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Getting started developing apps for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8

August 19, 2014

Applies to: Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone Silverlight 8.1 | Windows 8

This topic outlines the choices you have when you develop apps for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.

This topic contains the following sections.

To start developing your apps, you'll need to install the right tools to get the job done. The Visual Studio 2012 family of development tools offers a powerful development environment to build great apps quickly. Two free versions of Visual Studio 2012 are available to build your apps for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.

Tool

Description

Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8

Tool to build Windows Store apps. It is free, and includes the Windows 8 SDK, Blend for Visual Studio, and project templates. For more info and links to the download, visit Developer downloads for programming Windows Store apps.

Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone

Tool to build Windows Phone 8 apps. It’s free and includes the Windows Phone SDK 8.0, Blend for Visual Studio, and project templates. For more info, see Windows Phone 8 SDK tools.

If you install Visual Studio Pro or greater versions, along with Windows Phone SDK 8.0 and Windows 8 SDK, you can build both app types.

So, you have the tools and you're sold on the opportunity. What's next? Well, your time is a valuable asset and you probably want to make the most efficient use of it as possible. You can start right away to code an app for Windows Phone 8 by creating a new project using one of the installed templates. You can do the same for your Windows Store app. However, it makes sense to first consider who you are, your situation and what you are trying to achieve. Knowing the answers to these questions will set you on a path that’s a more effective use of your time.

Who are you?

What is your situation?

Suggested approach

I'm new to developing apps

I have no existing apps, but I can't wait to build and ship an app in the Windows Phone Store and Windows Store.

As a beginner, we recommend that you grab the free tools and start exploring app building for either platform.

I am a seasoned Windows Phone app developer

I’ve already built Windows Phone apps and now I want to build apps for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.

You’ll find a lot of similarities when you develop your apps for both platforms. To get started, explore the following:

I’m a seasoned Windows Store app developer

I’ve already built Windows Store apps and now I want to build apps for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.

You’ll find a lot of similarities when you develop your apps for both platforms. To get started, explore the following:

I'm a seasoned developer from another platform

I’ve built apps for other platforms, and I want to ship them, or new creations, on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.

Many of the programming concepts will be familiar. Both platforms support C++, and the tools have templates to help get you started. To get started, explore the following:

I'm a gaming developer from another platform

I’ve built games for other platforms and I want to bring them to Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.

We've invested extensively in native gaming support on Windows Phone 8 and this will make it possible for you to port your existing games to both Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.

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