Mango Unleashed

In case you were wondering what a Mango actually looks like. I think you should know that I had to buy this picture from iStockPhoto….

Big things afoot in Windows Phone 7 land.

Firstly, the latest version (7.1 beta 2) of the toolchain is now available. You can get it from here. This lets you create Windows Phone apps for the Mango build. It replaces version 7.1 beta 1, which you must remove before you install this one. A tip, I download the iso image (there is a link on the download site) and burn it to a disk. Then I can update machines at home without losing all my network bandwidth.

Secondly, and this is the big one, all registered Marketplace developers will get access to a Microsoft Connect program which will enable them to put Mango system images onto their developer devices. And not just the special developer phones. This means that I should be able to get some Mango goodness onto my Samsung Omnia 7. Wonderful. The email invitations are going out at the moment. Not got mine yet, but I’m watching my inbox.

Thirdly, if you are a student you can take advantage of a new DreamSpark inspired competition.  Here are the instructions, hand stolen from the WindowsTeam Blog (I always think that says Window Steam Blog – but that’s just me).

  1. Make sure you’re registered for DreamSpark
  2. Download and install Expression Studio Ultimate and the new Mango Windows Phone Developer Tools (available free as a member of DreamSpark)
  3. Get the free Sketchflow Template for Windows Phone and create a Sketchflow mock-up of your app
  4. Post the Sketchflow mock-up somewhere online and tweet out the link using the hash tag #WPAppItUp
  5. We will review all prototypes and will contact the developers who submit the best ones and send them a special Mango developer device.

Great stuff.  Windows Phone is going from strength to really strong.