Microsoft Releases Windows Phone 8 SDK

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Microsoft has released the Windows Phone 8 SDK for the Build developer conference, now taking place on the Redmond campus.

The SDK is described as an environment “for building apps and games for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.5.” That’s pretty obvious but why 7.5? That’s the odd thing here.

It has a stand-alone Visual Studio Express 2012 edition. It can also work as an add-on to Visual Studio Express 2012 edition for Windows Phone or works as an add-in to Visual Studio 2012 Professional, Premium or Ultimate editions. Microsoft says the SDK also includes emulators and additional tools for profiling and testing a Windows Phone app under real-world conditions.

Here are the system requirements from the site:

Supported operating systems: Windows 8, Windows 8 P

Windows 8 64-bit (x64) client versions

  • Hardware:
    • 4 GB of free hard disk space
    • 4 GB RAM
    • 64-bit (x64) CPU
  • Windows Phone 8 Emulator:
    • Windows 8 Pro edition or greater
    • Requires a processor that supports Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)

RedMonk analyst Donnie Berkholz, here at Build said this to me about the SDK:

Windows Phone 8 now provides an end-user experience on par with iOS and Android. The public release of the developer SDK finally makes it possible to nail a critical component of mobile adoption, the broader app ecosystem. Unfortunately the SDK wasn’t released in advance of Windows Phone 8 so developers could have apps available at the release, which will hurt both developers and Microsoft because of the importance first impressions have to consumers. Given Microsoft’s near-legendary tenacity and its clear understanding of the importance of mobile devices, I expect they’ll continue pursuing this until they get it right — if not for Windows Phone 8, for the next release.