Recapping Windows Phone 8 developer news

Recapping Windows Phone 8 developer news

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It’s been a week since we unveiled Windows Phone 8 to the world at the Windows Phone Summit. As the person responsible for our new developer platform, I thought I’d take a moment to recap some of our key developer announcements in case you missed them.

Shared Windows core

Our biggest platform-related revelation last week was that Windows Phone 8 is built on a single shared code with Windows 8. This benefits every player in the ecosystem—end users, OEMs, mobile operators, and of course app developers.

So what does it mean for you? First, it means that your apps will be running on the same base platform that powers a billion PCs around the world and will provide your apps with a stable, high-performance core on top of next-generation hardware. More directly, it means that you’ll be able to share a significant amount of code between your Windows 8 apps and your Windows Phone 8 apps, in many cases only adjusting for the screen size differences between slates and phones.

Just so there isn’t any confusion: we’re committed to helping ensure that Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 apps work on Windows Phone 8. In fact, with the announcement of automatic pre-compilation of your app in the store, we expect existing apps to launch and run faster on Windows Phone 8 without changing a single line of code.

Native code support

As I mentioned, one of the significant benefits of a shared Windows core is the ease of portability between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. We also know that the most popular way to ensure portability across numerous devices is to encapsulate most of an app’s logic in platform-independent native code. That’s one of the main reasons we’ve announced that Windows Phone 8 will support C++ and C.

I know many of you have questions about the implications. For example, over the last few days I’ve seen developers asking whether this means they can mix C#/XAML with DirectX/C++ or consume native C++ libraries from C# apps. Absolutely! You can mix the code as well as the UI (one element in XAML, another in DirectX).

In fact, I’ll share a little secret: If you watched Joe Belfiore’s Marble Maze demo during last week’s summit, you actually saw this in action. The game was clearly built in DirectX, but the splash-page buttons to start the game were built in XAML. My point is that developers can choose the technology that’s right for each part of their app.

In addition to portability, native code offers the opportunity to really take advantage of the base hardware of the device, something that’s critical to modern native games. On the app side, we know that one of the most popular cross-platform frameworks is the SQLite database engine, which is why we’re committed to supporting the SQLite library on Windows Phone 8.

Enterprise support

Since the launch of Windows Phone 7, one of the most common pieces of feedback we’ve heard from developers is, “I love my Windows Phone—now please help me convince my IT department to adopt and support it.”

With Windows Phone 8, we’re delivering a product that is enterprise ready, and are specifically excited about a couple of new additions aimed at enterprise developers:

  • Company Hub – This custom app framework can be used by enterprises to build a convenient one-stop shop for enterprise-specific apps and information. We’ll also be delivering templates and samples to help businesses create their own compelling Hub experiences.
  • LOB app deployment – Many enterprises understandably want to keep their line-of-business (LOB) apps in-house, controlling how they get published and deployed. In Windows Phone 8, we support several new channels for deploying LOB apps to enterprise devices, including installing from a website, SharePoint, or email.

And there’s more 

Native code and enterprise support expand the reach of Windows Phone and make possible entirely new classes of apps. But we’ve also made significant investments to make existing apps even better.

  • Improved multitasking – In Windows Phone 7.5, we introduced multitasking. In Windows Phone 8, we’re expanding it to cover two critical new scenarios – VoIP and background location services. Now you can continue tracking your progress on a run while keeping up on the latest sports scores or quickly check a text message while taking a VoIP call.
  • Talk to your apps – Speech has always been an integral part of Windows Phone experience. In Windows Phone 8, we’re taking it to the next level by delivering a comprehensive speech platform for developers. You can now enable your apps to be launched with commands to perform (“Start Netflix, play Princess Bride”), or allow users to issue speech commands that work within the app itself.
  • In-app purchase – We’re committed to help provide new ways for our developer community to make money on the Windows Phone platform. In Windows Phone 8, we’ll deliver an in-app purchase service that lets developers sell additional content and experiences within the app itself or via the Windows Phone Marketplace and the new built-in Wallet feature. Todd Brix talked a bit more about this in his post yesterday.
  • Marketplace expansion – With Windows Phone 8, apps will be available for download from Marketplace in more than 180 countries and regions—roughly three times what we serve today. Developers in these markets can also submit apps via AppHub, up from 38 markets today. Again, see Todd’s post for a full list.

