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For those aged devs trying to rock with WP7

I’ve discovered some developers of a certain aged, further defined by being drivers of Volvo cars, have experienced some difficulty getting the ‘tunes’ they would like to ‘get down’ too on Windows Phone 7 and Zune marketplace. So I wanted to offer some help.

First step is to ensure your Windows Phone 7 is set to the correct region. That’s ‘English (United Kingdom)’ for here in the UK. This ensures that the marketplace presents prices in the correct currency – that’s GBP. If you get USD $$ then clearly you haven’t got this set right.

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Having the correct region setting is very important. You see the Zune music catalogue varies between regions to ensure a regions primary music tastes are catered for. If you see a lot of Johnny Cash and Willy Nelson – you’re probably still got the USA as your region!

With your region correct, all sorts of musical heroes are available for you – even Mark Knopfler!

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You have to install the Zune client to be able to sync your PC with your WP7, and to gain access to the marketplace you need to have a Windows Live ID (WLID). It is important that the WLID is set up with an address for your region, as again, the Zune client selects the marketplace music catalogue based on this and any credit card transactions will be verified by your card provider using this WLID registered address.

Clearly installing new software makes changes to a machine and these changes can affect other things on your machine, just as other things can affect the software you are installing. Windows has a powerful security model that highlights to users ‘unsafe’ software, particularly unsigned device drivers. If you have Windows crashing on you, the primary candidate is a 3rd party device driver – so always think twice about installing unsigned drivers and other ‘free software’ of dubious source on your Windows machine. As the health of your body depends a lot on the quality of the food you eat, so does the health of your Windows machine depend on the quality of the software you install. At Microsoft we take software quality to high levels, and even have a global crash reporting infrastructure that enables us to see reported crashes from any networked PC in the world and to investigate them and report them to the relevant software vendors as necessary for fixes.

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The Zune client software is a particularly nice piece of UI work, connecting to a globally available cloud marketplace. Clearly in our early days we are seeing occasional downtime in the service, I’m certainly not pretending all is perfect, but these have only occurred rarely and usually very short in duration. The Zune client and the WP7 marketplace client robustly report service unavailability but clearly can’t continue with operations on data unavailable from remote sources.

Windows Phone 7 and the Zune marketplace are receiving some amazingly good reviews and I’m really proud to be a small part of the team delivering them to the world. You can download and try out the Zune client (before you buy your WP7) from Zune.net.

PS. Alas no Volvo owners club app yet but it does appear the ‘team song’ is available….

 

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