Now Available: Windows Phone SDK Update for 7.8

Now Available: Windows Phone SDK Update for 7.8

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Today we are releasing the Windows Phone SDK Update for Windows Phone 7.8, an optional update that adds two new Windows Phone 7.8 emulator images to your existing SDK installation. These two emulator images should enable you to fully test how your Windows Phone 7.5 app’s Live Tiles will look and behave when they are run on a device running Windows Phone 7.8. New phones with Windows Phone 7.8 are beginning to ship, so it’s a great time to update your apps to take advantage of the new Live Tile experience and to reach the new markets that Windows Phone 7.8 makes available.

This blog post briefly covers what is included in the Windows Phone SDK update; I’d highly recommend that developers take a look at Thomas Fennel’s blog on how to ‘light up’ your 7.5 app in Windows Phone 7.8 and 8.0 for a technical overview of how to use the new emulator images.

What’s in the update

clip_image001The Windows Phone SDK update adds the following capabilities to your machine:

  • Windows Phone 7.8 emulator: This OS image emulates your app running on a 512-MB device running Windows Phone 7.8 (build 8858)
  • Windows Phone 7.8 256MB emulator: This OS image emulates Windows Phone 7.8 (build 8858) running on a 256-MB device
  • If you’re running a Windows Phone SDK 7.1 installation, the update will also download and install the Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 update onto your machine as part of the update
    (again, only applicable to Windows Phone SDK 7.1 installations)

Along with what is installed, it’s also worth calling out what isn’t in the Windows Phone SDK update:

  • The update does not change your existing Windows Phone OS 7.1 emulator images—you can still develop and debug your apps on a phone running the standard Windows Phone 7.5 image
  • There are no new APIs available to Windows Phone apps in Windows Phone 7.8

Most importantly, any Windows Phone apps that you build using the Windows Phone SDK (with this update installed) still target and run on Windows Phone 7.5. This update simply makes it easier to test how your apps appear on devices running Windows Phone 7.8.

clip_image002After you install the Windows Phone SDK update and fire up your app in one of the new Windows Phone 7.8 emulators, you’ll immediately be greeted by the familiar minimalistic UI experience (all you have is Internet Explorer on the start screen) and Windows Phone 7 device skin. And after pinning your app to the start screen, you’ll also notice that 7.8 now provides the option to make your app’s tile smaller. By default, the OS simply shows a smaller version of your standard app tile. To customize the appearance of your small tile, you’ll need to do some additional work.

Live Tile options when running on Windows Phone 7.8

At a high level, Windows Phone 7.8 allows you to have your 7.5 apps behave much like apps do on Windows Phone 8 devices, allowing you to do the following on a user’s start screen:

  • Your app’s primary tile can have a customized small tile, support wide tiles, and also take advantage of the Flip tile template.
  • Secondary tiles can be enabled to take advantage of all three of the new tile templates (Flip, Iconic, and Cycle).

Taking advantage of the new tile options available in Windows Phone 7.8 uses the same reflection approach that folks have been using over the past few months light up their 7.5 apps on Windows Phone 8 (refer to the ‘lighting up’ your tiles on Windows Phone 8.0 topic on the Windows Phone Dev Center for details). The only difference is the version information specific to Windows Phone 7.8 (Version 7.10.8858—per the following screenshot).


Additional links for more information

The SDK update requires an existing installation of the Windows Phone SDK:

For further information on developing Windows Phone apps that light up on Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8.0, you may find the following links helpful:

All of that being said, if you have a Windows Phone 7.5 app, I’d highly recommend you download the Windows Phone SDK Update for Windows Phone 7.8 today and start experimenting by using the new tile options in your app. And, as always, feel free to post comments and/or questions about the Windows Phone SDK update here.

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  • Mayaa
    0 Posts

    Nice post thanks... Even this website <a href="> also addresses something similar, have a look, may help...

  • @Dinchy87 - Correct - it will work in VS2010 and show up in the emulator. When you go to submit to the Store, I'd recommend adding the AppExtra element by hand into the manifest (to properly comply with spec, if you will), but it will work properly for on 7.8 and 8.0 devices without it. As to support coming to Win7/Vista for WPSDK 8.0 and beyond, I don't believe that is likely given some of the VS/Windows dependencies that we have.