As Joe said last week, we’ve only just started to tell the story of our next release and what it offers consumers and developers; make sure to subscribe to this blog for more Windows Phone 8 developer announcements.  In the meantime, have a great weekend, keep building great apps—and onward to the next 100,000!

28 Comments
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  • native code support is great. i cant wait it.

  • I Would Like Command Prompt In It But Function Request Did Not Work, Please Add It!

  • I do think the bosses should not forget all windows phone 7.5 users. They gave you a base for your windows phone. People will forget Microsoft when buying another device again. Maybe there should be a kind of an ethics-counsellor in each company

  • Can we get a timeframe for the WP8 SDK release anytime soon? Not the SDK itself - just the projected release date? Please.

  • I will venture a guess as to why In-App Purchase may not be a part of the WP7.8 update.  Anything related to a purchase by definition involves a financial transaction.  Financial transactions require iron-clad security and encryption.  Iron-clad security and encryption requires specific hardware support.  The required hardware support is not available on the current batch of WP7 hardware.  The issue is not one of whether the WP OS will allow the feature, the feature will simply not work with the current phone hardware.  A phone hardware update is required to support In-App purchase.

  • so i ges if you need rapid game developerment , faster to market, more apps in your store

    you shood never have killed the xna framework

    this is what you get in return,

    www.kickstarter.com/.../ouya-a-new-kind-of-video-game-console

    but i ges you whanted it this way,, so you can control the games market on your platform

    but then again who is gonna pay for and xbox live subscription for windows phone 8 and tablet , as we have on xbox live

    in order to play 1 dollar games

    instead you shood focus on kepping your developers happy, mens

    WE HAVE PAY 99 DOLLARS FOR A DEV KIT AND MARKETPLACE ACESS

    so please upgrade, the dev kit and make it run on ALL your platforms

    there are 3 type of developers in this world

    tripple a,,indie,,hoppy

    and xna is a perfect dev kit for the indie and hoppy developers and small START UP FIRMS

    why kill somthing like this,, unles you whant mono to take over,, with monogame,,

    can i ask you a ? ,,

    it there not room for small indepenten game developers on windows any more,,

    do you know it take a round 15 month learn a compleate new api like windows 8 has , and when you allso change this on the phone ,,

    YOU WILL CREATE A WACUM,, and most of these young kids will give up

    and some of them does not know c++ or assembeler ,,

    what did thay learn in school,,, well you started this in 2006 , by say welcome to xna

    so all these schools where starting to adopt , c#,VB and java,, NOT C++, OR ASSEMBLER as we did in the dos days

    that is why 600.000 apps on android ,, all java even the native c++ code is compiled into dalvik byte code

    and this is running inside dalvik http://vmgl.sourceforge.net/

    and you have the same tech with your microsoft wrap tech..

    so it is a virtual,, so why kill a high speed managed games framework

    when you can get all the developers you need ,, look at OpenTK it is the same as xna ,, same math system,,

    so xna code will run out of the box, with only minor change,,

    do you know what you are doing,, i do bot think you know

    Michael

  • Its great to hear that windows phone 8 is coming up and I am looking forward to it.  As I am researching more into android devices ,I just found out that the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a Quad Core processor and  the windows phone 8 will be only dual core. To me that is pretty much a downgrade.

    Question is how is Microsoft aggressively going after the market share when we are only having dual core as opposed to other android devices having Quad Cores processors . How about making a splash in the news today that Windows phone 8 will be working with six core processor or introduce new breaking technologies. To me that's how Microsoft  can win back a lot of people and gain market share.

    Is Microsoft working with Qualcomm to make sure that we are competing with other android devices ? I am starting to feel that most of the phone manufacturers  don't really care about windows phones and just  manufacturer low quality devices.

