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New Version of .NET Framework, SDK for Windows Phone 8 Released

Nov-01-2012

On the heels of its Windows Phone 8 launch Monday, Microsoft has provided significant new tooling to encourage developers to build apps for it. They include a phone-focused version of the .NET Framework, and the long-awaited Windows Phone SDK. Microsoft Program Manager Pracheeti Nagarkar posted about the upgrades on the .NET Framework blog. The new framework, called ".NET for Windows Phone 8", is essentially a streamlined version of the .NET Framework 4.5 meant to work specifically with Microsoft's new phone. The key component of .NET for Windows Phone 8 is the integration of CoreCLR on top of Windows Phone OS. CoreCLR is the heart of the .NET Framework CLR. The Windows Phone 8 SDK, released yesterday, can help with that task. The SDK includes a stand-alone version of Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone, for developers on earlier versions of Visual Studio; for those with the latest version, it can be installed as an add-in to Visual Studio 2012 Professional, Premium or Ultimate. The SDK also includes Windows Phone 8 emulators in multiple screen sizes; Expression Blend for Windows Phone, a UI designer that works for both 7.1 and 8 apps; Team Explorer, a Team Foundation Server (TFS) Client for application lifecycle management (ALM) and source control of apps; and XNA Game Studio, for building games for Windows Phone, Xbox 360 and desktop apps. The release of the Windows Phone SDK has stirred some controversy among developers. Access to the preview SDK in September had limited availability, being restricted to developers who already had published Windows Phone apps. Many developers were upset at the restrictions, noting that not even having an MSDN account was sufficient to get the SDK. They complained that they wanted the SDK in advance to have apps ready for Windows Phone 8's launch. Whether that will affect the number of apps available in the Windows Phone Store in the coming weeks and months is difficult to say, but at least the wait is over for present, and potential, Windows Phone 8 developers.
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