    @dhruvsharma - I'm unsure what you're question is. As there are no new APIs in WP 7.8 - there should be no back compat issues with 7.1/7.5.

  • is there suficient  back-compatibility in wp 7.8 with 7.1

  • and i forgot to say that i hope the VS2012 express for windows phone will be released for windows7, vista, Windows 8 x86 also... because in the near future (in the coming weeks) we can not code further for WP7, ok we can with the 7.1 SDK but i would like to have the ability to use the 7.8 SDK on my visual studio on windows 7 and windows 8 PCs

  • So we can code further and add the wide live tile directly from code in VS2010? and then if the app is tested it will show the wide tile without the appextra element? have i understand it right? :)

  • @mcandre - With where the WP developer platform is at the time, the Windows Phone team would look to the F# and IronRuby communities to provide these templates. While they're both great technologies, I'm not sure that they're at the top of the mobile developer community's wish list for the developer platform.

    As another option, please feel free to start a suggestion on the topic over at and have the voice of the F# and IronRuby community be heard in that fashion.

  • Okay - I've verified (both personally and with the team) that the tooling in VS2010 will indeed throw an error with the AppExtra element. The issue is happening because there were no changes to the VS2010 environment with this patch; as mentioned above, this update was limited to the new emulator images.

    The above being sais, as the AppExtra element *isn't required* for wide tiles to work in either 7.8 or 8.0, you can still wide-tile-enable your apps by either:

    (a) technically skip that step for and it will still work, or

    (b) manually insert the XML into the WMAppManifest.xml file post compile (but pre-upload to the Dev Center).

    The docs team will update the docs (likely in the coming week) with official guidance around the AppExtra element. The guidance is likely going to be to either update to VS2012 or manually add the AppExtra element in by hand. While your app will provide wide-tile support without the XML element in the 7.8 and 8.0 releases, there is a better than average chance that future releases will require the AppExtra element for the code to work.

    Hope this helps!

  • mcandre
    0 Posts

    Please provide Windows Phone app templates for IronRuby and F#. I'd love to be able to use these languages to write Windows Phone apps, but I can't find any templates for them.

  • , thank you.We would highly appreciate it.

    Over at the Windows Phone Development forums there is also a topic about this.

  • Okay - I'll have to look into this on Monday as most of my hardware is packed up (we're moving buildings and my machine running WPSDK 7 was packed up a couple days ago), but I'll chase this down when I get things unboxed.

  • Same problem as Dinchy here! And my WMAppManifest.xml looks similar

  • i can post a screenshot of how and where i added the tags, and you can see that it is all like it should be. i think this is an SDK bug. it says that the appextra element is invalid and can not be a child element and in the list of possible elements there is only "app" here is the link to the screenshot i get. if it is useful i will post my PC configuration too.

  • @Cliff Simpkins.

    I also have the error with the update installed on Windows 7 x64 with Visual Studio 2010. I can't run my app, as its an error. Please clarify this, as I'm not able to upgrade to Windows 8 on this PC.

  • @Dinch87 - It shouldn't matter the version combo of VS and Windows -- after making the change to your WMAppManifest, can you still run it in the 7.5 emulator? Do you have any other elements in the xml file? Are you properly closing off your elements? Can you post here or link to your xml file?

  • Still no video sharing!!!! wtf windows

  • to Cliff Simpkins

    this shood have been microsoft ,, 200 million gamecenter users

    why did it not happen for yours company

    becourse you fail to open up your platform to students,hoppyist,small town developers

    top 20 games on apple are done by big publishers, the rest are done by the people you read above

    a platform will not survive with out these people, and you have a BIG mess to clean up at your API

    allso the IOS is the oldest and most stabile one

    i do not know what is going on at your company,

    but i now if you contunie this way ,, you are doomed for next 7 years

    and your stock will go down

    you are in the bussiess of selling to consumers, not oem any more,

    and this will be a turn point for microsoft , but you are doomed

    and if you release the next xbox this year you fail , you shood release in 2016

    project shield,OUYA console,gamestick and valve game console

    these devices are for indie developers,hoppyist,small town developers

    and gonna sell like chease cake,, the price is the key, the open platform is the key

    you are not gonna pay 60 dollars for game on your platform

    when the hardware power is here in the othere consoles

    the OUYA console , is clock at 1,7 ghz quad core, 12 core graphics chip clock at 350mhz

    so you have the same power as the xbox 360 XDK ,, expet for the fast 10mb edoram

    that is the only diffence,

    i really hope you make into the future, but i do think so right now


  • SDK 7.8 or 7.5

    SDK dont have update to 7.8!