  • My question is that I am using the SQL Compact for my data in my WP7.5 app and that is not being supported in WinRT as far as I can see at this point? so how can my Windows Phone 7 app be ported? Is there some plan to put SQL compact in WinRT for WP8

  • and here is the proff more comming WHY MICROSOFT KILLED XNA

    www.youtube.com/watch

    WACTH THE WHOLE SHOW ,, TO SE WHY MICROSOFT CREATED THE XNA FRAMEWORK

    and later killed it, course the game industri dident go along, they do not whant to have somthing force on there head

    we the game developer where getting to close to create a tripple a game in managed

    and that is not good ,,

    A GREAT DANE DESIGN THE C# MICROSOFT STELL HIM FROM BORLAND

    but this is gonna happen on apple and android

    so what the hell

  • allso did you know that some of us have been wating ever sens 2007 to publish games onto your marketplace include the xbox stuff

    and for my part and manny othere i was open to more than 3 contreys by october 2011

    wicth meen we have been developing and wateing for 5 years ,, just to learn that you are close it down

    give people a chanse ,,

    it is a global world ,, US AND UK had this for 5 years

    but us we only had this for 5 month or so

    think of this,,

    what will you say to china ,, to all the wating customres ,, that are been told do not buy microsoft producs

    course no upgrade,, and they are pissing on developers and you,, and starting to spread to india as well

    Michael

  • result

    mac

    www.youtube.com/watch

  • and you get this for free ,,

    real people use windows 8

    www.youtube.com/watch!

    and soon  a little app the allow you to create files and folders ,,

    in a live title way

  • Hello keven you you write in your post

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I know many of you have questions about the implications. For example, over the last few days I’ve seen developers asking whether this means they can mix C#/XAML with DirectX/C++ or consume native C++ libraries from C# apps. Absolutely! You can mix the code as well as the UI (one element in XAML, another in DirectX).

    In fact, I’ll share a little secret: If you watched Joe Belfiore’s Marble Maze demo during last week’s summit, you actually saw this in action. The game was clearly built in DirectX, but the splash-page buttons to start the game were built in XAML. My point is that developers can choose the technology that’s right for each part of their app.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    why is so that microsoft allways forces somthing down on developers, and say it is the best thing

    i tell you in the year of 2003 microsoft says to all the developers you have to swicth to dot net

    and we all do , and the company we works in made an investment and a bed on you

    but times change,, and game developerment be come more public with java and net framework

    and now you say that we shood live our investment behind,, and swicth to c++ if you whant to do game developerment

    i tell you ,, there are 2 types of games

    Tripple a ,, let them have c++, and all there middle ware , that you microsoft has block for normal indie developers

    and then there is a indie framework ,, like

    OpenTK

    Xna framework,

    monogame, wicth runs on top of opengl

    why did you kill ,, XNA for tablet and phone and soon for the xbox 360(you are not doing this now, then all developers will live)

    WHY DO YOU NOT GIVE PEOPLE A CHOISE OF DEVELOPERMENT

    A CHOISE OF FREEDOM,, LET THE DEVELOPER CHOSE THE FRAMEWORK NOT YOU

    HAVE END YOU LEARN NOTHING HERE

    that is why apple and google products sels like chease cake

    instead of killing people and there dreams

    those 2 company will stand behind you , and say come on in and develop ,,

    we do not care what programming lang or framework,, just develop

    and then the developer talks about this , to his famly and they tell to his frinds and that meens

    it sels like chease cake,,

    now windows 8 ,, i like the consumer preview,,

    but it is not made for developers,, perfect understand ,, i do

    BUT WHY DO YOU NOT PROVIDE ONCE A DEVELOPER HAS PAYD THE FEE , AND CAN PUBLISH IN YOUR APP STORE

    YOU WILL UNLOCK THE OLD DESKTOP,, TO DEVELOPERS,,

    WHY THIS

    WELL I UNPACKED SOME SOURCE CODE FROM MY OLD PROJECT AND WAS STARTING TO PORT TO WINDOWS 8 ,,

    IT WAS AROUND 2000 FILES AND 3 HUNDRED FOLDERS

    GES WHAT HAPPEN,, YOU KNOW THE START WITH ALL THE TITLES

    ALL MY STUFF WAS TURN INTO TITLES , AND THE METRO WAS SO SLOW, THAT I COOD NOT MOVE

    ANY THING

    I DID A HARD RESET,, AND REBOOT NOTHING HELP

    WINDOWS JUST WHEN DOWN

    WELL CLEAN INSTALL..

