You should be handing out these phones in the hopes of folks building applications if you really want to compete against 250,000 + apps and growing iPhone platform.

  • Rob Sharma

    Ya I am not liking the way to “get noticed” to get a phone. I think maybe there should be free phones given out to those people and then buy unlocked phones for a price. So basically for me to get noticed right now, is just to hurry up create a blog and start posting like a mad man in hopes of getting noticed?

  • I would respond by name, but you didn't leave one. We don't think it's presumptuos to ask people to let us know what they are doing and sharing info with the community. I have had plenty of people send me email, which is certainly one way to get hooked up with MSFT. There's plenty of very low cost ways to get in the pipeline.

  • Rob, I'm sorry you think you need to post like a mad man. That's not the case at all. You can do a very quick posting of a video of your code running up to YouTube. That's 5 mins of work. If you think about the personal economics of giving phones out at events, the ask of you, the developer, is to pay $500+ for the event, plus hotel, food and travel. That's a big ask. Of you can post a video to YouTube, contact a MSFT field evangelist, post to a blog/twitter/etc. We are trying to make sure that everyone can get noticed, and that the financial burden on the developers is as minimized as possible.

    As for the notion of buying phones, the phones that we have right now are not final build quality phones, and not available for sale. There are country level legal reasons for this. They have to be classified as loaners, and we *cannot* sell them. The final build phones will be ready after GA.

  • Cahianya – No decisions have been made; we haven't started that process. I am working through the backlog in my email account, but basically I am just flagging emails and forwarding them to the appropriate field evangelists. No decisions will be made until next month when we actually start putting out the phones.

  • Chaitanya


    Thanks for the reply. It is great to hear from you. I have also e-mailed you today.

    Thanks! Waiting hopefully is certainly better than the disappointment! 🙂

  • Robert Firth

    Brandon, there are some things that I'm working on that I can't share or make public at this time – certainly not in public, like on YouTube, until closer to GA. Is there any other way to show you what we have without making it public? Not yet, at least. What would you suggest in that situation?

  • You can always send me an email at my work email [brwatson (at) microsoft]

  • David Lancaster

    I have a Killer App idea that I have prototyped/sketched that will drive the market to the window phone. I am am new developer, and I am working on the developement of the app but the time to get the product to market is between 6 months to a year. I am a total fan of silverlight and expression blend, and because of these tools, I believe this app can come to life. This app is a perfect example of the POWER of the windows phone 7 platform.

    I wanted to sign up and to fly to the BizSparkCamp-WP7: June 22 in the UK for an opportunity to pitch my idea (as mentioned in the sylabus), but the registration is full and the camp starts on Tuesday, June 22th. Do you have any opportunites in the US like the one set in the UK.

    Also, I'd like the opportunity to pitch the idea/sketch for the purpose of receiving HELP in speeding up the development of this “I can't live without app.” so it can be lauched with the phone.

    I hope you feel my desire to get this app done. My name is David Lancaster and my email is

    Sincere Thanks,
    David Lancaster

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  • This has a little of the feel of, “Put a Sunoco bumper sticker on your car, and if we notice you, you could win free gas for life! Ways to increase your chances: multiple bumper stickers! Multiple cars! Maybe drive crazy so we'll look your way!” 🙂

    I do appreciate your suggestions and as a WP7 dev I'll be following them. Heck, I've got my first ten-seconds-of-fame poor-quality video capture myself:… (and ask yourself, how's he doing that without sockets?)

    I can even understand the motivation: by encouraging developers to do screen captures, video grabs, blog postings, youtube and reddit posts and so on, you're explicitly trying to build a ground-swell of interest here. Not a bad plan. Not subtle, but not bad.

    As yet one more one-person-developer, though, I have to say I feel like the odds of my car's bumper sticker getting noticed feel pretty slim, and the lack of a simple web submission form (“Want a dev phone to work with? Fill in this page to tell us why.”) seems underwhelming.

    Maybe I should start driving strangely or something.