    SDK 7.8, has nothing to update.

    Now Microsoft is making the dreaded fragmentation.

    Ridiculous that a company make such a crap.

    The only change was that the screen changed and had 3 sizes of tiles, that's all!

    Developers ask, where is the call blocker! where is the selection of multiple files, to delete incidentally noticed that the photos have to delete one by one!

    Where's the update Site People where the duplicate contacts are duplicated.

    Numbers patterns phone when I have to leave a contact number that standard.

    Bing button should be used to search within applications, there are 2 search engines!

    Where's the bar Notifications could be on the left side with quick access Wi-fi etc, as in Nokia Belle.

    Lock screen option be disabled.

    I forgot the main, Where's T9 dialer, in fact the Microsoft has not seen the Dialer App Rap that has more advanced features than the native dialer windows.

    it is laziness, only changing the source code, including functions ready will not make a new OS.

    SDK 7.8 is purely a garnish with Tiles of different sizes and nothing else.

    XDA developers have the best of Microsoft, quit this SDK will install and incidentally the best ROM Raibow Mod 2.1

  • @Tron42: The video out capability would be a consumer feature request that I believe the team is well aware of. That being said, I would highly recommend adding your voice to the request on UserVoice forum (at ) to help quantify the desire for the feature to be added to the phone. In the meantime, the emulator (particularly on a touch PC/tablet) is your best bet for doing compelling app demos.

    @mbcrump - Thanks for the blog post and the link - we love our community for helping the team out! :)

    @Michael Hansen - I believe DirectX and C++ has always been discussed in context of 8.0 and not 7.8...and the UserVoice suggestion around Native/C++ should have made it pretty clear that it was an 8.0 platform enhancement (at least I hope so, since I wrote/posted the response ^_^ - I believe the post you're referring to is -- which is hosted on the WPDev UserVoice site, not on the App Hub/Dev Center...although we do our best to keep a consistent look + feel on the UV site). Furthermore, I believe you have a few other false assumptions in your post (no rewrite needed between 7.5 and 7.8 - no API changes happened there; XNA apps written to target 7.x run fine (in most cases) and also don't need to be rewritten; and DirectX runs the same code pretty well across all platforms that support it - Windows, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox)...but, at the root of things, it is important to note that Windows Phone 8 developer platform is, indeed, different from Windows Phone 7.x - it's a net-new platform under the covers and there are reasons why we are able to support more programming styles/platforms in 8.0...but the work ensures that code written for 7.x carries forward and is designed to run on future Windows Phone OS releases, helping to ensure that your code is as 'future proofed' as it can be.

  • mbcrump
    0 Posts

    I'm not sure if links are allowed, but I blogged yesterday about a solution for creating an offline installer for the 7.8 SDK.

    @Mods: Feel free to remove if you think it is necessary.

  • thank you for answher Cliff Simpkins

    but you promise that c++ and directx will come to apollo 7.8 update

    you now the place in the apphub forum "feuture set and wish list" i can not find the link , any more

    there where people woting on what got implanted into the phone ,,

    and there was a post called " c++ and directx support"

    later i got a mail that it says it was done

    so i ges we still have to write games in xna for xbox,windows phone 7 to 7.8 -- 28 million sold worldwide

    c++ directx tablet,surface rt , surface pro, windows phone 8 and foreward , all together sold 3.2 million

    and you speek of 3 screens , runs the same code with only a few change,, lover directx level

    can you give a timeline for this when this gonna happen

    allso missing the c++ dev kit for xbox 360 and windows phone 7 to 7.8

    i have rewritten most of 6 years code base from xna to c++ to the new platform

    and now i have to go back , course we have to update our game from 7.5 to 7.8 or else it will not run any more

    just like you have done with the preview release

    but no xbox live game running on windows phone 7 to 7.8 are not been updated al all they "just run no matter what"

    are you running a paralell platform , if so this is verry low on your behaf

    i ges you fail to delever once again,,


  • @Tron42: I like your idea. In the meantime you could present using the Emulator on a Windows Tablet instead of a Notebook. The WP7 and WP8-Emulator both support Multi-Touch if the host PC supports it.

