Here's a list of the system requirements:
Supported operating systems:
- Windows 7, Windows Vista
- Windows Vista® with Service Pack 2 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) versions (all editions except Windows 7 Starter)
- Windows 7 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) versions (all editions except Windows 7 Starter)
- Installation requires 1.5 GB of free disk space on the system drive.
- 3 GB RAM
Cliff Simpkins at the Windows Phone Developer Blog explained some of the "new tricks" this SDK will allow you to do:
-- Cliff Simpkins
- The Visual Studio IDE is patched to enable selection from a list of emulators, and launching it (note that the WPSDK can only support connecting to one at a time, though)
- The Windows Phone [512 MB device] emulator image is updated to use build 8773
- A second, new emulator device image is included, allowing you to emulate running your app on a 256 MB device
- The Microsoft Advertising SDK is updated to the latest version (previously only available as a separate install), which fixes some issues devs were encountering at runtime
- IntelliSense now supports specifying the 512 MB device requirement in your manifest file, should you choose to opt your app out from running on the new 256 MB devices
- Language support is again consistent both in the IDE (the 7.1.1 Update supports all 10 of the WPSDK 7.1 languages) and in the emulator OS (Malay and Indonesian have been added)
Microsoft has also provided extensive installation instructions here.
With the recent news that the Marketplace has grown to over 70,000 apps, Microsoft is clearly working hard to provide their developers with the tools necessary to maximize the effectiveness of its 256MB devices, which are expected to be key in Microsoft's goal of establishing a larger share of the mobile device market.