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:
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.