Developing for Windows Phone 7

I spent some time today watching parts one and two of Windows Phone 7 Jump Start presented by Rob Miles and Andy Wigley. After a slow start there were clear demos of basic coding for Microsoft’s new phone; and I’d guess that most Microsoft platform developers would be reassured that if they can code for Silverlight, or do games in XNA, they will not have any problem coding for Windows Phone 7. The further implication is that it will be relatively easy, with the proviso that complex applications with good performance and excellent design are never easy. There is also the challenge of learning Expression Blend, if needed.

All participants were asked to state what other mobile platforms they had developed for; and while we were not shown the results of these polls there was a comment to the effect that “Windows mobile and None are neck and neck”, which I found interesting. It suggests that iPhone and Android developers are in no hurry to learn about Microsoft’s phone. If Microsoft gets enough customers they may then take an interest. Competing with Apple was always a given; but it is the rise of Google Android which must be most troubling to Microsoft, since it has given the non-Apple phone vendors what they need.

Still, the combination of Visual Studio plus Windows Phone 7 does make sense for .NET developers.

An early slide presented the Windows 7 hardware, which is worth reviewing as it is a reasonable specification. Supposedly Microsoft is taking a hard line with OEMs to keep the spec at or better than this minimum:


480×800 QVGA
320×480 HVGA

Capacitive touch

4 or more contact points


A-GPS, Accelerometer, Compass, Light


5 mega pixels or more

Hardware buttons

Start, Search, Back


256 MB RAM or more

8GB Flash storage or more


DirectX 9 acceleration