Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0

Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0

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It gives us great pleasure to announce that today at //build/ we launched the Windows Phone 8 development story. We have enhanced the existing Visual Studio 2012 developer tools to support development of Windows Phone 8 apps optimized for a variety of resolutions and hardware, introduced ability to simulate and monitor the impact of real life conditions on app quality and also enabled native C++ app development.

Windows Phone SDK 8.0 is now available for download here. The SDK is based on Visual Studio 2012 and will be supported on Windows 8 x64 machines. This SDK contains everything you need to get started developing Windows Phone 8 apps as well as develop and upgrade existing Windows Phone 7.1 apps.

The SDK includes the following components:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone – Easily design, develop, build, debug and validate your Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.1 apps, taking advantage of the familiar Visual Studio environment. If you are already using a non Express Edition of Visual Studio 2012, the Windows Phone 8 Add-in for Visual Studio lets you develop apps alongside your Windows 8 store, web, cloud, Xbox and other apps.
  • Windows Phone Emulators – The SDK includes new Windows Phone 8 Emulators in 3 screen sizes (WVGA, WXGA and 720p) with 1GB RAM and an additional 512MB RAM version of WVGA for validating your Windows Phone 8 apps on different targets. A machine running Windows 8 with SLAT enabled is required to be able to run these emulators. The SDK also includes the older Windows Phone 7.1 Emulators (512MB RAM and 256MB RAM) to support development and testing of Windows Phone 7.1 apps and these will also work on non-SLAT machines.
  • Microsoft Expression Blend for Windows Phone – Blend is a professional designer tool for building immersive UI experiences for Windows Phone apps and is included as part of the SDK. Both 7.1 and 8.0 apps can be targeted using this designer.
  • Microsoft Team Explorer – Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) Client allows you to take advantage of the powerful ALM and Source Control capabilities of TFS for advanced application development.
  • XNA Game Studio – Enables you to develop XNA Windows Phone games.

Getting Started

With Windows Phone SDK 8.0, it is very easy to get started with developing Windows Phone 8 (or even Windows Phone 7.1) apps. There are pre-installed templates for XAML-based Windows Phone apps including Panorama and Pivot screens as well as templates for Direct3D, SL/XNA and Background Agents, which makes it easy to create optimized experiences.

Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0

The SDK introduces new templates for native C++ application development with XAML Interop and Direct3D, and for developing Windows Phone Runtime components which make it easy to use native code from within XAML apps. Now you can develop DirectX games for Windows Phone 8 and take advantage of easy portability between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The integrated development experience for native apps has rich functionality similar to Windows 8 and includes a code profiler as well.

Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0

Multi-Targeting Windows Phone 7.1 and 8.0 apps

With Window Phone SDK 8.0 and Visual Studio 2012 you can continue developing great Windows Phone 7.1 apps. These apps will run on Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 devices. The SDK comes with emulators for both Windows Phone 7.1 as well as 8.0 so that your apps can be validated on both these versions.

Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0

However, if you have an existing Windows Phone 7.1 project but wish to upgrade it to Windows Phone 8, you can do so with the new single-click upgrade feature. Once upgraded, apps will no longer run on Windows Phone 7.1 or earlier version devices.

Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0

Enhanced App Development

For XAML based apps, we are providing a host of new capabilities in Windows Phone 8 which can be targeted to build great apps! There are new templates to enable speech in your apps in addition to existing Panorama, Pivot and other templates, which are enhanced further. The templates are localization ready providing the basic infrastructure to help you localize to multiple locales and markets effortlessly. As with Visual Studio 2012, the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 also supports NuGet and Extension SDK for easier discovery of 3rd party SDKs from within the tools. Building XAML based apps with Direct3D Interop capability is now possible with a new Direct3D XAML Interop template which enables you to have native components within your XAML based applications.

Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0

The Windows Phone designer as part of the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 has been enhanced to include new capabilities. Now, the ability to switch the designer to various resolutions and orientations as well as select the theme and accent colors has been introduced, all while developing your app.

Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0

The SDK also includes a new manifest editor which provides a simple and consolidated interface to let you edit your apps’ properties, add icons, choose capabilities and choose optional peripheral requirements.

Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0  Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0

Enhanced Validation and Diagnostics

As we have already announced, there are new screen resolutions supported in Windows Phone 8 (WXGA and 720p along with existing WVGA). All the Windows Phone 8 apps will now be present on each of these resolutions unless explicitly opted out of a specific resolution. Four new emulators (including WVGA 512MB) are included within the SDK to validate your apps accordingly. The Windows Phone 7.1 emulators can be used as well if you are developing and supporting Windows Phone 7.1 apps.

