Introducing Windows Phone 7 Development Tools

Today at MIX10, we are introducing the Windows Phone 7 Series development story. At the heart of Windows Phone 7 Series development is Silverlight. This enables you to bring your existing development skills in building Windows Phone 7 applications.

Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP, Microsoft’s developer toolset for Windows Phone 7 Series, is now available for download.

The Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP contains what you need to get started with Windows Phone 7 development. Specifically, it includes the following:

- CTP of Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone – This allows you to develop and debug your phone application in a familiar development environment. If you are already using the release candidate of Visual Studio 2010, the Windows Phone 7 Series Add-in for Visual Studio lets you create applications alongside your web, cloud and desktop applications.

- Windows Phone 7 Series Emulator – This is integrated with Visual Studio so you can see your app in action and debug it as you would with any other VS project.

- Silverlight - Microsoft has extended our platform technologies from the web, desktop and console to the phone giving developers a broader application development experience. With your existing development skills you can start developing applications for the phone today. Or if you have a great app already, Silverlight lets you write once and optimize everywhere, including the phone.

- XNA Game Studio – This enables you to build games spanning the phone, desktop and Xbox 360.

Expression Blend for Windows Phone, a professional design tool for building immersive mobile experiences in Silverlight, is not a part of the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP, but you can download it today as well.

Getting Started

Developing phone applications for Windows Phone 7 Series is similar to developing Silverlight or XNA applications in Visual Studio. The Start Page in Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone offers learning resources to help you get started.

Start Page

Your application can be in Silverlight or XNA. You might be wondering when to use each technology. Silverlight allows you to develop rich internet and out of browser applications and contains device-specific functionality giving you the ability to create a broad range of applications. For game developers, XNA provides a great solution for building games that span from phone to desktop to Xbox 360. When developing your application Visual Studio provides project and item templates to get you started with either Silverlight or XNA projects.

New project

Developing the App

Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone extends the VS design, coding, and debugging capabilities with phone-specific extensions and features. The designer surface is skinned with the phone’s visual theme so you can see how your application will look on the device. As controls are added to the app, they automatically adopt the Windows Phone Design System look and feel. Of course, you can change the style if you prefer a different theme for your application.

Mobile Designer

When you’re ready to run your application, you can use F5 to run it like any other application developed in VS. You can debug your application using the Windows Phone 7 Series emulator. The emulator supports adjusting the orientation and has phone buttons available on the device. Windows Phone 7 Series phones won’t be available until later this year, but the emulator helps you get a head start on developing your apps now.


Download the Tools

Starting today you can download the Windows Phone Developer Tools from the Windows Phone or Microsoft Express sites. To learn more about Windows Phone 7 Series development, please visit the Charlie Kindel on Windows Phone Development blog.