To kick off its MIX 2010 conference, Microsoft has announced during the conference that it has begun offering the toolset necessary for the development of future Windows Phone Series 7 applications at no additional charge. The new toolset consists of Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone and the Silverlight-focused Expression Blend for Windows Phone, with the tools currently in a beta version.
Developers will also have access to accelerometer support, location-based APIs using Microsoft’s own Location Service, a new Microsoft Notification Service for pushing notifications regardless of application status, hardware-accelerated video with integrated DRM support, support for Microsoft’s Smooth Streaming technology, multitouch and camera / microphone access.
On a related note, Microsoft has also confirmed new details on the newly revised Windows Phone Marketplace for Windows Phone 7 Series-based devices today. The revenue split remains unchanged at 70 percent for the publisher, 30 percent to Microsoft, with the developer portal for managing submissions being “streamlined” and the elimination of the previous incremental costs associated with the service.