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Windows Phone 7 nears release date

Microsoft has released the final set of developer tools ahead of the launch of Windows Phone 7 next month.

The tools are free and include Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, Express Blend 4 for Windows Phone, Silverlight for Windows Phone 7, XNA Game Studio for Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone Emulator and Phone Registration Tool.

The Bing Maps control was also added to the final release of the tools.

Any applications that developers build with these tools can be uploaded to the Windows Phone Marketplace, which means that they are available for consumers to download.

"We are now giving developers the ability to instantly build compelling map experiences that include a full suite of map functionality that users have come to expect… search, directions, scroll, zoom, aerial view, street view and more, all with a single drag and drop operation," said Microsoft's Brandon Watson on the Windows Phone Developers blog.

Scott Guthrie, NET Developer Platform VP at Microsoft, outlines the advantages and new capabilities of these tools on his blog.

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