Windows Phone 7 Series phones are designed for end users while providing an exciting development experience for developers. Today at Mix 2010 Microsoft announced the release of the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP. For the past few months I have had the joy of using the tools and it has been difficult to contain my excitement. Now that it has been publicly announced and is available for download, here is my list of “discoveries.”
Discovery #1: Silverlight Developer == Windows Phone 7 Series Developer
Silverlight developers can use their existing skills to develop for Windows Phone 7 Series starting today. Silverlight is used for developing rich internet applications and is easy to learn if you are familiar with .NET development. When I first started developing for the phone I didn’t know Silverlight programming but the familiar controls, C# and XAML familiarity (must be from looking at so much ASP.NET code) made it really easy to pick up. Add Intellisense in Visual Studio on top of that and I was quickly discovering functionality and being productive. Silverlight is a proven technology that is also easy to use.
Discovery #2: One Download
Everything you need to bring your ideas to life on the phone is available in the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP. For Silverlight and .NET developers all of these tools will be familiar to you and for people new to the platform they are pretty intuitive. Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone gives you the power of Visual Studio for designing, developing and debugging your phone applications. For developers already using the Visual Studio 2010 release candidate for development, the Windows Phone Add-in for Visual Studio will plug into your existing VS installation. To test your application without needing the physical device, the Windows Phone Emulator gives you a functioning phone environment. Silverlight and XNA Game Studio are both included as well if you do not have them installed already.
Discovery #3: Write Once, Optimize Everywhere
Existing Silverlight applications can be moved to different platforms with some optimizations giving you more places to run your code. This lets you create high-quality experiences for all major browsers on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems and now the phone is included as well.
Discovery #4: Easily Beautiful Interfaces
Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone includes the design tools needed to make visually appealing interfaces. First, there are the templates that use the Windows Phone design system by default. As you drag & drop controls they automatically adopt the same design as your interface. If you have your own preferred style you can also use that instead. With side-by-side layout and XAML views you can edit the interface in your preferred way. The layout view provides a precise way to align controls for meticulous user interfaces.
Now that you have seen some Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP “discoveries” you should download the tools and start exploring. As you find features that you like feel free to leave me a comment.
For additional information on Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP you can also go to:
· MIX Virtual Press Room
· Channel 9 Live Streaming
· Scott Guthrie Blog
· Soma Blog
· Silverlight Team Blog
Talk to you soon,
Orville | @orville_m