  • Tron 42
    0 Posts

    For the emulator / device it would be nice to add the internal feature "USB Video Out Demo". Internally this feature is used in the Microsoft presentations to show the content of a WP device while being used. At fairs and demos I would love to demonstrate my App live with a Beamer. But without this feature I can just fire up the emulator and use it with a mouse which is cumbersome and not very fluid. You could reserve this feature for yourself but keep in mind that this also gives the Windows Phone Brand an impressive visual representation on fairs and the like.

  • Necroman
    18 Posts

    If you want to download the offline installer, just use: "WPExpress78_update.exe /layout". Note it will download about 5.5 GB (10x WP7.1 + 10x WP7.8 emulator images).

    Also I've tried updating the new tile sizes and it works just fine even without the extra entry in app manifest, is the entry really required?

  • @Michael: You can do all development using the Express version. What you might miss out on is the possibility of more advanced Visual Studio functionality but most of that does not even touch on phone development. E.g. there is no Profiling support in VS Express for the Desktop but there is for the phone, etc.

    And Microsoft is not breaking anything with the 7.8 release that was working on 7.5. So you're wrong there as well.

    WP8 has incompatibility issues though. It seems Microsoft believed those would be fixable before release when they anounced WP8 but so far it seems there are some that have not been fixed and perhaps won't.

    But I've been at this blog long enough to remember that Michael had problems getting his App approved in time for the store and has been on a trolling spree since then (over a year now) so my words most likely are for nought anyway. In the end I just want to encourage anyone who reads his posts to fact check themselves because most what he writes is simply disinformation.

  • @ Cliff Simpkins, yes i have added it after the  and  (here) before the  tag. does it have something to do that is use a windows 8 x86 pc but visual studio 2010 express for windows phone and not 2012?

  • @runewake2 - I totally agree that the voice capabilities that the TellMe team brought to WP8 are pretty kick-ass and first-class; unfortunately, making them available on 7.x (in a meaningful way, similar to how it is on 8.0) would require work at the OS level that was beyond the scope of this release - the platform wasn't built with the intention of exposing those types of APIs in the developer platform (for first party or third party apps).

    @Dinch87 - Are you putting it in the right portion of the WMAppManifest.xml? You'll want to put it BEFORE the App element - most of the time when I've seen that error, I've put it at after the App element.

    @Michael - You have a few different discussion threads in your comments...unsure where to start there. As to C++, we added support for DirectX support and C++ via WinPRT components as part of the new kernel/platform in 8.0 - the 7.8 release still takes advantage of the old kernel. And our Windows Phone SDK has always been free (it includes Visual Studio Express for Windows Phone) and continues to be so (I'd also challenge some of your pricing in your example, but I suppose that all depends on where you shop ^_^ ).

  • not all registred members goes to build

    offter the same stuff or another brand

    "BRUNDLE A DEV PACK WITH A TABLET,PHONE,VISUALSTUDIO AND APP MEMBERSHIP" to regestrered developers OR NEW ones ,, a starter kit

