Since everyone (including me) and their mother is now dabbling in WP7 development, I thought I’d write about some of it and share my experiences with the community.

Before getting into dev details, let’s start with the setup and getting off the ground.

The page to access the wormhole is at: http://create.msdn.com.
It has a link to download the (free) tools you’ll need.

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Please go ahead and install the various components required; I’ll wait.
The pieces include the VS extensions which installs the various phone app templates, the WP7 emulator that lets you run and test apps without a real phone in hand, etc.

We are now ready to write our first app.
Note that we are going to explore Silverlight apps and not XNA apps. These run on a managed Silverlight layer on the phone, as opposed to an XNA platform that conceptually treats the device like a console where you can manipulate each pixel.

Open VS and select New Project –> Silverlight for Windows Phone – Windows Phone Application (the first item), as shown below.

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Give it a name and location and you will be faced with the Mainpage.xaml

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If you just want to run the project and hit F5, you will get a compile error stating that “Zune software is not installed. Install the latest version of Zune software.”

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This happens because the output is set to a device, and you can change it to go to the Emulator by changing the dropdown selection next to the Play button to Windows Phone Emulator.

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Hitting F5 now, loads the Emulator and shows the app in it.

To end debugging, the instinctual way is to close the Emulator. But I like to keep the Emulator running in order to save time in further debugging sessions.
Hit the Back <- button at the bottom of the Emulator or go to VS and hit Stop to exit from Play mode.

So, now you have a very basic Phone app running in Visual Studio. That’s all for now. More to come in future posts…

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