Introducing Windows Phone 7 Development Tools

Today at MIX10, we are introducing the Windows Phone 7 Series development story.  At the heart of Windows Phone 7 Series development is Silverlight.  This enables you to bring your existing development skills in building Windows Phone 7 applications.

Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP, Microsoft’s developer toolset for Windows Phone 7 Series, is now available for download.

The Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP contains what you need to get started with Windows Phone 7 development.  Specifically, it includes the following:

-       CTP of Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone – This allows you to develop and debug your phone application in a familiar development environment.  If you are already using the release candidate of Visual Studio 2010, the Windows Phone 7 Series Add-in for Visual Studio lets you create applications alongside your web, cloud and desktop applications. 


-       Windows Phone 7 Series Emulator – This is integrated with Visual Studio so you can see your app in action and debug it as you would with any other VS project.


-       Silverlight - Microsoft has extended our platform technologies from the web, desktop and console to the phone giving developers a broader application development experience.  With your existing development skills you can start developing applications for the phone today.  Or if you have a great app already, Silverlight lets you write once and optimize everywhere, including the phone.


-       XNA Game Studio – This enables you to build games spanning the phone, desktop and Xbox 360.

Expression Blend for Windows Phone, a professional design tool for building immersive mobile experiences in Silverlight, is not a part of the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP, but you can download it today as well.

Getting Started

Developing phone applications for Windows Phone 7 Series is similar to developing Silverlight or XNA applications in Visual Studio.  The Start Page in Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone offers learning resources to help you get started.

Start Page 

Your application can be in Silverlight or XNA.  You might be wondering when to use each technology.  Silverlight allows you to develop rich internet and out of browser applications and contains device-specific functionality giving you the ability to create a broad range of applications.  For game developers, XNA provides a great solution for building games that span from phone to desktop to Xbox 360.  When developing your application Visual Studio provides project and item templates to get you started with either Silverlight or XNA projects.

New project

Developing the App

Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone extends the VS design, coding, and debugging capabilities with phone-specific extensions and features. The designer surface is skinned with the phone’s visual theme so you can see how your application will look on the device.  As controls are added to the app, they automatically adopt the Windows Phone Design System look and feel.  Of course, you can change the style if you prefer a different theme for your application.

Mobile Designer

When you’re ready to run your application, you can use F5 to run it like any other application developed in VS.  You can debug your application using the Windows Phone 7 Series emulator.  The emulator supports adjusting the orientation and has phone buttons available on the device. Windows Phone 7 Series phones won’t be available until later this year, but the emulator helps you get a head start on developing your apps now.


Download the Tools

Starting today you can download the Windows Phone Developer Tools from the Windows Phone or Microsoft Express sites.  To learn more about Windows Phone 7 Series development, please visit the Charlie Kindel on Windows Phone Development blog.


Comments (41)

  1. Oh, this is awesome news! I can’t wait to get home and try it out.

  2. Tom says:


    Now you’re talking! 🙂

  3. Steele Price says:

    How soon can we have VB.Net Support?

    I was very surprised it was not in here already.

    Having support for VB.Net is very important to us!

  4. Somasegar says:

    Hi Steele,

    We will definitely have support for writing VB.NET apps for Windows Phone 7.  The team is working on the details and the timeline for the same.  Stay tuned.


  5. I installed the tools and when i tried to debug the loading message do not disappear.

    I suspect that I installed this tools on a virtual machine.

    Am I right?


  6. kevinw says:

    I have read that apps for Windows Phone 7 will only be downloadable from the App Store.

    How would a company be able to use their own in-house bespoke app on a phone, given that they wouldn’t want it shared with the rest of the World?

  7. Tom says:

    Hi Soma,

    How is Microsoft going to address the needs of the Enterprise and business customers? I heard that apps for Windows Phone 7 can only be sold and installed from Microsoft App store for Windows Phone 7 after being "certified" by Microsoft. What if developers in businesses want to create proprietary apps for their businesses? How will these apps be deployed to Windows Phone 7?

  8. Somasegar says:

    Hi "Fatal Error Solver",

    Yes – The Windows Phone 7 emulator is a VM image.  


  9. Ian Kelling says:


    I heard in MIX yesterday that developers will be able to deploy apps to their locally connected phone just about as fast as to the emulator. It sounds like you will be able to deploy your app just fine.

  10. Sudeep Bharati says:

    Hi "Fatal Erroe Solver"

    If you have installed Windows Phone 7 Development Tools on a VM, then you could hit this problem when starting the emulator.

    Please refer to link below and the release notes have more info and that this configuration is not supported in this release.

    If need be please contact me at sudeepb at microsoft dot com.

    Sudeep Bharati

  11. Sam says:


    I have been waiting a long time for this. Thanks to everyone at Microsoft! Btw, the new Silverlight Worldwide Telescope app for the Silverlight Bing Maps is awesome! It needs some performance improvements, but overall its excellent.

  12. Somasegar says:

    Hi Sam,

    Thanks for the feedback.  I will pass it on to the teams.


  13. kevin says:

    Too Bad Windows Phone 7 Development Tools are not supported on WIN XP even though Visual Studio 2010 RC is.

