February 08, 2011, 4:53 PM — Microsoft and RIM are making moves to assist application developers building for the vendors' respective handheld platforms, with Microsoft updating developer tools for Windows Phone and RIM upgrading a simulator for the upcoming RIM PlayBook tablet.
Microsoft late last week published an update to its Windows Phone Developer Tools, supporting copy and paste and improved performance. Tools feature updated reference assemblies, a new version of the Windows Phone OS emulator image, and minor bug fixes, said Microsoft's Brandon Watson, a director for Windows Phone 7, in a blog post.
[ Microsoft in late-December reported having shipped more than 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 devices to retailers. Meanwhile in the RIM space, rumors have floated suggesting RIM will adopt Google's Dalvik JVM for the PlayBook. | Learn how to manage iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys, and other smartphones in InfoWorld's 20-page Mobile Management Deep Dive PDF special report.]
"In practical terms, this is the Tools update that supports the forthcoming addition of copy and paste, improved app performance, and other enhancements for Windows Phone. All apps that are in Windows Phone Marketplace will continue to work on any phone that gets updated to the new version of the OS. Any app built using this new version of the tools will also work on phones that have not been updated to the new OS," Watson said. The Windows Phone software platform will be fitted with copy and paste capabilities in the next few months.
The tools update replaces the October 2010 update. "If you are building a new machine with a new developer environment, this version of the Windows Phone Developer Tools is all you need," Watson said. Applications will benefit from changes made in the forthcoming OS update, said Watson.
Boosting its upcoming PlayBook tablet, RIM is offering on Tuesday an updated version of the BlackBerry Tablet OS Simulator, which embeds the full BlackBerry browser. The simulator can be found at the BlackBerry website. Web developers can test Web and Flash applications using the browser on the simulator, RIM said.