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Windows Phone in News: Microsoft Confirms Funding Developers Up to $600,000; Apps to be Tango Compatible; Offers Guidance for Transferring Contacts and Other Stuff to a New WP

Microsoft Windows Phone Marketplace reaching 80,000 apps just a couple of days ago — the company has been helping fund the development of some apps with up to $600,000.

Microsoft funding up to $600,00 to Windows Phone developers

The company has also been offering Windows Phone devices to developers for some time now, so they can test out their apps without having to simulate it on a PC.

According to a report, Microsoft helped fund the development of apps such as Fouresquare and the Cheezeburger Network, paying up to $600,000 in doing so. Foursquare admitted that they wouldn’t have made a Windows Phone app if it wasn’t for Microsoft’s help.

Facebook is another example of this, Facebook didn’t actually create their own Windows Phone app, a development team that was funded by Microsoft developed the app instead, and Facebook allowed the company to use it.

Microsoft has admitted to funding some apps, but refused to name the app developers.

In a April 5 blog post, Microsoft confirms that current Windows Phone applications and games will indeed run on the next major version of Windows Phone, stating “much of your code will be transferrable.” The company is aiming to please developers and end-users with the Windows Phone developer platform.

“With regard to existing applications: today’s Windows Phone applications and games will run on the next major version of Windows Phone. Driving application compatibility is a function of Microsoft’s commitment to its developers. Regardless of what we release in terms of new developer features and functionality, we have made a large investment in protecting your existing investments,” Microsoft said.

Microsoft has also urged developers not to panic when it comes to the future of Silverlight for Windows Phone stating that developing in XAML and C#/VB.NET in Windows 8 is a direct evolution from Silverlight.

“We’e also heard some developers express concern about the long term future of Silverlight for Windows Phone. Please don’t panic; XAML and C#/VB.NET development in Windows 8 can be viewed as a direct evolution from today’ Silverlight,” Microsoft stated.

“All of your managed programming skills are transferrable to building applications for Windows 8, and in many cases, much of your code will be transferrable as well,” Microsoft added.

“Note that when targeting a tablet vs. a phone, you do of course, need to design user experiences that are appropriately tailored to each device.”

“Regardless of what we release in terms of new developer features and functionality, we have made a large investment in protecting your existing investments,” Microsoft adds.

Paul Thurrott states this more directly than the Softies were willing to do: “The Silverlight-based Windows Phone developer environment is going away in Windows Phone 8, and is being replaced by WinRT-based APIs like those in Windows 8. Why? Two reasons. First, Silverlight is dead, cancelled internally by Microsoft. And second, Windows Phone 8 is Windows 8 for all intents and purposes.”

Cliff Simpkins, Senior Product Manager for Windows Phone, offered a bit of information about XNA support in Windows Phone 8:

“While not explicitly called out, XNA is very much a part of Larry’s statement “today’s Windows Phone applications and games will run on the next major version of Windows Phone.” XNA is fully supported in the next major version and remains part of the Windows Phone family. We remain committed to supporting our developers” existing skills and code as we move ahead – together.”

In a seperate blog post, Microsoft’s Michael Stroh on Windows Phone blog shared some tips for the new Windows Phone customers looking to get their contacts, apps, photos, and other precious cargo off their old phone and onto the new Windows Phone.

Moving apps
“If you’re upgrading your WP, it’s easy to get all your old apps onto your new handset–as long as you’ve set up your new phone with the same Windows Live ID you used on the old one,” Stroh said. Once that’s done, go to My Phone and sign in. Click your name, and then click Account. You’ll see everything you’ve picked up from Marketplace, organized by date. To install an app on your new phone, just click Reinstall.

Using the website, you’ll need to install your old apps one by one. If you’re not picky, use this Reinstaller app, that makes it possible to move all your apps at once.

Moving contacts
If you use online email services like Hotmail, Facebook, and Gmail, adding one of these accounts to a new phone will take a minute or so–and presto your contacts automatically show up in the People Hub on the new handset.

But, if your contacts are saved elsewhere–like on your PC or old phone’s SIM card? Take a look at this guidance.

If you are an AT&T subscribers, you can use AT&T Mobile Transfer app, is a free one-time service that helps you wirelessly transfer up to two gigabytes of contacts and photos to a temporary online storage depot, so you can later put them on your new phone.

Moving email
Just follow the steps in this how-to article. Windows Phone generally treats contacts, email, and calendar appointments as a package. So when you set up an Outlook, Windows Live, or Google account on your new phone, you can choose what info you want to show up.

Moving music, photos, and videos
If your phone is packed with pictures, videos, songs, and other media files, before upgrading, make sure to sync your current Windows Phone handset with your computer, so all those media files are safely copied onto your hard drive. To do that, you’ll need to install the Zune software, then follow these step-by-step instructions.

Have a Mac? Just download the Windows Phone 7 Connector from the Mac App Store and then check out this how-to article.