Microsoft demos third-party apps for Windows Phone 7 Series: Silverlight, extensions, and true Xbox gaming

Well we've just gotten a look at some of the first third-party applications written for Windows Phone 7 Series with Silverlight -- and they're looking pretty darn slick. Corporate VP Joe Belfiore first showed off the Associated Press newsreader app while demoing the new OS in front of an audience at MIX10 (Microsoft's developer pow-wow). There wasn't a lot to glean from the quick look, but it's clear that the developers are hewing very closely to the UI paradigms of WP7S with a multi-panel system that lets you jump through various news stories and topics. Joe touted the ability to view photos and video (utilizing some pretty slick animations) and also showed off breaking news alerts which allow you to jump to news stories as they break. We also saw a sneak preview of the monetization scheme for the AP, an animated, fly-over Ford ad that was actually a little troubling -- think annoying Flash ads... but in your apps and on your handset. Lots more info and pics after the break.

Joe also demoed the Hush Hush application, which is a digital diary that incorporates links, photos, and video along with text entries. The look and feel of the app is decidedly different than what we've seen in Windows Phone 7, taking a more real-world approach to the fit and finish, replete with page turn animations, serifed fonts, and soft, creamy looking simulated paper.

We saw a function of what the platform can do with extensible applications that plug into the native components of the device. In this case, a photo editing extension that interfaces with the photo viewer on the device, allowing you to edit and tweak images within the gallery. Think plugins for Firefox and you'll be close to what these elements can do -- actually a thrilling concept considering how closed off most native smartphone applications feel comparatively.

Finally, Joe showed off The Harvest, a 3D Xbox title for Windows Phone 7 Series devices. We saw some of this game at GDC, but we got a much better look here at MIX. The game looks incredibly slick, and not only does it feature full 3D, destructible environments, but it ties perfectly into Xbox LIVE -- achievements and all. We were a little blown away by how much it looks and feels like an Xbox title. This could certainly be a game changer as far as the smartphone race is concerned -- bringing a comparable, connected Xbox experience to a mobile device will be incredibly enticing to end users, especially those already plugged into the company's gaming ecosystem.

We're putting together more images and video for you, so hang tight while we flesh this story out.


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