It's all very geeky, but Microsoft has released its developer tools into the wild for developers across the world to get building apps.

"This Beta release represents the near final version of the tools for building applications and games for Windows Phone 7", Microsoft said in a blog post. "It’s time to get serious about building the actual apps and games for Windows Phone 7 that consumers will be looking for starting this holiday season".

This latest step is yet another in a long line of notches Microsoft has racked up since it announced the new phone OS in February.

For those interested, the headline features of the beta include:

- Microsoft Expression Blend for Windows Phone – Blend is now integrated completely into the Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta.

- Developer Registration Utility – Now you can unlock you Windows Phone 7 device for development purposes.

- XAP Deployment Tool – if you want to deploy XAP files directly to an unlocked device, now you can.

- The Windows Phone 7 API – we’re getting close to completion. Many namespaces that were previously distributed over several different DLLs have now been consolidated into one. In addition, there have been realignments and changes in several other namespaces as well. Push Notifications, Accelerometer and App Bar APIs have all been updated.

- Additional Controls – There are some additional controls coming in the next few weeks (i.e. Panorama and Pivot) which didn’t make the beta release. They are coming soon.

Microsoft has also confirmed that those important enough will be able to get a preview handset from next week to test the phones in the physical world.

We will keep you posted.