Windows Phone 8 SDK Preview program is now open

Windows Phone 8 SDK Preview program is now open

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Today we begin accepting requests for access to the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 Developer Preview program. The objective is to let developers of our most-downloaded apps start optimizing them for Windows Phone 8, and we expect the majority of published developers in this situation to qualify for access.

To apply, please visit the Microsoft Connect site and complete a short application. Be sure to have your Developer ID and Application’s Product ID on hand, as well as the name of your local Phone Champ (if you don’t know your local Phone Champ, you can always get in touch via the Find My Champ app). We’ll be taking applications until Monday, September 17 at 5pm PDT. If you’re accepted to the program, you’ll hear from us in the following week with instructions on how to download the SDK and get support for questions and issues.

I know that many of you want to know why we simply don’t publically release the full SDK now. The reason is that not all Windows Phone 8 features have been announced and our SDK includes comprehensive emulators that allow developers to test apps against a wide range of Windows Phone features. We recognize that this is a different approach to delivering tools than we’ve taken in the past. Our goal is to generate as much Windows Phone 8 excitement as possible to attract new customers when phones go on sale. This is one of many steps we’re taking to help give you what you (and we) want most.

Windows Phone 8 remains on track to hit store shelves later this year and we very much want developers to create new apps for the platform, so please bear with us. There will be more SDK news in the coming weeks.

Today you may have also seen the online launch event for Visual Studio 2012. The Windows Phone SDK 8.0 is built on top of Visual Studio 2012, and will give you the ability to build applications and games that target both Windows Phone 8 as well as Windows Phone 7.5. Windows Phone SDK 7.1 can be installed side-by-side with Visual Studio 2012 and runs on Windows 8.

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  • Apps are continuously created because the developers wanted to produce a perfect-like softwares that would totally help out the people do things easily. In fact, as of his day it's not about who are the <a href=""> ipad app developer</a> or the microsoft smartphones developers are it's more on who could actually provide the consumers the best application that the users could use everyday to make things easier for them. It's not about competition any more but rather it's more which is the most beneficial.

  • Apps are continuously created because the developers wanted to produce a perfect-like softwares that would totally help out the people do things easily. In fact, as of his day it's not about who are the <a href="">ipad app developer</a> or the microsoft smartphones developers are it's more on who could actually provide the consumers the best application that the users could use everyday to make things easier for them. It's not about competition any more but rather it's more which is the most beneficial.

  • Jana
    1 Posts

    Is Window Phone 7 sdk available for Visual Studio 2012?

  • tcreek
    4 Posts

    I had started to develop on WP7 until I found out there was no method to import native C++ code into the app. Then I find out WP8 supoorts this, but being delayed.. FAIL

  • So I tried my application on a Windows 7.8 "preview" ROM and it looks terrible when the tile is shrunk to minimum size (which a lot of people will do to take advantage of the new start screen layout). What do I write into the WMAppManifest.XML (for app tile) or pass to the 7.5 SDK tile API (for custom/pinned tiles) to tell Windows Phone 7.8 to hide the tile text when minimized?

    If the answer is unsupported, then immediately ALL people's apps who do not have access to the 8 SDK will look rubbish on the average start screen. I mean, it looks so bad when minimized (the text overlaps the image and runs out the side of the tile border) that the average user would assume it is a badly written app, First impression will be "Yuk! They can't even get the start icon right! I'm not buying that".

    Come on, give us a chance! We can't compete by supporting Phone 8 features because you're holding back the secrets of the version 8 SDK, but don't leave our apps looking trashy on your new start screen!

  • mark561
    1 Posts

    My understanding is that only a hand-full of developers or development companies are invited to beta the new Windows Phone 8 SDK - who do we talk to apply for consideration? We have several Windows Phone engineers and we currently being asked by clients if we are "Windows Phone 8 Certified" - I don't see any place on your site where we can get information about becoming certified - can you

  • Making a prediction for the final release of the Windows Phone 8 SDK.

    Windows Phone 8.0 SDK Launch Party

    Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows Phone

    Saturday, October 27, 2012 8:00 PM

  • Sheeds
    205 Posts


    Here's my take on what's currently happening at MS with the SDK and and WP8 release. It's not a short post! ;)


  • alco933
    1 Posts

    In spite of being very interested in this technology, I never became a windows phone developer. I wanted to but the registration became such a hassle, had tons of problems with the dev forums, and it cost so much. Now Mr. MS Exec, want to guess how many thousands of people there were just like me? Go ahead take a guess. Stupid idioitic windows execs can't market their way out of a paper bag all the while Apple and Android swamps them in the app market. I have yet to see a website offer Windows apps next to a Apple or Android app download. Have not seen one yet.

