Some things are strange: after giving existing the developers the boot, Microsoft has just sent out to find a new batch of “victims”.

Those gullible enough can now enjoy the following new features:

* This release has been tested to work with the final release of Visual Studio 2010.
* An updated Windows Phone 7 OS image for the Windows Phone Emulator.
* A few APIs in the frameworks have been added and or changed. See this MSDN page for more details.
* The documentation has been updated with new and expanded topics. See this MSDN page for more details.
* We’ve provided limited support for launchers and choosers. In cases where the underlying built-in experience is not present launchers and choosers are still not available (i.e. the email chooser asks you to select a contact, but there are no contacts in the emulator and no way to add one).
* Pause/Resume events are now supported.
* If the tools are installed as the admin user, non-admin users are now able to deploy to the emulator.
* A problem with incremental deployment of projects has been fixed.
* A problem resulting in the error “Connection failed because of invalid command-line arguments” being displayed during project creation has been fixed.
* A problem where the Windows Phone node was not appearing in VS 2010 on non-system drives has been fixed.
* Design time skin refresh issues have been addressed.

XDA-developers also have a few screenshots, and that’s that for me…

Developers wanting to create panels that plug into Sony Ericsson’s “Sliding Panel homescreen” can now do so – the SDK has just been released. The requirements for the SDK are pretty humane – you need Visual Studio 2005, the WM6 SDK and the latest version of ActiveSync 4.5.

Unfortunately, Sony Ericsson does not specify which programming language(s) can/must be used to create these panels – I am pretty sure that .NET CF developers will be left out due to the way-too-long startup time of the CLR interpreter (up to three seconds on my rx4240).

Amusingly, the SDK ships with a full XPERIA simulator – should anyone of you feel like taking the box for a spin: this is your opportunity…

Further information can be found at Sony Ericsson’s developer network!

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