With Windows Phone 7 devices already available for sale in Europe, and coming to US customers on November 8th, Microsoft is working hard to increase the attractiveness of its latest Windows mobile platform.

One critical catalyst of platform adoption is related to the ecosystem of applications available for an OS, and the Redmond company knows this perhaps better than anyone.

In this context, it should come as no surprise that the software giant is offering a range of tools and resources as free download just to get developers to start building apps for Widows Phone 7.

With a developers community already estimated to be 12,000 members strong (and over 1,000 apps already on the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace), Microsoft is offering the Programming Windows Phone 7 ebook for download completely free of charge.

The Programming Windows Phone 7 ebook was announced at the end of October 2010, but it went live on the Microsoft Download Center where it is up for grabs on November 2nd.

“This book is a gift from the Windows Phone 7 team at Microsoft to the programming community, and I am proud to have been a part of it,” reveals author Charles Petzold.

“Within the pages that follow, I show you the basics of writing applications for Windows Phone 7 using the C# programming language with the Silverlight and XNA 2D frameworks.”

The book can be leveraged by all devs, from beginners to those that have already put together apps for other mobile platforms.

According to Petzold, developers are only required to know basic principles of .NET programming as well as having a working familiarity with the C# programming language, and they can get right to work.

At the same time, devs will need the right tools to help them get the job done. As such they have to download and install the Windows Phone Developer Tools, including Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, XNA Game Studio 4.0.

If they don’t have an actual Windows Phone 7 device they can take advantage of an on-screen Windows Phone Emulator for testing scenarios.

“This book is divided into three parts. The first part discusses basic concepts of Windows Phone 7 programming using example programs that target both Silverlight and the XNA framework.

“It is likely that many Windows Phone 7 developers will choose either one platform or the other, but I think it’s important for all developers who have at least a little knowledge of the alternative to their chosen path.

“The second part of this book focuses entirely on Silverlight, and the third part on XNA 2D. For your convenience, the chapters in each part build upon previous knowledge in a progressive tutorial narrative, and hence are intended to be read sequentially,” Petzold added.

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