  • KakCAT
    5 Posts

    well, I have 1.400.000 app downloads on WP7 and I've been kicked out of the preview. So, what do I do now? Windows Phone 7 has been a fiasco in terms of earnings, and if I were a user with WP8, get a free game and 2 weeks later have to pay for some of the features that were free a few days ago I'd be reaaaally pissed!

    So my only option is removing windows phone 8 support for my WP7 games looking at the OS string in order to avoid angry players.

  • Leigh
    89 Posts

    Okay, I wasn't able to get the SDK yet, but no big problem.  What Todd just posted made me aware of the timing of the real SDK release that I can plan.

    Window phone 8 is going to be great, and all the new phones are great.  Most outshine the iFone, so it is time for me to get some users ready to convert this holiday season.  Lets all step up and make apps using the new features and bring up the market share several points.

    Enjoy Windows Phone 8!


  • Ark-kun
    18 Posts

    Why is Microsoft acting like a bunch of jerks again?

  • @Todd Brixx I have a few questions as I was selected to receive the sdk I have downloaded it and have some issues installing it with VS 2012 RC however the support link they provided in my MS connect site always errors not sure who to contact?? can you help?



  • Roman don't worry it is not about how many downloads does your app have. I have 142.000 app downloads and I don't have access to the WP8 SDK so ... NO COMMENT JUST SAD

  • Unbelievable! My apps are definitely not the ones downloading the most. One of the reasons is that WP7 didn't allow me yet to do what my app should be able to do. There is hope tho, WP8 is around the corner, but I wont be able to develop for it yet, because my apps don't download often enough... Just stupid!

    You really want to create that hype for WP8? Let the developers do the work for you. By creating apps, and by talking about all the goodness WP8 will bring.

  • If you have to ask "Where is it?", you are out of luck.  NDA is only for the lucky few.

  • Mister Todd Brix, let me tell you something, I am one of the developers that would like to jump on windows Phone 8 technology, while you are holding back the sdk release for your brand new strategy, Apple is selling 2 millions Iphone 5, no strategy will work if you have no apps and you are not exactly pushing me to invest on windows Phone 8 because timings is very important in this business.

  • @Arterius: Reread the post: applications to enter the program have been open until yesterday. They will go through the applications and contact developers during the following week (this week). I guess if they are thoroughly looking into it it will take until end of the week.

    @Todd Brixx: Thanks for the additional comment. At least we know that our criticisms reach you. I still would prefer an approach more similar to what was done with Mango (although there is no possibility of early betas like then) but keeping the development info as sealed as it is now it is very hard to plan for developers.

    Compatibility to WinRT? Compatibility to the old SDK for WP8 Apps? We know there is some but we don't know how big the differences are in the end which is kind of annoying. I can understand why you are doing it, I just don't think it is the best way to do it - but perhaps I'll see things differently when you launch the actual OS.

  • Guys, seriously, I'm tired. Today is 18 September, but no any  news about SDK preview.

  • _Hugo
    1 Posts


    Now what?

    Your lips move, but they dont' say anything.

  • Todd Brix
    85 Posts

    I wanted to respond to those of you who are frustrated about the fact that we haven’t publicly released the Windows Phone 8 SDK. This year we’ve taken the approach of unveiling the new features of the OS as close to device availability as possible.  Unfortunately we can’t release the SDK without revealing all of the new features and capabilities.  I recognize this is a departure from how we’ve operated in years past and some of you are questioning our thinking.  That’s ok – let me give you a little more to consider.

    Windows Phone 8 was designed to run the apps written with the Windows Phone 7 SDK which is available today.  Right now and for most devs the high-volume app development opportunity remains on the Windows Phone 7 SDK because these apps will run on phones available later this year, regardless of what OS version is on the phone.  If you want to help make sure your Windows Phone 7 app runs well on Windows Phone 8, when it is released, you’ll want to take a look at the Sept 12th post from Andrew Whitechapel . And while I know you want to test your app in our new emulator, the reality is that you will also want to do final testing with Windows Phone 8 devices which are not yet in market.

    There are also devs who want to jump on new Windows Phone 8 technologies before anyone has bought a device, which is fantastic.  This is why we’re doing the early Preview Program. For those who don’t get the Windows Phone 8 SDK via the program, we will get the final SDK out in time for you to capitalize on the wave of new devices.

    Thanks for your interest in Windows Phone!