  14. Somasegar says:

    Hi Kevin,

    You are right.  WinXP doesn’t support certain technical features that are needed by the Mobile tooling. You need Windows Vista or Windows 7 to be able to use these tools.


  15. Flip says:

    If you’re looking for a blow by blow, screen by screen summary of what to expect for the CTP install (for your readers I mean :>), then check out my blog.

    It just might help remove a bit of people’s fear to see what they can expect at every step.

    Good luck!

  16. Thanks for the answer Sudeep Bharati

  17. Sam says:

    Hi Soma,

    The single and only most important thing that Microsoft needs to improve in Silverlight at this time is PERFORMANCE. It needs to load faster in the browser (for PCs) and I am hoping that Silverlight apps in Windows Phone 7 will load at near the speed of light!

  18. phuff says:

    Tom and Kevinw:

    We will be disclosing later in the Spring the mechanisms available for Windows Phone 7 Series customers to distribute applications privately.  Stay tuned…

    Polita Paulus


  19. londo says:

    What if I have an application that is written C++, is there an exception to XNA/Silverlight — my app is a lightweight XML DB – I have  a.NET API for it, but need it to urn native???

  20. phuff says:

    londo, Windows Phone 7 will not run native C++ applications.  You might consider porting your application to Silverlight and XNA.

    Polita Paulus


  21. R.J says:

    >> Windows Phone 7 will not run native C++ applications.  You might consider porting your application to Silverlight and XNA.

    Do you mean we can’t write native applications for Windows Phone 7 at all and we should choose either Silverlight or XNA?

    It’s a real big shame.

  22. LouisVuittonstory says:

    yes,You might consider porting your application to Silverlight Lucy for you !

  23. Really awesome….was just waiting for dis…and even for Windows Phone 7 to launch offically…. 🙂

  24. LouisVuittonstory says:

    I have an application that is written C++, is there an exception to XNA/Silverlight — my app is a lightweight XML DB suhali leather

    fendi bags cheap

    designer wallet

  25. Tom says:


    Not sure if you are still checking this out… but, how are you guys doing with Windows Phone 7 development for distributing applications privately for enterprises? Also, how is Microsoft addressing issues highlighted in this article:

    http: //

  26. phuff says:

    Hi Tom- we still don’t have anything to share on enterprise app distribution yet, but keep your eye out for news later this Spring.

    Polita Paulus

  27. Windows Phone 7 Dreamer says:

    Is MS going crazy??? The costs to submit an Windows Phone application are so high.

    Check these:

    I'm dissapointed.

  28. phuff says:

    Windows Phone 7 Dreamer, the link you provided is for the Windows Mobile 6.5 Marketplace.  You can find the just-announced Windows Phone 7 Marketplace policies here:…/new-policies-for-next-gen-windows-phone-marketplace.aspx.

    Polita Paulus


  29. Adheep says:

    I want to use time control in my Mobile app, so how to do it in VS'10 for windows phone, because it doesn't seem that it has timecontrol option..

    Help me!!

  30. phuff says:

    Adheep, are you looking for a time picker control?  You can find one in the Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit, available here:…/52297.

    Polita Paulus


  31. PaxRon says:

    Disappointing to see Microsoft's strategy of paying $99 yearly subscription, $19+ to publish your app and then 70/30 revenue split. I thought they would be more serious at trying to climb that long road back up to beating Iphone with 150K+ apps, Android 20K+ apps and Windows only 693…these are feb 2010 figures. If we can go by the example of how poor the sales are that majority developers receive on XBOX live I think it's a bit of a stumbling block for the developer and MS becoming number 1

  32. michaelvk says:

    Thanks to everyone at Microsoft! Btw, the new Silverlight Worldwide Telescope app for the Silverlight Bing Maps is awesome! It needs some performance improvements, but overall its excellent.Michael from <a href="">Windows Phone 7 Application Development</a>

  33. Bill says:

    hi , this tools aren't  support windows xp ? I have windows xp and sp3….

  34. phuff says:

    Bill, the Windows Phone developer tools require Windows Vista or Windows 7.  Windows XP is not supported.  Apologies for any inconvenience this causes.

    Polita Paulus


  35. Lisi says:

    Thats great!!

    There are a lot of great tutorials on

  36. Josh says:

    To install Phone 7 Development tools on XP:

    – Download the Web-Installer

    – Run 'vm_web.exe /x'

    – edit baseline.dat

    – under the section [gencomp7788], change these values:

       InstallOnLHS from 1 to 0

       InstallOnWinXP from 1 to 0

    – Save and close

    – run 'setup.exe /web'

    NOTE: The Phone Emulator will not install, it will crash on install and at runtime, but the rest of the development tools will install and run fine.

    Hope this helps.

  37. synapseIndia says:

    Thanks for informative post, Soma.

    We are working on windows phone 7 application development.…/windows_phone7.shtml

  38. Hi, Article is nice.

    How to use c cdode in windows phone 7

  39. phuff says:


    Windows Phone 7 will not run native C++ applications.  Give Silverlight and XNA a try!

    Polita Paulus


  40. I have been very enthusiastic in getting into Phone apps development . Really useful information is provided .I feel like I got a head start with this article . Thanks

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