Microsoft has always had high hopes for Silverlight, it’s Flash alternative, and has announced its availability to mobile developers in hopes of gaining usage in the explosion of mobile gaming and the future of 3D development on mobile devices.
Developers can download a comprehensive set of tools for Silverlight development on the Windows Phone 7 Series, including Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7 Series add-in to use with Visual Studio 2010 RC, XNA Game Studio 4.0, Windows Phone 7 Series emulator for application testing and a separate downloadable Expression Blend for Windows Phone Community Technology Preview.
Though there’s hardly a thriving development community waiting in the wings to develop apps for the Windows Phone 7 Series, doing so using the newly released Silverlight development toolset allows access for things such as the accelerometer, a Microsoft Location Service for location information, the Microsoft Notification Service to push information, regardless of whether or not an application is running and hardware-accelerated video with DRM, among other things.
It’s definitely a comprehensive suite of tools, but the problem remains that there’s simply no interest in developing for Windows Mobile devices- at least not yet, or anytime in the near future. Developers focus on platforms that sell, and that are popular with users. At the moment that’s iPhone and Android, bottom line. This isn’t to say that Microsoft isn’t doing the right things to set the stage for increased consumer enthusiasm and interest from developers, but there’s still a long way to go.