  • cxf
    2 Posts

    I get it. The strategy is like shaking up a champagne bottle.  Whatever the case, as a dev, I'm truly excited about the platform, event if I have to wait a few more weeks.  As a consumer, I'm locking on to the Nokia 920/ WP 8 combo for my next 2 year lock.

  • Microsoft must understand, not all registered developers are doing full-time on WP8, and developers are struggling to seek extra time to complete their WP applications. By having policy of "developers of our most-downloaded apps", this will only increase burden to developers.

  • bandit
    8 Posts

    @McKnyte ... you obviously don't pay for your own MSDN subscriptions.

  • McKnyte
    3 Posts

    Yawn... There's nothing new. All you guys do is moan moan moan like spoilt little brats. If you don't want to develop for MS try something else. Not like MS is holding a gun to your head.

  • The secret feature is a reality distortion field repulser.  Come on MS, bring out the sdk quick, and let me get my hands on a lumia 920.

  • bandit
    8 Posts

    I hope the secret features are holograms, and sharks with laser beams...

  • The strategy seems faulty at best

  • This policy makes no sense. I came here looking at developing for WP for the first time looking for a prview sdk. Thought I could leverage WPF, Silverlight and Android skills and have been playing with windows 8 and XAML. Ready to go here.

    So this sdk is more of a compatablilty preview for existing apps and not an sdk preview at all!

    You talk of "sdk news in the coming weeks" but the phones will be released in a few weeks. Where will the devs be?

    You need to get devs excited beyond the existing published so as to get new greenfield apps out there.

    As an msdn subscriber (whose subscription is due for renewal at the y.e.) I have skin in the Microsoft game as many others do here. This is one heck of a snub!

    If WP8 SDk requires SLAT cpu then that is a new hardware purchase for me and I will be evaluating alongside paying the "apple hardware tax" and getting on the ios bandwagon.

    Please review and release something even if the emulation is feature restricted (multi touch for example has never been emulated).

  • hopmedic
    13 Posts

    Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers.....  Oh, never mind.

    You know, I could ALMOST see some logic in limiting it to people who have published, because those people have showed some commitment to the platform.  But to limit it to a *SUBSET* of that group that has published, that is a slap in the face.  

    You know, I just realized something....  Since Brandon Watson left, I haven't heard who took his place.  Does the person in his place not share his enthusiasm for working with Devs?  Is there even a person IN his place?  Microsoft, you had a good thing in him.......  Now you've turned your backs on us.

  • Not making the SDK easily available just doesn't make sense, if  the reason is that it isn't complete or contains many bugs that would be a bad thing, these phones are supposed to be available in a few months. You want to make developing windows phone 8 apps as easy as possible, also reduce the $100 to join developer program to approx $25 or free for a few months.

    I would think that the reason they restrict it only to people that have already apps would be that those people are less likely to publicly criticize the sdk and thus avoid negative press .

  • Ark-kun
    18 Posts

    Better title: "Microsoft doesn't want developers to build WP8 apps"

  • Pahbie
    1 Posts

    MS is poising to take their LAST shot at the mobile market. With Surface, WP8 and the Windows 8 OS, Microsoft is trying to make a maneuver that will bring them to the forefront or keep them in prehistoric times.

    The market share for the phones and tablets is dominated by Android and Apple. How can MS expect to even break into this established market and obtain a SLIVER of a share if they do not have ANY apps? So just a handful get the SDK for WP8? How idiotic is that?

    Let's break into a market where 104 million Android devices were turned on in Q2 of this year alone! With what? We can't even have a beta to work in tandem with them in order to give feedback? Only a select few.

    I was hired on spec to design a mobile app that will be able to query a remote database. My strongest desire is to write an app for the WP8 - with the WP8 SDK - NOT 7.5!!!!

    So I have to tell the client - "Let's wait for "later this year" before we get a 1.0 release of the SDK".

    Not good. Waving the flag for MS has become embarrassing to say the least.

  • Your reasoning for not allowing broader access to the SDK is illogical. With so many changes to the core of Windows Phone 8 and with the Windows 8 store already open, why would you hold back developers like this? Some of us want to build applications for both platforms, yet the story is incomplete because you haven't told us how we can/should do that without a ton of rework later.

    I really hope you reconsider this. I am a staunch Windows and Windows Phone supporter, but I feel like you're really letting us down here.

