(AP) -- Microsoft has taken another step toward a holiday release for its next generation of smart phones.
The software maker isn't giving an exact launch date for Windows Phone 7. But the company says the tools programmers will use to build Windows Phone 7 applications are complete.
It says developers can start submitting apps to Microsoft for approval in October.
Microsoft Corp. is an underdog in the modern smart phone market, given Apple Inc. and Google Inc.'s head start.
Developers may not rush to build apps for a phone that has not captured significant market share.
But Microsoft hopes its long-standing relations with developers may give it an edge. Its tools are similar to those for creating Windows PC programs.
Explore further: Microsoft vows openness for mobile app store