    I DID THE SAME THING ,, UNPACK MY FILES AND FOLDERS

    UNDER A FOLDER,, THIS TIME NOT DIRECT ON THE DESKTOP

    AND NOW WINDOWS MOVES FAST

    BUT WHEN I TRY TO OPEN THIS FOLDER

    THE SAME THING HAPPEN ,, WINDOWS WHEN DOWN AGAIN , AGAIN

    NOW WE HAVE THE PERFECT VIRUS

    JUST CREATE A HOLE LOT OF FOLDERS AND 4000 SMALL TEXT FILES WITH ONLY ONE BYTE INSIDE

    AND YOU WILL MICROSOFT AUTO TURN THIS TO TITLES ,, AND THEN THE RENDER WILL GO DOWN

    AND AFFECT THE HOLE SYSTEM

    IMAGINE IF WE INSTALL PHOTOSHOP ON WINDOWS 8 OR ANY PROGRAM TO HAS A LOT OF FILES

    THEN YOU CAN NOT FIND THE STUFF YOU HAVE INSTALLED,, BECOURSE IT WILL NOT SHOW UP , NO DESKTOP OR ANY THING

    SO I MADE A LITTLE APP CALLED FIND YOUR FILES,,

    IT TURN ALL THE FILES INTO LIVE TITLE ,, INCLUDE THE HOLE OS ,,

    NOW YOU CAN FIND THE FILES,,

    BUT YOU CAN NOT RUN YOUR WINDOWS 8 ,, START SCREEN COURSE OF 74.000 LIVE TITLES APPER ON THE SCREEN AT THE SAME TIME,,

    SO YOUR SYSTEM GOES DOWN JUST LIKE A VIRUS

    ALL WE HAVE TO DO NOW IS FIND A WAY TO DO CLICK ONCE INSTALL ON YOUR SYSTEM

    FROM A CLOUD SOMEWARE ,, TO YOUR RT TABLET,, SO IT GOES CRASY

    THAT IS WHAT YOU GET FOR KILLING MY INVESTMENT

  • Here are some improvements that I think would definitely sweeten the 7.8 update:

    •Mark Several/ Select All option

    (IMPORTANT)

    It would be nice to be able to select multiple messages/ pictures/ contacts etc to delete them at one go or to manage them as its a laborious thing manage them one by one.

    •Font Size (magnifying text)

    (IMPORTANT)

    Many has been complaining that the text is too small to read without their reading glasses. There should be the magnifying / text size option to take care of this group of users.

    •Displaying Text messages on lock screen

    This is something additional, but it would be nice to have a pop-up speech bubble displaying your message when it is received, similar to that of Microsoft Kin phones where you can peel off the speech bubble diagonally to read it. I think that was a good idea that gone to waste.

    •Closing Apps at multi-task screens.

    (additional/optional)

    Some apps, such as the Internet app and game apps, clicking the back button doesn't close the app, its troublesome to tap a few times before its finally closed.

    Here are just suggestions worth considering to be included in the 7.8 update. :)

  • good by xbox 360 , a new android game console 99 dollars

    www.theverge.com/.../ouya-a-99-hackable-android-game-console-designed-by-yves-behar

    and all the android market at your TV

  • Hi Kevin, I have few more questions:

    1) The "shared core" means also "same -or very similar- WinRT APIs" for the .NET/C++ code?

    2) XAML will be native as in WinRT or it is CLR-based as in Silverlight/WPF?

    3) Why the C++ development model is not the same as in Windows 8 (with Xaml support for the UI)?

    4) Why the HTML/CSS/JS development model is not the same as in Windows 8 (with support for JS-projected WinRT API and Controls)?

    Thanks!

  • Now the speculation is on the exact nature of C/C++ support. WinRT or P/Invoke? And will it be back-portable to WP7.8 in anyway?