  • Chaitanya


    Demo of one of our apps:


  • And yet, Richard, you are doing so much more than the masses of developers out there. You know my email, and I have encouraged people to use it. My job is not to be the keeper/decider of phones, but I am trying to put a very human face on Microsoft and the Windows Phone platform.

    I'm not a chess player, but that app looks good. The fact that you have running code says quite a bit. We're not looking for you to drive strangely. Just share what you learn, and build cool stuff. You have my email…please ping me so I can ensure that you get to the right person. In that email, please be sure to let me know where you are located (i.e. state if in the US, country if not).

  • David Amador

    Well I just wanted to present a video of my Game running on the Emulator

    I've also sent you an email but I imagine you must have a full inbox =P

    David Amador

  • I like the idea of Microsoft showing a human face 🙂 And it seems you doing a good job so far. An incredible difficult one as there are thousands of little devs (like me) wanting a phone. Not easy to make those decisions.
    So far this approach is better than what I have seen from the competition – but MS needs to have good ideas here to get things going. And under pressure there is sometimes a good drop of ideas 🙂
    I never did a screencapture video for yourtube before – but learned alot about Blend Encoder during that time. Looks like its working good for capturing emulator sessions.

  • Thanks @Shalan007.

  • Jonathanlu813


    Sorry, I don't know your email, so I post here. 🙂

    I'm a student from China and I'm very interested in WP7. And I've developed a

    magic trick app using the tools. It's an app that you can use to perform a

    litter magic and impress your friends. I've uploaded a video with emulator to

    youtube, and you can check the video and screenshot here,


    3000+ people has watched it in a month and some of them emailed me to ask me to

    port it to there platforms (including WM6.5).

    Since I didn't have a real device of WP7, I can't do any test, so after that I

    ported the app to Android and it's now on android market. I got 1200+ downloads

    in a week, though there are still some bugs. I'm very excited. And some

    professional magicians like it, they also gave me some ideas for other kinds of


    What I want to say is, I like this kind of tirck app, and I think magic trick

    app on phone is a future directions of entertaiment. And after developing on

    two platforms, I really prefer WP7 with XNA which can create much better

    graphic effects. So I hope I can have the chance to get a developer device so

    that I can test my app on it and make some improvements.

    Another question is about the registration of dreamspark. Our school only

    provide free email with .cn, not .edu, and dreamspark just can't verify me as a

    student. That affected my registeration of Windows Phone Marketplace. Can you

    tell me who I can turn to? Thanks!

    Best regards.

  • Brandon let me help you out here for “Guest”, I have an iPhone, I had a iPhone 3G and I have an iPhone 3GS and an iPhone 4G, I also plan to buy a Windows Phone 7. I am a mobile developer, its what I do and I have written a couple apps for the iPhone for a couple clients and just recently have started on Windows Phone 7. It took me about 10th the amount of time to write the same app on WP7 as it did on iPhone. With that kind of momentum possible I don't see it taking very long to catch up to the iPhone Marketplace, btw I would like to mention only a very small percentage of those apps on Apple Marketplace are even remotely good or worth downloading!

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  • Chaitanya

    Demo of our 2nd app:

  • Mishkin Faustini

    I am working on several games and utility apps such as this train schedule app. I am a dedicated developer who desperately needs a phone to continue building his apps in a high quality manner.

  • Nice idea. These train schedule apps are needed 🙂 Berlin too please 😉
    My Dieting app is coming along nicely too. But I dno't know if I should spend lots of money in licensing the nutrition data. (If anyone knows of some free data… give me a hint).

  • Chaitanya

    Demo of our 3rd app:

  •… this place is dedicated to proving you have an app that is worthy of a dev device.

  • FallonMassey

    Does anyone have an answer for this article?

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  • Wow, nice Post Thx 4 the info!

  • Tom Servo

    So yeah, I've requested a phone a while ago, but I have yet to receive a rejection, or confirmation for that matter. Meanwhile I whipped this up, which I'd like to have performance tested on a real device:

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    p.s. kenji is gay..especially if you arent asian

  • Fuckyou

    and youre not….