Microsoft is following suit, the trend started by apple and then continued by Google, a very wide application base. Microsoft has recently opened up its portals for the international developers and is offering various tools to help them write applications and games for the new Windows Phone 7 series which is expected to be released into the market in the 4th quarter.

As the presence of a wide app. base is gaining more importance as a deciding factor in choosing a smart phone, Microsoft is showing more interest in its inconspicuously missing app base. The app. developers now have a chance to use Microsoft’s most sought after tools and make app’s that help us do anything from playing games to paying bills online to accessing social networking sites such as Facebook and twitter to in some cases booking tickets online. Such are the apps that Microsoft is targeting.

Some more facts that might have woken up Microsoft from their stupor-
The number users who connect wirelessly to internet are expected to top 10 billion by 2015 which is five that of what it is today. If the present trend is to continue revenues made by the sales of applications alone are estimated to cross $18 billion by 2012 compared to the $5 billion as of today.

Microsoft announced free access to critical tools for developers such as – Visual Studio 2010, and Expression Blend 4 for tools. The XNA Game Studio 4 for the development of various games. It announced free support for Silverlight framework which is essential software to build media rich applications.

The free access provided to the tools grabbed the limelight at the MIX 10 conference for the developers guild held in Las Vegas in march. Microsoft has decided to lay down standards for the minimum configuration that a device needs to have to run Windows Phone 7. By laying down this standard, they say, that are ensuring that the customer gets the optimal performance of the new operating system.

The standards that they have set include a multi-touch touch sensitive touch screen, 256 MB of Random Access Memory or simply RAM, at least 8GB of flash storage, ARMv7 Cortex/Scorpion processor or better, directx 9 acceleration, a five megapixel camera (with flash with a dedicated camera button), GPS, accelerometer and compass.

Joe Belfiore, corporate vice-president, was recorded stating that the new operating system’s design is centred on social networking and is designed for somebody who is” 38 years old, 76 per cent employed and 73 per cent in a partnered relationship”, whom he also goes on to term as life maximizers.

The factor which will differentiate the phones of today from the phone of tomorrow is the ability to sync data from your phone to the PC and from your PC to the phone. Apple offers integration of music from the PC to the phone, Nokia has the Ovi service package, google offers map services. But Aaron Woodman, Microsoft’s director of mobile communications, asserts that the new Windows Phone 7 series will include all the above mentioned features and also integration with Microsoft’s famed gaming console the X-Box. The small screens of your mobile phones are all set to change forever with the launch of the Windows Phone 7.