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If you want to develop apps for Windows Phone 7, I collected a list of tools and sites both Microsoft’s and external you might be interested in to make apps for Windows Phone. For the latest information on Microsoft tools, check out MSDN.
* Visual Studio 2010
Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone is FREE and has everything you need to start developing Windows Phone apps. You can develop two types of apps for Windows Phones: Silverlight or game apps. For game apps Microsoft includes XNA Game Studio 4.0. Naturally, the kit also contains Windows Phone Emulator, .NET Framework 4.0 and Silverlight.
* Expression Blend 4.0
Expression Blend is a totally tool for rapid developing and designing Silverlight apps. It’s especially great if you need to develop apps that contain animations, transitions and storyboarding. Expression Blend is a new kid on the block, but it totally rocks. Think Flash apps development, only on steroids of .NET Framework 4.0, C# and XAML.
I think of Visual Studio and Expression Blend as a “light tool” vs “dark tool”. You got it: dark themes are usually used by video, photo and design apps. Light themes are for pure development work. I think visually that’s what Microsoft meant when creating Expression Blend.
The best part: you can open the same project in Visual Studio and Expression Blend. I usually use Expression Blend for all type of animations, transitions and layouts.