  • and i forgot the apple os , 29 dollars

    android os free

    and this adds to the cost of game developerment

    allso when unity is finish to run on your platform , i ges next year or this summer ass 1400 dollars to each platform

    so this is not possible to sell a 1 dollar game on your platform,, so your xbox live games kills the platform

    most games are done by students, hoppyist, small town developers, hell unity has around 600.000 of them

    out of 1,3 million games makers

    try to understant this,,

    a multibillion dollar company like yours , is ripping developers off here ,, before thay are getting started write a single line of code,,

    the developer allso knows , that with in the next 12 month , you have break the api, so you have to learn again

    and write new code,, this is wrong microsoft ,,

    you now the hardware "HAS NOT CHANGE IN THE PAST 5 YEARS"



    so you do not need to break the api all the time,, unles you are doing bad software

    this is not what thay teach me when i when to school,,

    but is ges this is your bussines model of windows, ecosystem,

    first team , release product

    second team fix errors , and update

    third team BREAK API , start all over , life cycle 18 month


  • this is good , thanks

    but i can not find the c++ support as you promise , going native ,, allso you answher done at the request feutureset that over 50.000 developers has ask for c++ support and directx 11.1 as well

    i ges it is only iphone all the way down to the first model that has support for graphics hardware

    i still have 1 year left on my contract wicth started last year on my lumia 800

    so we are still in the bussiness of break app backward compability,,

    why can you just make an apps platform with out allways break backward compability,

    when you shood be going foreward and only add new feutures

    this is the end for me here,, i have seen this for the last 6 years with xna , allwas break , and now allso with the phone,

    you now if you develop an app for android or apple 4 years ago , it still RUN TODAY WITH OUT ANY PROBLEMS

    do you not think , that is why you have goon down from 234.000 developers to around 5000 developers

    based on the forum members

    it is to expensive to develop an app or a game for your ecosystem

    new tools visual studio 2012 , 2000 dollars , apphub 99 dollars,phonehub 99 dollars, windows 8 store hub 99 dollars

    new os windows 8 upgrade offer 69 dollars

    and test wndows 8 rt device 800 to 1200 dollars, windows 8 phone 600 dollars

    android appgub 25 dollars , freetools, an android phone 129 dollars, nexus 7 , 199 dollars

    apple apphub 99 dollars, freetools , iphone 350,dollars, ipad 350 dollars

    think about this , and then you gonne say use express version, you can not debug you apps or games here

    allso with only 2.8 million windows 8 phones sold worldwide , i do not think so

    please do the math here ,, and think why is developers,hoppyist,small town stay away from windows

    and idear to you "BRUNDLE A DEV PACK WITH A TABLET,PHONE,VISUALSTUDIO AND APP MEMBERSHIP" to regestrered developers OR NEW ones ,, a starter kit


  • I tried this with appextra in my app but i get this error "Warning 1 The element 'Deployment' in namespace 'http:// schemas . microsoft . com /windowsphone/2009/deployment' has invalid child element 'AppExtra'. List of possible elements expected: 'App'."

    any help?

  • @Tron 42 Take a look at Joe Healy's blog regarding issues with Hyper-V and WP emulators. Most likely you need to delete the other machines and get a fresh start

  • I hope a further update for 7.8 is released. I was really hoping to have the option to implement tellme in my apps. At least we finally hear something though, this 7.8 business has really made me question the intelligence of spending months teaching myself c# and windows phone dev instead of android or iOS. I have already apologized to my friends who bought Lumia 900s on my advice.

    For an ecosystem looking for more apps I question the intelligence of requiring all WP7 developers to buy new phones in order to take advantage of the new features. I wait for more news on 7.8 and hope for my sake and yours that there is more than simply resizable tiles.

  • Tron 42
    0 Posts

    Thanks for the new SDK. Unfortunately the new emulator for 7.8 is not compatible with Windows 2008 R2 Server. The old emulator just had trouble to start with an active hyper-v machine. However the new emulator is reporting that there is another instance of the emulator running with different credentials. I know you offer no official support for the development on Server systems. On the other hand I think this is just a small problem that is easy to fix for you.

  • do85
    10 Posts

    No new API's available for Windows Phone 7.8?! just Live Tiles?

    C'mon we are waiting to implement many new features to our apps! No import of video from the camera roll?

  • @Necroman - Unfortunately, we don't have an ISO/offline installer for the update. I'll inquire and see if we can get one spun up, but I wouldn't count on it short term. :)

  • Gaploid
    6 Posts

    No new new APIs available to Windows Phone apps in Windows Phone 7.8 really? just tiles, omg.

  • Necroman
    18 Posts

    Great, thanks! Just a question, is there offline installer available?