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InfoQ Homepage News Windows Phone 7.8 SDK Update Released

Windows Phone 7.8 SDK Update Released

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Microsoft recently released Windows Phone SDK Update for 7.8 that enables you to provide Windows Phone 8 experience in your Windows Phone 7.5 apps and adds two new emulator images for 256 MB and 512 MB devices to your existing Windows Phone SDK 7.1 or Windows Phone SDK 8.0 installation.

The update enables you to test drive how your Windows Phone 7.5 based apps live tiles will look and behave when they are run on a device running Windows Phone 7.8. It also include Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 update but you should be already running a Windows Phone SDK 7.1 to use it.

You will be able to view minimalistic UI and Windows Phone 7 device skin as soon as you run your app after the installation of this update. It enables you to make your app's tile smaller after pinning it to the start screen and also provides support for wide tiles and flip tile template. Moreover, secondary tiles can be enabled with support for Flip, Iconic and Cycle tile templates.

According to official sources, the recently released update is the last ever update for Windows Phone 7 handsets, which has been orphaned by the company’s platform shift to Windows Phone 8 which is built on a different kernel.

When asked about why Microsoft is abandoning WP 7 and shifting towards WP8, a Windows Phone spokesperson commented:

While it is true that Windows Phone 8 is a generational shift in technology requiring new hardware, we care deeply about our existing customers and want to keep their phones fresh.

We are therefore providing the most iconic feature of Windows Phone 8 - the new Start screen experience - to existing customers via a Windows Phone 7.8 update which will be rolled out to as many devices as possible in early 2013.

Existing customers will not lose any functionality and will continue to benefit from services such as SkyDrive, Xbox Live, Office Mobile, Bing and more than 125,000 applications currently available in the Windows Phone Store.
Our OEM partners continue to deliver innovation for existing Windows Phone devices - for example, Nokia offers Lumia customers some exclusive apps like PhotoBeamer, Cinemagraph and others. In addition developers can continue to create applications that will work on both Windows Phone 7.5/7.8 and Windows Phone 8 devices.

When Necroman asked about the possibility of an offline installer, Cliff Simpkins, Product Manager, Windows Phone Developer Experience replied:

Unfortunately, we don't have an ISO/offline installer for the update. I'll inquire and see if we can get one spun up, but  I wouldn't count on it short term.

However, Michael Crump, Program Manager, Telerik has already created an offline installer for the Windows Phone 7.8 SDK and is available for free.

According to Tron 42, new emulator for 7.8 is not compatible with Windows 2008 R2 Server. However, LanceMcCarthy suggested to check Joe Healy's blog regarding issues related to  Hyper-V and WP emulators.

Dinchy87 commented:

I tried this with appextra in my app but i get this error "Warning 1 The element 'Deployment' in namespace 'http://  schemas . microsoft . com /windowsphone/2009/deployment' has invalid child element 'AppExtra'. List of possible elements expected: 'App'."

Cliff commented:

Are you putting it in the right portion of the WMAppManifest.xml? You'll want to put it BEFORE the App element - most of the time when I've seen that error, I've put it at after the App element.

"I can not find the c++ support as you promise," says Michael Hansen

"As to C++, we added support for DirectX support and C++ via WinPRT components as part of the new kernel/platform in 8.0 - the 7.8 release still takes advantage of the old kernel," mentions Cliff in reply to Michael's comment.

Niels9001 posted:

I also have the error with the update installed on Windows 7 x64 with Visual Studio 2010. I can't run my app, as its an error.

Cliff replied:

I've verified (both personally and with the team) that the tooling in VS 2010 will indeed throw an error with the AppExtra element. The issue is happening because there were no changes to the VS2010 environment with this patch

"When will Microsoft release Windows Phone app templates for IronRuby and F#," queries mcandre. However, Cliff asked him to post his suggestion on the official feedback page.

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