  • @MackAttack, @Noslen4Ever

    I think Microsoft could talk a little bit more regarding the features already requested by WP 7.5 users on the Feature Suggestion Bix forum. Those features have been public for quite some time.

  • BeGo
    3 Posts

    What about support for SQL Server Compact, which was introduced with the mango update?

  • Think about a developer from that far region of the third world who bought a Lumia 800 device without officially being launched in his native country (i.e. no warranties) and getting to know somewhere down the road the device is holding is outdated. We (the community of Lumia devices) are really looking forward to know what exactly is IN and OUT for us with 7.8.

  • @MackAttack

    Thanks for your inputs; It really does make sense to think that our friends from Redmond are retaining information at this point, in order to not reveal all the details from the upcoming Windows Phone 8... let's hope for the best, which would ultimately be to have all non hardware dependent features included with Windows Phone 7.8 for "Legacy" devices.

    We will keep waiting for some more news, regards!

  • XB-Mod
    1 Posts

    I hope the multitasking has changed for other stuff as well...its annoying as hell when you can't resume apps unless you go to the multitasking window. When an app is "suspended" why does it restart the app when I tap on it? it makes no sense to me at all.

    Everything else, I absolutely love.

    PS: I have only one other major complain....fullscreen browsing. Based on the demo it seemed like the IE10 on WP8 is like IE9 Mobile on Mango...except the replaced refresh button with favorites. Microsoft's metro philosophy cuts out chrome at any cost (even functionality) but then its not possible to browse fullscreen on WP.  I don't get it...on Android and iOS the URL bar disappears after you scroll down but on WP its always there...especially its annoying in landscape. Why would I need a giant bar with a huge URL bar all the time? I should be able to activate the URL bar any time I want and deactivate it any time I want.

    Where are the gestures from Windows 8? the UI of IE on Windows Phone is a mess...no quick access to tabs and favorites, no full screen mode...

    Thanks Kevin, WP8 sounds very promissing and I'm sure going to start to develop for this platform going forward. I switched to Windows Phone and love the UI and the simplicity.

  • @Noslen4ever

    I think it is like a secrecy type thing.  If they reveal too much of what will be in WP 7.8 they could reveal things about WP8 they do not wish to yet.  I would assume all those that get the 7.8 upgrade will get most if not all features that are not blocked by hardware obstacles. Just speculation though.

  • Hi Kevin, thanks for recapping the exiting new features coming to Windows Phone 8; I really believe WP8 will be a big hit once it finally arrives, BUT... there is a few things I would like to ask you, understanding that you might not be able to answer due to company's policies:

    Why Microsoft isn't providing us with a bit more of information about Windows 7.8?, the only information we have right now is the fact that it will bring the new Metro interface, which is good... but we're definitely expecting more than just the facelift.

    If the answer Is that the only feature available to existing WP users will be the improved start screen, then the next question would be: is it that hard to bring some of the non-hardware dependant features to first-gen phones?, many people out there thinks that if you do not include the software improvements on the WP 7.8 release, this will be to force users to purchase a new Windows Phone with WP8... something that not all of us can afford to do, or will be willing to do.

    Thank you Kevin, keep up the great job you and the WP 8 development team have been doing; it would be very nice to see a response from you or any other Microsoft employee in regards my questions, the Windows Phone community would love to see some answers.

  • Jeff, You can host a HTML/JavaScript app within a skeleton C# project using the WebBrowser control. I assume you don't get the WinRT object model available on Win8 though.

  • Right, are these new features in 7.8??? It's important. I buy my Lumia 710 for round about 10 month... now it is old "iron"? That's not really your interest into your customers! If so, this Windows Phone was my first and last.

  • Is it true that HTML/JavaScript will not be supported for NATIVE WP8 apps? Is so, what is the reason.  MS has been pushing HTML/JavaScript for native W8 apps since day one.  Now it seem this is a bad choice if you want to port the same app to WP8(native).

    -Jeff

  • BNID
    6 Posts

    This question comes up and still hasn't been answered - will In App Purchases be available for WP 7.8 users? Thanks!