  • On the same day that Apple announces the iPhone 5, Microsoft fumbles the ball.  It would have been a perfect time to announce the features, hype up the Lumia 920/Samsung/HTC devices, and release the SDK to everyone.  Your launch event secrecy won't do you nearly as much good as an app store on launch day that actually has new WP8 apps in it.  Walk into a Verizon/AT&T store in plain clothes and ask about the pros and cons of iPhone/Android vs. Windows Phone.  It will probably go something like this: "The iPhone and Android app stores have millions of apps in them.  I'd probably go with one of those because these models are going to get replaced in a few months when Windows 8 comes out."  To which you reply, "What's new in Windows Phone 8?  Is it worth waiting for?"  With the information out there now.... I doubt anyone would know how to or bother to make your case.

  • This will be awesome. Windows Phone 8 launches, and it will have exactly zero apps for the new OS. Nice going. It's like you've undone everything that makes sense about getting developers involved and rocking it early on. Just what a platform with struggling market share needs.

  • hopmedic
    13 Posts

    Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers....

  • bandit
    8 Posts

    Can we at least be assured that Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds and Cut the Rope will be available at launch?

  • Just as we thought we'd put some resources into looking into bringing our apps to Windows Phone 8 you decide to lock it down for a while.   We'll pass on playing these silly games and simply continue on with iOS development.    I can't for the life of me see how MS is taking this platform seriously and expects developers to get excited by restricting access.

  • Does this program have the Windows Phone 8 SDK Developer Preview or is it in beta?

  • A shame that library authors are completely blocked by this. I'm not an app developer, but I write OSS libraries that are used on Windows Phone. Library authors have no way of completing that application form, but may have plenty of feedback on the SDK. Let's hope the app authors don't want any libraries other than the inbuilt, eh?

  • Interesting choice of strategy given your platform's current market share and growth statistics.

  • "and will give you the ability to build applications and games that target both Windows Phone 8 as well as Windows Phone 7.5"

    Sounds like XNA's included.

  • Necroman
    18 Posts

    The "Find my Champ" is crashing every time few seconds after start, what should I do?

  • While I respect that Microsoft has a right to try and keep it's secrets close less the thunder of any special features are taken away by competitors, but everyone else has shown their hand already. I hope that whatever it is that is being kept away right now really is worth all the ill will that MS is accumulating because of this decision.

  • I'm disappointed, I've been working for a while on an app, and haven't realeased it yet - so I was looking forward to the SDK to see if it can be ported "on the go" - guess I won't find out "now" :/

  • Very disappointing.  I haven't built any phone apps but have Windows 8 apps I was hoping to port to WP8.  Guess this is what Microsoft means by more developer friendly.

  • HTC
    14 Posts

    The time for building up excitement is now, with only 6 weeks to release.  I do not recall Ballmer screaming "developers developers developers, yeah let's piss them off!!!".

    You should be revealing all now, and encouraging your OEMs to open pre-orders for their devices in as many markets as possible.

    ANY blog post on here with such a low rating needs to be reviewed by an investigative panel as it shows you are clearly doing something wrong.

  • NiallG
    10 Posts

    How is this 'top downloaded' apps being evaluated? I have had the top selling (non xbli) 'paid' app in Australia for most of 2012 (and top 3 for 2011) - and several apps in top 200 (ie. also have top 3 selling paid apps in AU Sports since Feb 2012). However - compared to free Apps targeting the US (or other) larger markets -  my numbers would be much smaller. Does this basically mean I'll be excluded and the SDK beta is only open to those who have popular free apps targeting US markets - or is this calculated relatively?

  • bandit
    8 Posts

    How much did everyone fork out to renew their MSDN license in anticipation of being able to develop for WP8 before it gets released?

    The iPhone 5 intro today was nothing earthshattering and was mostly a bust, so I can't imagine revealing top secret new WP8 features now is that big of deal, unless of course, they need to make sure they have more time to lockup apps that make use of all the neat, new features before developers have a chance to make some money for once.

    And BTW (and off-topic), only being able to run one W8 Metro App at a time in multi-monitor mode is the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

  • @JJ Highjump

    Actually the Start Screen in itself has new APIs to support the new Live Tile templates, and sizes.  There may also be some changes to how often these tiles can be updated, new lock screen notification APIs, etc.

  • For those confused, there is NO SDK 7.8.  There is nothing new when it comes to the APIs.  The start menu is an app in itself.  This is all that was changed.  The SDK remains, and always will be, SDK 7.1 and 7.1.1.  Either of those will do for WP 7.5 and 7.8, and even WP 8 phones.  Look as hard as you might, you will find NO SDK 7.8.


  • allso i whant to thank you microsoft for the leaked SDK



  • Wiiggin
    3 Posts

    Seriously, this is incredibly lame. What, Brandon Watson leaves and the whole department falls apart? Seems like it.

