The Windows Phone 8 SDK came a little closer to being released today with Microsoft announcing they accepting requests for access from developers. This will allow qualified developers to begin optimizing existing apps for Windows Phone 8.
Microsoft explains that the SDK for Windows Phone 8 isn't being publicly released due to the presence of features that haven't been announced.
To apply, developers can visit the Microsoft Connect site and complete the short application. You'll need your Developer ID and Applications' Product ID as well as the name of your local Phone Champ. Applications will be accepted until September 17, 2012 at 5pm PDT. Accepted developers will be notified by Microsoft the following week with instructions on how to download the SDK.
With the announcement, Microsoft offers assurances that Windows Phone 8 remains on track to be released later this year. This gradual release will give developers the opportunity to make sure their apps and games won't miss a beat when Windows Phone 8 hits the shelves.