Windows Phone 7 is “ready”, according to Terry Myerson of the Windows Phone team, announcing that they have just completed the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) build of the Windows Phone 7 operating system.
The RTM milestone is an important one in the lifecycle of the software, as it has now been passed off to the hardware, software and network partners for integration into their phones and systems. It also marks the end of the first major development effort on the platform.
There has been little change in terms of features in Windows Phone 7 since the Technical Preview was released, with only some minor changes to the Facebook integration in the People Hub. However, a considerable amount of work has gone into making sure the platform is stable, reliable, and ready for the prime-time.
The Windows Phone team say that they had 10 thousand devices for running automated tests, and a combined total of over 12.5 million hours of active use, stress tests and automated tests. On top of this, they have had “thousands” of independent vendors and early adopters testing it out.
Scott Guthrie, Senior Vice President at Microsoft, has also mentioned what developers can expect to be working with to build applications for Windows Phone 7 devices. He has said that both Experssion Blend for Phone and Visual Studio 2010 Express for Phone will be free for developers to use. Additionally, students with access to the Dreamspark programme may release 5 applications on the platform for free.