Windows Phone 7 may still be a few months away from seeing a commercial release, but now developers have a stable set of tools to use to build applications for the platform. Early versions of the Windows Phone Developer Tools have been around since Microsoft's MIX event back in March, but now they are stable enough to proudly wear the "beta" badge of honor. Microsoft has said that the tools and emulator represent "the near final version," so you can finally start developing your apps without the fear that they'll be incompatible with the final versions of WP7 hardware and software. There are a few tools and controls still missing, but Microsoft says that they will be added in the next few weeks. More developer devices are set to be shipped out next week, as well, so keep an eye on your mailbox if you're a little more hands-on with your development.
A few months away from release, Windows Phone 7 seems to be coming along swimmingly. Considering the popularity of Windows Mobile in the past, especially with businesses, I'm sure that there are more than a few devs that are planning to bring some apps to the platform. Now that we've learned more about the Windows Phone 7 OS and developer tools, hopefully we'll be hearing more about actualy WinPho 7 hardware. It only makes sense, right?