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Microsoft's iOS and Android love deepens

While WinPhone fans get abused

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If there’s one group Microsoft can’t shower enough love on right now, it’s those building apps for iPhone and Android. Early Windows Phone 7 adopters are another matter.

On Monday, Microsoft gave its second gift in two weeks to iOS coders, releasing a toolkit for “easily” building iOS apps that work with its Azure cloud.

The Windows Azure Toolkit for iOS includes a complied Objective-C library to work with services on Windows Azure, full source code for the objective-C library, and sample iOS app and documentation to make it easier for iOS developers to build apps for use with Azure.

The toolkit and code has been released by Microsoft to github, here, here and here.

A Windows Azure Toolkit for Android is due to be ready for June, the company said.

Both follow the March release of the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7. The Windows kit includes binaries for Windows Phone 7 apps, project templates, and sample C# and VB.NET applications, in addition to other tools.

Windows Phone 7 is still new, and it’s market share is still (very) small. So, in addition to offering dev tools for WinPho 7, Microsoft needs to start sucking on the slipstream from the iPhone and Android, the only growing mobile platforms right now in terms of developer and consumer interest.

At this rate, Windows Phone 7 is going nowhere fast. When Microsoft’s NoDo update to Windows Phone 7 choked, early fans of the phone effectively broke their devices in order to update them on their own. An update that was supposed to take place quickly in February was still dragging on through March and April, with no end in sight.

Apologies were as slow in coming as an explanation for what had gone wrong. So, on April 5, a group of Windows Phone 7 users published "ChevronWP7" to bypass Microsoft and carriers and download the NoDo update without waiting for either.

Now, Microsoft has released a new security update, "7392", which fixes nine fraudulent third-party digital certificates. But it won’t be available for phones that used ChevronWP7.

Hacker and Windows Phone 7 user Chris Walsh, who created the hack, now seems to be updating the patch to work with the 7392. But Microsoft is not pulling any punches, and it has explained in no uncertain terms how it feels about those who built ChevronWP7 and anybody who downloaded it to circumvent the delayed update.

Windows Phone 7 director Brandon Watson published a blog post that took the “told you so” stance. According to Watson:

Despite the fact that many people have claimed that an unofficial update mechanism worked fine for them, we cautioned that phones which were updated via this method were not going to be able to update past build 7390. Unfortunately for those customers out there who acted on information from sources outside of Microsoft, the rubber meets the road today.

Watson continues that Microsoft can't promise a fix either, because it's too busy working on the next update to Windows Phone 7 codenamed Mango. "We understand that this isn’t ideal. Unfortunately, our engineering priorities are focused on improving the process by which updates get to Windows Phone, issuing the security update you just got and working to getting Mango to market. Undoing this specific problem was not in our schedule."

According to Watson, Microsoft will work with Walsh and others who created the unsupported update to validate their fix. After all: "The creators of the unsupported tool are a clever bunch." Ouch. ®

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