Microsoft launches IE9 Mobile Test drive site for Windows Phone 7 Mango

Microsoft has just launched the mobile version of the IE9 Test Drive site specifically tailored to test and benchmark the new HTML5 / CSS capabilities of the new browser included in the upcoming Windows Phone 7 Mango update:

Over the coming months leading up to the release of Windows Phone “Mango” and beyond, we will be adding new samples to the Mobile Test Drive for you to try out, and will announce them here on the blog when we do.

To kick things off, the first 15 samples available on the Mobile Test Drive will be:

Audio Player (from MIX11)
Geolocation
Border Radius
DOM Local Storage
Scalable Vector Graphics
CSS3 Media Queries
DOMContentLoaded
FishIE Tank
Speed Reading (from MIX11)
Animated Text
HamsterDance Revolution
Business Charts
IE Logo
Video Panorama
Browser Control Theming

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Kincet SDK Beta released alongside extensive documentation

This is in not really mobile related but if you have been a fan of Microsoft Kinect hardware and love to code existing stuff then you should be happy to know that the Kinect Beta SDK for Windows 7 is now available for download. The package currently includes the drivers required to make the Kinect cameras work on your Windows 7 PC, sample code and following tutorials:

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HTC Flyer Camera samples

The HTC Flyer has unfortunately one major hardware flaw: it’s totally crappy 5Mp camera on the back. I’ve been using the Flyer for nearly a week now and I simply can’t snap a good look picture or shoot a viewable video with the device. At first I thought that my review sample had a busted lens or sensor but unfortunately that’s not the case; the main camera is just crap. Pictures are muddy with no detail , same for the videos.

The most ridiculous part of all of this is that the front facing 1.3Mp camera seems to have a better lens and shoot better quality videos (but a a slightly lower framerate) and has better color reproduction. Check out the samples after the break:

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IM+ messenger application for Windows Phone 7 finally submitted to the Marketplace

The famous Instant Messenger client, IM+ is finally headed to Windows Phone 7 according to the developer’s latest tweet indicating that the application has been submitted to the Marketplace for review. IM+ Web Messenger allows user to log in and chat with contacts from Windows Live Messenger, Facebook Chat, Skype, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, MySpace, ICQ, Google Talk and Jabber. It will be interesting to see how the application will effectively work given that there no TCP/IP support in the current pre-Mango version of Windows Phone 7. Will it use some kind of HTTP routing/tunneling or maybe use the Webbrowser control and thus go through web version of the service.

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Windows Phone 7 Mango developer handsets to be sent out to select developers next week

Microsoft’s Brandon Watson has just tweeted a few hours ago that the first Windows Phone 7 Mango developer handsets will be sent out starting next week to select / serious developers who reach out to their local Microsoft DPE. This will hopefully be handled better than last year’s similar developer device hand out when some people who apparently weren’t really interested in the platform got their hands on a device or two (two “devs” actually offered to sell me their handsets because they didn’t use them..) while hundreds of real developers building real Windows Phone 7 applications were stuck with the emulator even though their local DPE kept promising (lying to) them that they will get a device before launch.

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Microsoft Gamefest Windows Phone 7 Mango sessions detailed

Microsoft has provided detailed description of the Windows Phone 7 Mango related sessions which will take place at the upcoming Gamefest developer events in London, Seattle and Tokyo. Talks will be principally centered around Windows Phone game development topics like the new Snapdragon NEON /SIMD support in XNA, in-game purchase API, performance optimizations, the new Generational GC and a couple more topics. Hit the break for the full list and descriptions:

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