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Android to Windows Phone 8 Part 1: Setting Up the Development Environment

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Android to Windows Phone 8 Part 1: Setting Up the Development Environment

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Over the past several weeks I’ve been working on some content I’m excited to finally share with you through a series of blog posts. This series will introduce you to Windows Phone 8 development from an Android developer’s perspective. Through the course of the series you’ll create your first app. It won’t be anything pretty, but you’ll learn the ins and outs of the development environment, how to create a simple user interface, and how to perform navigation. Along the way you’ll see some Android Hints that will help make it easier for you to transition your existing skills to the Windows Phone platform. You’ll also see some Visual Studio Tips to make you more productive in your development environment. Good luck!

Your first task when it comes to Windows Phone development is getting your development environment up and running. It’s a three step process:

Install Windows 8

  • Windows 8 Pro edition or greater is required
  • Your machine must have a processor that supports Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)
Install Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone
  1. Web Installer – this is a small initial download that will download the necessary components during the installation process. Download at http://bit.ly/YSPmrh.
  1. Disk Image (iso) – This is the full installer, no additional downloads are required. Download at http://bit.ly/Tmb6rX.
Optional: Join the Windows Phone Dev Center

You can’t create Windows Phone apps on anything but a 64 bit version of Windows 8. There are two additional requirements for running the Windows Phone 8 emulator:

What this means is that you can’t run a Windows Phone 8 development inside of a virtual machine. This is due to the Hyper-V technology used in the Windows Phone emulator.

For installing Windows 8 you have several options. If you’re running a Windows 7 machine, you can either upgrade your existing install, create a separate partition for you Windows 8 install, or create a bootable vhd with Windows 8 (this is not the same as running inside of a virtual machine).

Download and install Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone from http://aka.ms/getvs12now. Visual Studio is the IDE, similar to Eclipse, that you’ll use for creating Windows Phone applications. Please note, there are a five Visual Studio Express products available. Make sure you download and install the one specifically for Windows Phone.

There are two options for installation, a web installer and a disk image. A description of each is below, choose the one that works best for you:

If you already have a different edition of Visual Studio Express installed on your machine don’t worry, Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone will install just fine with it.

After you install Visual Studio you can try it free for up 30 days. After 30 days you must register to obtain a free product key for ongoing use. Just remember, it’s free as long as you register. You can register at http://bit.ly/URM0I8.

This step is not required to start developing Windows Phone applications. However, if you want to test your apps on Windows Phone hardware and submit your apps to the Windows Phone Store, you must register for a Windows Phone Dev Center account. You can learn more about the Windows Phone Dev Center and register at http://bit.ly/StpJhE.

That’s it! You’re good to go. In the next lesson you’ll learn how to create your first Windows Store project


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