Windows Phone users can already benefit from a great deal of highly-appealing applications, but more of them are bound to emerge as Windows Phone 8 rolls out, some much better than before.
Today, the Windows Phone Marketplace lists over 100,000 applications, a milestone it reached faster than other application portals out there.
The Marketplace enjoys contributions from thousands of developers, with more of them expected to arrive in the near and long-distance future.
To ensure that this indeed happens, Microsoft announced a series of enhancements that Windows Phone app developers will benefit from in the upcoming mobile platform release.
First and foremost, there will be support for native code. Windows Phone 8 will land with full C and C++ support, so that devs can write apps for more platforms faster than before.
“It also means Windows Phone 8
supports popular gaming middleware such as Havok Vision Engine, Autodesk Scaleform, Audiokinetic Wwise, and Firelight FMOD, as well as native DirectX-based game development,” Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore explains.
To ensure that developers can get the most out of their applications, Windows Phone 8 will arrive with support for in-app payments, so that makers could sell virtual and digital goods through their applications.
Additionally, there will be integrated Internet calling, enabling developers to come up with VoIP apps that take advantage of the existing calling feature in the platform. Internet calls will be answered as traditional phone calls, and will benefit from the same calling interface.
During the Windows Phone 8 launch event, Microsoft demoed the integrated Skype calling capabilities that users will benefit from, adding that third-party developers would be able to tap into the same resources and capabilities.
Another important enhancement in Windows Phone 8
is related to multitasking, enabling location-based apps to run in the background, so that they would continue working even at times when users are doing other things on the phone.
Application developers will receive access to the Windows Phone 8 Software Development Kit (SDK) and to the new Visual Studio 11-based development tools later this summer, so that they could start building apps for the new platform.