Microsoft has made two announcements related to its Windows Phone mobile development platform. First, it officially acknowledged the new features that will be in Windows Phone update 3. They include support for larger screen sizes, support for quad-core ARM processors, an app switcher, room for six Live Tiles in a row across the home screen, custom ringtones, an orientation lock and better storage management. New phones with the update will become available within weeks, and existing phone owners should be able to update within months.
Microsoft also announced a new Windows Phone developer program that will allow developers to try out all the new features before they become available to end users. The update doesn't include any new APIs, so Microsoft isn't planning to release a new SDK. An emulator for the update will become available in the next three weeks.