WVGA Emulator

WXGA Emulator

720p Emulator

WVGA Emulator WXGA Emulator 720p Emulator

The performance analysis and diagnostics tools in the SDK have been enhanced to include a new Simulation Dashboard tool which allows you to validate your Windows Phone apps in various real life conditions. The ability to simulate different network conditions, trigger reminders or check how your app will perform under a locked screen have been introduced.

Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0

The Windows Phone 8 XAML profiler now includes battery, network and responsiveness profiling which will help you in greatly enhancing your apps’ real life quality before publishing them to the Store.

Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0

For native apps, the SDK incorporates the code profiler which can be used for profiling function calls and identifying hot paths.

Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0

We are also introducing Application Monitoring for performance analysis of XAML based applications which will give a concise summary of performance metrics of your Windows Phone 8 apps without the overhead of a full profiling session.

Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0

Tooling support for ‘Compiler in the Cloud’

Windows Phone 8 managed application binaries are processed in the Store to improve your apps’ performance and to save battery life. As developers, you will be able to validate your apps’ real life installation and performance behavior. When deploying to the Windows Phone 8 device, tooling will automatically generate these processed binaries and use them for deployment and launching of the apps. Read more on the .NET Framework blog.

Download the Tools

Starting today you can download the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 here and kick start your Windows Phone 8 development experience with the updated MSDN Documentation. Hope to see some more great Windows Phone 8 apps coming to the Store soon!



Visual Studio and Windows Phone Teams

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  • How Can you not consider developers with 32bit computers.Then to me windows phone 8 is useless or now i have to buy a new computer. this is so not good

  • I have gone through the full hassle of buying and upgrading to Win8 x64 just to get the WP8 SDK. I have just installed and tried to run and Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone is prompting me for a Product Key. Can you advise how I get the required Product Key please?

  • Scratch that comment - I didn't realise the Product Key was provided at registration.

  • Well, I have my reasons why I don't update my dev computer to 64 bit. Now, what? Having a seperate Win8 just to develop for Windows Phone? No way!!!

  • this can really be better!  We need more excitement for developers.  not frustrations!  I feel so painful to install and use the SDK in VS

  • I'm excited but why Win8 is required?

  • When installing the Windows Phone SDK 8, it is showing an error which reads : "Needs .Net framework 4.5.50709 version". My system has the .Net framework 4.5 installed on it and I didnot find the required version on the microsoft website. Any solution for this?

  • I'm not seeing any Direct2D headers in %ProgramFiles%\Windows Phone Kits\8.0\Include, so I'm concluding that Direct2D is not currently supported on Windows Phone 8.  Would this be a correct conclusion?  Are there any plans to eventually do this?  Thanks!

  • No 32bit support for Windows Phone 8!?

    No way I'm going to install Windows all over Again, just for that. I'll stick to VS 2010 and Windows Phone 7.

  • Why can't we run Windows Phone 8 SDK on windows 7? I have 32 bit Windows 7 and I wouldn't like to update just to develop Phone 8 Applications. Why this should be such a painful exercise?

  • Quite disheartend to see windows 8 as the req. This will limit the usage of OS and it's developmenr . Wont be much popular.

  • Dear Microsoft,

    I just bought a Windows Phone 8 device so i can develop stuff for it (like a decent music player that can also play FLAC and have an equalizer and why not a decent tracks management system), because overall i like Windows Phone 8 very much and support it. But never ever in this great planet earth will i reformat my pc because i have to use a 64 bit OS, thats the most disgusting, disrespectful thing that i've seen in many years. Unless of course you will offer me a new PC. In this case i solemnly vow to develop WP8 apps, but until then,  WP7.1 SDK 4 life.

    No disrespect intended,

    The average .NET Developer.

  • PS: I just tried installing the WP 7.1 SDK, i have Win 8-32 bit, guess what? it won't install due to compatibility issues. Maybe i made a mistake by choosing your products and being a dedicated dev to your technologies. I don't want to sound stupid and dramatic, but in order to make WP a win you must attract developers not send them away in frustration.

  • Android ... here i come !

  • I have and use Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate.

    I have tried installing the windows phone 8 SDK but it doesn't add any components to Visual Studio 2010 and will only give me the Visual Studio 2012 Express program to use.

    Am I forced to use the Express edition?

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