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Developers Getting Not So Fresh 'Mango' Release

Developers trying to access the latest 'Mango' update to Windows Phone 7, after its release-to-manufacturing  (RTM) debut yesterday, will get a different build, Microsoft explained today.

The developer build of Mango (build 7712) works with a new Windows Phone SDK 7.1 "beta 2 refresh" developer tools version that was released on the Microsoft Connect portal today, a Microsoft blog explained. Build 7712 isn't the RTM version released to device and mobile service providers on Tuesday. Instead, developers will be getting their hands on a partial "release candidate" Mango build via their Windows Phone update service, according to the blog.

Previously, developers just had access to a beta 2 version of Mango. Microsoft plans to make the finalized release candidate version available sometime in August.

"What you have here is a build in the early part of our Release Candidate cycle -- the end result of which should be in your hands in the coming month," stated Cliff Simpkins in the blog. The SDK 7.1 beta 2 refresh corresponds with build 7712, he explained.

Simpkins argued in the blog that developers can be assured about using the SDK 7.1 beta 2 refresh of Mango because the "APIs are now locked." The new software development kit also comes with some perks, such as the NuGet package management app designed for developer use. There's also an early version of the Marketplace Test Kit, which verifies compiled Silverlight apps.

Developers who were expecting to bite into the real Mango with yesterday's RTM debut shouldn't be disappointed, Simpkins argued.

"What we are providing is a genuine release candidate build, with enough code checked in and APIs locked down that this OS is close enough to RTM that, as a developer, it's more than capable to see you through the upcoming RC drop of the tools and app submission," he wrote.

The release candidate tools will be required for developers to upload their Mango apps to Microsoft's App Hub, Microsoft has explained, and Mango Apps should be uploaded to App Hub starting in August.

Simpkins also suggested that everything should be considered to be at the prerelease level until after device manufacturers and service providers have completed their reviews.

"It's important to remember that until the phone and mobile operator portion of Mango is complete, you're still using a pre-release on your retail phone -- no matter the MS build."

That idea might not seem to go over too well, since there has sometimes been a month's delay between Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 update releases and installations by end users. Windows Phone 7 customers have griped in the past, but the delivery of updates doesn't strictly depend on Microsoft.

One odd aspect of that seemingly chaotic release cycle is that a single hardware vendor was apparently the first to unveil a Mango-loaded smartphone. The Fujitsu Toshiba IS12T, running Mango, was unveiled on Wednesday in Japan. Still, Japanese buyers will have to wait till August to get it.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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