Free ebook: Programming Windows Phone 7 Series (DRAFT Preview)

Free ebook: Programming Windows Phone 7 Series (DRAFT Preview)

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Do you recognize this man?


That’s Charles Petzold! Looking stylish with the cover of his free ebook on his tee shirt. It’s a draft preview of his upcoming book (to be published in the fall): Programming Windows Phone 7 Series. This preview ebook contains six chapters in three parts (153 pages total):

Part I   Getting Started

Chapter 1   Phone Hardware + Your Software

Chapter 2   Hello, Windows Phone

Part II   Silverlight

Chapter 3   Code and XAML

Chapter 4   Presentation and Layout

Part III   XNA

Chapter 5   Principles of Movement

Chapter 6   Textures and Sprites

Here’s a quick excerpt from the ebook:

Chapter 1
Phone Hardware + Your Software

Sometimes it becomes apparent that previous approaches to a problem haven’t quite worked the way you anticipated. Perhaps you just need to clear away the smoky residue of the past, take a deep breath, and try again with a new attitude and fresh ideas. In golf, it’s known as a “mulligan”; in schoolyard sports, it’s called a “do-over”; and in the computer industry, we say it’s a “reboot.”

A reboot is what Microsoft has initiated with its new approach to the mobile phone market. On February 15, 2010, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Series and promised a product introduction in time for year-end holiday shopping. With its clean look, striking fonts, and new organizational paradigms, Windows Phone 7 Series not only represents a break with the Windows Mobile past but also differentiates itself from other smartphones currently in the market.

For programmers, the news from Barcelona was certainly intriguing but hardly illuminating. Exactly how do we write programs for this new Windows Phone 7 Series? Developers detected a few hints but no real facts. The really important stuff wouldn’t be disclosed until mid-March at MIX 2010 in Las Vegas.

Silverlight or XNA?

Intelligent speculation about the application platform for the Windows Phone 7 Series has gravitated around two possibilities: Silverlight and XNA.

Since about 2008, programmers have been impatiently awaiting the arrival of a mobile version of Silverlight. Silverlight, a spinoff of the client-based Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), has already given Web programmers unprecedented power to develop sophisticated user interfaces with a mix of traditional controls, high-quality text, vector graphics, media, animation, and data binding that run on multiple platforms and browsers. Many programmers thought Silverlight would be an excellent platform for writing applications and utilities for smartphones.

XNA—the three letters stand for something like “XNA is Not an Acronym”—is Microsoft’s game platform supporting both 2D sprite-based and 3D graphics with a traditional game-loop architecture. Although XNA is mostly associated with writing games for the Xbox 360 console, developers can also target the PC itself, as well as Microsoft’s classy audio player, the Zune. The 2009 release of the Zune HD particularly seemed to suggest a mobile future built around the device’s revamped graphics and multitouch navigation. For many Zune HD users, the most disappointing feature of the device was its inability to make phone calls!
Either Silverlight or XNA would make good sense as the application platform for the Windows Phone 7 Series, but the decision from Microsoft is:


The Windows Phone 7 Series supports programs written for either Silverlight or XNA. And this we call “an embarrassment of riches.”

You can download the ebook in XPS format here. Here it is in PDF format. And the zipped code samples for this draft preview are here.

Charles is at MIX; say hello and ask him about programming for the Windows Phone. And enjoy, everybody!


WinPhone_v3 (2)

  • That's a great book for developers!

    I hope the book will publish ASAP.

  • Nice book, Thanks!

    If you need an editor for future XAML or WP7 books, I'm keen to help out!

  • When I heard about it, I didn't believe. Thanks for taking time to write about programming on Windows Phone 7 Series platform! I am waiting for its final version... :)

  • Hey everybody, thanks for all your comments!  By the way, in case we didn't make it clear in the post, this ebook is short preview of a much longer book Charles is writing.  And even the chapters in the ebook are only in the early stages of the chapters they'll become.

  • I am not sure "re: Free ebook:Programming ...." is all about and would like more information.  I have used Macs f and programmed them for many years,  Now I have a

    toshiba using Windows 7 home premiumand would like to learn how to program it!

  • Why do we have to wait till the fall for this book? Won't it make more sense to get it out there  before WP7 hits the public for developers to have apps ready by then? I really don't get this sense of timing or lack of it.

    Right about now, various groups are rallying several WP7 study groups but there is no book to use to teach and learn WP7 app/game dev. This really makes no sense.

  • The book title (and perhaps some internal details) also needs to be updated to "Programming Windows Phone 7"....lose the series please.

  • Techieg, we're doing our best to produce the highest quality guidance possible as soon as possible.  Our schedule is driven by quality more than anything else.

    Online, the "DRAFT Preview" is a snapshot in time.  If we release another "DRAFT Preview" before we release the final full book, it'll have the new title (and be as accurate as it can be at that moment).

  • hi,

    Do you know, how can you improve your site.

  • hi,

    Do you know, how can you improve your site?

  • Hi,

    it's a nice book.

    One question: Will it be translated to german, because it's difficult to read, not everything but some things.

  • Nice example..

    its good way to attract for this new technology..

  • Excellent book...hope it also will be made available on Kindle (then you got one more customer here at least;)

  • Hi:  Windows Mobile 6.5 was a deritive of Windows CE.  Is Windows Phone 7 also a 'CE' deritive -- meaning if you have to tools to program in CE you can program in Phone 7?

    What compilers and IDE are required?  

    Thanks,   Greg

  • This Old guy rocks! >D but he looks scary as well >(

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