Windows Phone 7 Series – Tools and Resources (updated)

  Unless you’ve been living in the caves of Lascaux for the past couple of days, you probably know what’s happening in the world of Windows Phone. Microsoft unveiled the developer tools required to develop applications and games for Windows Phone 7 at MIX10 a couple of days back. Silverlight and XNA being the major frameworks, no big surprise there. And the best news of all is that all the development tools are free! So if you are planning to develop apps for Windows Phone 7, read on.

The first place, or more appropriately hub, for you is the Windows Phone Developer Portal. It has most of the information you need to get you started. Now there is a ton of information available at other places too. In this post, I take time to put all the information that I found useful at one place, and I’ll keep updating this as and when I find new stuff.

Setting up the development environment

1. Install Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP (Community Technology Preview)
This will install Visual Studio 2010 Express, Silverlight, XNA 4.0 framework and emulator for Windows Phone 7. It also installs a few support tools.

2. Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone:
    – Install Expression Blend 4 beta
    – Install Expression Blend Add-in Preview for Windows Phone
    – Install Expression Blend SDK Preview for Windows Phone

Installing the above tools should set your machine up for development. I installed the tools on my Windows Vista SP1 machine and the process went smoothly without running into any major hitch. Note that the tools won’t install on Windows XP, read the release notes of the CTP.

Resources and Documentation

1. Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Series Developer Training Kit

2. Programming Windows Phone 7 Series by Charles Petzold. Contains few chapters only. Gives a good preview.

3. MSDN documentation for Windows Phone 7 Development

4. A sample chapter from Learning Windows Phone Programming [PDF] by Yochay Kiriaty and Jaime Rodriguez. Complete book will be available at a later time.

5. Windows Phone 7 Developer Forum – where you can ask questions and problems you run into and the experts are there to help you.

6. For Silverlight visit and for XNA game development, the XNA Creators Club is the place to go, also make sure you follow Michael Klutcher’s and Shawn Hargreaves’ blog.

7. And finally the MIX’10 website. Most of the sessions will be available for download later (some are already available). Click on the Windows Phone tag to get all the session details and downloads.

If you are completely new to Silverlight and XNA (like me), and C# makes some sense to you then I suggest you go through the Developer Training Kit. It gives a good start and ramps you up pretty quickly.


8. Windows Phone FAQ’s
FAQ’s by Jaime Rodriguez, Dan Reagan, Rob Miles

9. Reddit entry for Windows Phone 7. Contains good links to blog posts and tutorials.

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