The Windows Phone 7 platform has been officially released, and the first wave of devices utilizing the operating system is hitting the market. It's time to start learning how to use the platform to create your own mobile applications and solutions and perhaps even make some money through the new Windows Phone 7 application marketplace.

In the next section, you'll get a brief overview of the Windows Phone 7 platform and a look at the developer tools that are available. Before you finish, you'll have built your first working Windows Phone 7 application. To get started, let's take a quick look at the major components of this new platform.

Windows Phone 7 Hardware Specifications

To avoid many of the problems that plagued application development in previous versions of the Windows mobile operating system, Microsoft decided to follow the lead of Google and Apple and come up with a hard list of requirements for hardware vendors. Rather than allow for an unlimited set of hardware configurations, Microsoft has been specific about the capabilities each Windows Phone 7 device must have. A user should be able to pick up any given Windows Phone 7 device and recognize how to use it without a major learning curve. No two devices should be so different from each other that they're difficult to use or program against. Ultimately, as a Windows Phone 7 developer, you're expected to develop applications against Microsoft's constrained list of potential hardware features. ...

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