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Windows Phone tools beta piques dev interest

Microsoft reveals that the dev kit has been downloaded 300,000 ahead of October opening

Microsoft has revealed that its Windows Phone developer kit - currently running in beta until the final toolset launches on September 16 - has now been downloaded "north of 300,000" times.

The news, in the official blog written by Windows Phone 7 director Brandon Watson, comes six months after the software giant's plans for the platform were unveiled - with the community "busy stretching the capabilities of the application platform and developer tools" in that time.

The Windows Phone 7 platform is Microsoft's answer to the current dominance in the app market for Apple's iPhone, and the company is hoping that its ability to link in to existing products such as Silverlight and Bing will persuade consumers.

"We’ve demonstrated that you can build a phone that doesn't just allow developers to build apps, but rather one that enhances apps with unique features like Live tiles and a design system not available anywhere else," wrote Watson.

"We've shown that a phone isn’t there to just run apps, but rather to understand the full context of what customers are trying to do; integrating functions like maps and search and saving the state of apps so that customers can move between them without losing content or negatively impacting battery life.

"Lastly, we aren't just building a marketplace to deliver apps and games, but rather testing and certifying every one for quality and performance - all the while maintaining a fully open and transparent process to support the developer and their Marketplace success.

"Our rich developer ecosystem is creating a variety of quality apps and games that take advantage of the phone’s unique features and design," he added.

The marketplace is set to launch officially in early October, when customers will be able to start using the apps created - and when developers will be able to start monetising them.

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