Windows 8 and the Windows Phone SDK

With the exciting announcement last week of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, developers have installed Win 8 and are asking about support for the Windows Phone SDK on the preview release. I thought it was worth posting on the topic to share our plans for Windows 8 and Visual Studio “11” support.

The Windows Phone SDK and Windows 8 Consumer Preview

We know many of our software developers are excited and eager to get started using the consumer preview on a daily basis, but Windows 8 is still a preview release, which means that there are going to be instances of software incompatibility. One of these incompatibilities is unfortunately with the current Windows Phone SDK. The good news is we are working to address these issues and should have more information for you in the coming weeks.

There are three issues with running the Windows Phone SDK on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview:

  • XNA Game Studio. On an attempt at installing the Windows Phone SDK, the user will receive error messages with regard to components of the XNA tool chain. These components will fail to install on Windows 8; the workaround for this has been blogged about by Aaron Stebner.
  • Windows Phone Emulator. Windows 8 cannot currently run the Windows Phone emulator, which will make it very difficult to debug your code. There are two issues in addition to the simple fact that the emulator does not run on Windows 8, having to do with specific emulator functionality.
  • .NET 3.5. Capability.exe and slsvcutil.exe will not run on Win 8 unless you separately install .NET 3.5.

The Windows Phone SDK and Visual Studio “11” Beta

Many folks have also noticed that the new preview release of next version of Visual Studio (the “Visual Studio 11 Beta”, available here) does not include support for developing Windows Phone applications. Rest assured, there absolutely will be support for building Windows Phone applications with the next version of Visual Studio by the time it RTMs. Prior to that, per the first point above, we will be enabling the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 on Windows 8 in the coming months.

Windows 8 is the culmination of many years of work at Microsoft across many different divisions, (including Windows Phone), to redefine how people interact with computing devices. We are hard at work ensuring that we deliver a cohesive and comprehensive application development story with Visual Studio that enables you to leverage your knowledge and skills to build applications for Windows and for Windows Phone, in as seamless a manner as possible. We hope you enjoy where we are going with this.