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Microsoft gives developers early access to Windows Phone builds

The company looks to boost Windows Phone apps by giving developers access to operating system updates before they're released to the public.

Microsoft

Microsoft is making it easier for developers to get apps ready for future Windows Phone builds.

Microsoft on Monday launched Windows Phone Preview for Developers, a service that will allow developers to gain access to prerelease Windows Phone builds. The effort aims at providing developers the code they need to test their apps on the new software to get them ready for the update's final release.

The Windows Phone Preview for Developers mimics Apple's developer program. After announcing iOS updates each year, Apple allows its developer community to download the platform to their test devices and get apps ready for the final launch.

To gain access to Windows Phone previews, developers must log in to Microsoft's Developers page. In order to participate, developers need to meet one of three conditions: own a "developer-unlocked" device; be registered with the Windows Phone Store as a developer; or be registered as a Windows Phone App Studio developer.

Microsoft's developer preview program comes along with the software company's announcement Monday of Windows Phone 8, Update 3. The update, which is available now, adds support for screen sizes in the 5-inch-to-7-inch range and includes support for 1080p HD displays.