  • hades32
    21 Posts

    Two questions:

    1. Does it already support WP 7.8?

    2. Does it actually contain more than the already leaked SDK?

  • tcreek
    4 Posts

    And MS wonders why so many complain there are not many apps for WIndows Phone.


  • Hurley
    1 Posts

    I welcome our lottery overlords, and will obey Their commands because if not, the world will surely end.  Therefore, I pledge that

    I WILL ENTER 4 8 15 16 23 42


  • I can't say enough how disappointing this is.  Microsoft's own experience should tell it this is a terrible idea.  What happens when MS focuses on engineering and communication?  Windows 7.  What happens when they let marketers drive decision making?  Vista.  

    Oh well. Guess I'll go back to focusing on Android.

  • Fry
    3 Posts

    The few selected Publisher do not even need to upload the SDK. Rumors about the "new features" will just spread...

    But guess what, there won't be any exciting features. WP8 is a good system, but the App-Economy cannot compete with Android or iOS. There is just no Killer-Feature today. Maybe Google Project Glass will be the next big thing, but iOS6 or WP8 isn't it for sure.

    BTW - I am also totally disappointed with the Apple Event today. LTE - who needs it? This will be the reason why it may got banned, but nobody needs the feature? Basically, they have added no new feature and the display is still too small.

    In the end, buyers will decide today and in the next days if they want to buy a phone this year and currently, if it will not banned, they will choose iPhone 5, because it is not better than WP8, but it is not worse. And if MS has really some special features, what I really doubt, they will loose the market in the next days and weeks, because people now know what Apple has to offer (basically a good but not very good smartphone without any special features but with iOS-Apps) and know what MS and Google has to offer (good phones, nothing special - Android has good Apps, WP8-Universe is lacking good apps).

    But in the end, I think Microsoft is doing perfectly the best thing :) They are disappointing a lot of Developers and stop a lot of potential Apps. This is very good because I will release my App anywhere. It will be based on WP7, which is compatible with WP8. And less competition means more market share for me. Thank you! :)

  • Seriously does it really matter now that Apple already officially announced the iPhone 5? I work for a large consumer organisation and it is a shame that the first Mobile Project that we are starting is going to be in Visual Studio 2010 using the Windows Phone SDK 7.1.

  • Not releasing the SDK to interested developers prevents apps being ready for the release of Windows Phone 8. With all the competition in the mobile phone arena, this makes little sense. Phone purchasers are swayed by both the number and quality of apps. A must have app can sell a lot of windows phones. You should be encouraging all developers, not just those with present apps.

  • Is this some sort of cruel joke? If so, it's not funny. Really.

  • hopmedic
    13 Posts

    This is rather a crock...  Last year we were using Mango for what, 2 or 3 months prior to general release?  And this year we can't even have the SDK unless we get picked from the pool of applicants?

  • So what I am inferring is that the reason we can't all have access to the SDK now is because Microsoft Marketing wants to have some razzle dazzle left at the Windows Phone 8 launch? Wow...really?

  • I understand that there are unannounced features that you want to keep hidden from people until you are ready to detail them.  But it is a shame that this is holding devs back from testing the more basic features.  In the past you have had locked down emulator images, could this not be done at least before the full announcements are made?

  • I find this strategy very strange. With todays technology as soon as the SDK is released to the limited amount of developers, one of them will end up posting it on a message board like XDA or a torrent tracker. The features of the emulators will be unveiled in quick succession following the leak.

    Wouldn't it be more prudent to announce all the wonderful features officially first, then release the SDK to the public, instead of this attempt at cloak & daggers?

  • ishaih
    4 Posts

    ok, I want the WP8 SDK, but if I can't have it, at least release the VS2012 support for WP7, so why don't you release a version without the WP8 image so I don't need two versions of visual studio running to do WP7 dev?

    This should have been released with the VS2012 RTM.

    Also, if you're only going to give access to apps with lots of downloads, just contact them directly, much better than rejecting interested devs. when your platform is so far behind, you can't turn away devs

  • Would be nice if dev MVP can qualify. :)

  • DrPizza
    3 Posts

    "I know that many of you want to know why we simply don’t publically release the full SDK now. The reason is that not all Windows Phone 8 features have been announced and our SDK includes comprehensive emulators that allow developers to test apps against a wide range of Windows Phone features. We recognize that this is a different approach to delivering tools than we’ve taken in the past. Our goal is to generate as much Windows Phone 8 excitement as possible to attract new customers when phones go on sale. This is one of many steps we’re taking to help give you what you (and we) want most."

    There is no universe in which this makes sense.