Yesterday at the BUILD Conference, Microsoft’s premier conference for developers, we announced the immediate availability of the Windows Phone 8 SDK.  This represents a significant entry into the smartphone platform market and with it, Microsoft introduces a truly competitive mobile platform that is ready to take on any competitor head-on and win in both user experience and functional capability.  What is truly interesting about this launch is that not only does it provide great end user features that focus around your lifestyle, but it is is the best platform for business with a great number of features that will pique your interest as a professional developer.  The time is now for you to target Windows Phone with your apps!

Windows Phone 8 represents a sea change in how people interact with their smartphones.  We built the phone to be the central digital device to cater to you, rather than you cater to your device.  With great end user features like Live Tiles and Live Lock Screens to the way our unique Modern UI design is propagated across the platform, it is truly a personal mobile platform.  Now with Windows Phone 8, we are adding some great business-focused features to the mobile platform like full device encryption, Work Hubs for LOB apps and many others that make Windows Phone 8 the clear choice for mobile computing in the enterprise (or even small and medium sized business!).

So how do you get started?

First and foremost, download the Windows Phone 8 SDK right now.  It’s free (and comes with an Express version of Visual Studio 2012) and if you have a paid version of Visual Studio 2012 already (i.e.:  a non-Express SKU), then the SDK integrates seamlessly into that developer experience as well.

We also have a limited time offer until November 7, 2012 where a 1-year membership to the Windows Phone Store is only $8 (you see what we did there?) which is normally $99 per year.  So you should join now if you haven’t already to take advantage of this deal.

Business-ready features that you can integrate into your Windows Phone 8 apps today!

I mentioned earlier that Windows Phone 8 is the best choice for businesses that want a modern mobile platform that meets the rigorous requirements of the enterprise, out of the box.  The great news is that you can use these features within your apps as well.  Here are some of the best features:

Work Hubs Work hubs allow you to publish your organization’s app catalog and distribute your line-of-business apps to managed or unmanaged devices. The managed device scenario coming with the availability of System Center Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 plus Windows Intune will allow you to install, update, and uninstall line-of-business apps.


Office, out of the box. Microsoft Office comes out of the box in every Windows Phone.  So if your app links to an Office document, your users can interact with the document without having to get to a PC first.  You can also synchronise your documents with Office 365, Sharepoint and Skydrive easily.


Management your way. Manage your apps and devices from System Center 2012 or Windows InTune.  Windows Phone is now the most manageable mobile platform for the enterprise, bar none.
Full device Encryption.  And peace of mind.

You get peace of mind with your app’s data on Windows Phone as there are a number of security-focused features that you get out of the box.  This includes:

- Secure Boot

- Code Signing

- App Sandboxing

- Rights Management

- Full device encryption via BitLocker

Share code with Windows 8. Because of the common runtime heritage between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 (WinPRT and WinRT), you can easily share a great deal of code between apps for the two platforms.  This helps you deliver great modern app experiences across platforms with less effort for you as a developer.

 

As you can see, even in this short list there are a number of great features that make Windows Phone the right choice for your LOB apps.  These, coupled with other features too lengthy to mention in a simple blog post make the vision of a truly connected mobile platform experience that is the best choice for both business and personal use become a reality.  All of it on Windows Phone 8.