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Windows Phone Devs Get Early RC Build of 'Mango'

Developers do not have access to the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows Phone 7 "Mango" that was released on Tuesday; instead, Microsoft said, they will receive an early release candidate (RC) version.

According to a Microsoft blog, the version of Mango for developers, 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. Previously, developers had access to only a beta 2 version of Mango.

Microsoft calls Build 7712 a partial "release candidate" build of Mango that developers can access through their Windows Phone update service. The final RC version is expected to be 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," wrote Cliff Simpkins, a Windows Phone product manager, in the blog. The SDK 7.1 beta 2 refresh corresponds with Build 7712, he explained.

Simpkins assured developers 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 Tuesday's RTM debut shouldn't be disappointed, Simpkins said.

"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 RC 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 pre-release 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," he said.

That idea might not 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 about delays 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 until September to get the phone.

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About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.