In wondering where to start talking about Windows Phone 7 (#wp7) development I thought maybe it’d be best if I started right at the very beginning. A very logical place to start. Whether I can go on till I get to the end ala The King’s advice in Alice in Wonderland remains to be seen. I’ve just paved a machine and want to get it set up for Windows Phone development using the emulator. Here’s what I’m doing:
Note: This is the process as of 21st June with the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP – April Refresh. As versions are closely tied together, this will inevitably change as soon as a new build of the Windows Phone developer tools is released. Given the current build is now almost two months old, this could be quite soon. You have been warned J
- [Optional] Install Expression Blend 4 Release Candidate (*not* Expression Blend 4 RTM)
- Expression Blend 4 gives you a high quality visual designer for WP7 – I’d recommend installing it
- [Optional] Install Visual Studio 2010
- Optional insofar as: if you don’t have VS2010 installed, when you install the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP (step 4), VS2010 Express For Phone CTP will be installed for you.
- If you have Silverlight 4 version 4.0.50524.0 installed (right-click on any Silverlight app – eg http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/ to check) you’ll need to uninstall it for the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP to install.
- Install the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP – April Refresh
- This installs
- Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone CTP (if VS2010 not already installed)
- Windows Phone Emulator CTP
- Silverlight for Windows Phone CTP
- XNA Game Studio 4.0 CTP
- This installs
- Install the Microsoft Expression Blend Add-in Preview 2 for Windows Phone
- Install the Microsoft Expression Blend Software Development Kit (SDK) Preview 2 for Windows Phone
That’s it! Okay it’s a little more involved than is perhaps ideal but we’ll simplify it as we get nearer to release.
A good candidate for “Boot from VHD”
As I mentioned above, it’s quite possible that another release of the Windows Phone Developer Tools will come along quite soon and necessitate some uninstalling / re-installing. Given that using a virtual machine isn’t possible with the emulator (the emulator is a virtual machine and you can’t run a VM inside a VM – the world turns inside our or something) I considered using the boot from VHD functionality in Windows 7 to make this easier.
Create a base VHD with OS, all the apps you need and anything that’s unlikely to change (eg VS2010 in my case). Then create a differencing disk and set this as the boot disk. At this stage you can install all the above and, when it comes time to change, just create a new differencing disk parented on the original base disk and install the new stuff. Neat and simple.