Having already pushed the completed build of Windows Phone Mango out to manufacturers on Tuesday, Microsoft has now given its Windows Phone application developers a taste of the upcoming OS with the release of a "more complete" build of its software development kit.

Windows Phone Mango SDK updateOn its Windows Phone Developer Blog, Cliff Simpkins, Microsoft's senior product manager of the Windows Phone group, announced that Windows Phone SDK 7.1 is now available. This version is still being considered a release candidate, however, Simpkins notes it is "close enough" to the RTM (release to manufacturing):

"We've received positive feedback on the Mango tools and bits we've shared, but appreciate that many devs are still interested in working with a more complete build.

"Today's refresh of the tools represent a month of great progress by the engineering team, further refining and improving the Mango developer experience.

"What we are providing is a genuine release candidate build, with enough code checked in and APIs locked down that this OS is close enough to RTM that, as a developer, it's more than capable to see you through the upcoming RC drop of the tools and app submission."

So why didn't Microsoft just provide the same release that manufacturers got on Wednesday? Well, Simpkins says that there are two main reasons, but most importantly, the OS and the developer toolkit are two separate parts that correspond to one another. When Microsoft took the "snapshot for the refresh," it took the latest release candidate builds of the tools and the corresponding OS version. So basically, it just hasn't updated its developer toolkit for the final Mango release yet. Simpkins promises, however, that "today's refresh provides you with everything you need to update your app for Mango."

Unfortunately there's still no indication of when Mango might be available for your Windows Phone device, but we're constantly scouting for an update on its release date and we'll be sure to keep you updated. You'll want to give developers time with the SDK so that they can update their applications for the new OS anyway — otherwise, when you update you may find half your third-party apps have issues and won't work as they're intended to.

[via CNET]