Windows Phone Emulator overview

Expression Studio 4.0

Windows Phone Emulator (XDE) is a desktop application that emulates Windows Phone devices. It provides a virtual environment in which you can develop, debug, and test applications.

Windows Phone Emulator

The emulator provides a virtual environment for early application prototypes. By using the Windows Phone Emulator, you can walk through common application scenarios without a physical device. This can reduce the cost of developing applications for Windows Phone.

Windows Phone Emulator

By default, Expression Blend for Windows Phone uses the Windows Phone Emulator for debugging and testing a Windows Phone project. You can change this behavior by modifying the settings in the Device panel.

Windows Phone Device Panel

For more information about modifying the device settings, see Modify the device settings.

The Windows Phone Emulator is backward compatible with Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008. However, Windows Phone Emulator cannot load Windows Phone OS applications earlier than Windows Phone OS 7.0.

The emulator enables the following:

  • Preview   Windows Phone Emulator enables the emulation of device peripherals and the emulation of processor, RAM, display, and graphics processing units (GPUs).

  • Persistent store   Persistent storage enables the ability to quickly retrieve your data when your application resumes or is restarted.


    Isolated storage is available while the emulator is running, but data in isolated storage does not persist after the emulator closes.

  • Networking   Networking capabilities are integrated with the Windows Phone Emulator and are enabled by default.

  • Media    The Windows Phone Emulator includes support for the VC-1 format for video, and the .wma for audio.

    important noteImportant

    The H.264 video format installed with the Windows Phone Developer Tools is not supported by the Windows Phone Emulator.

  • Keyboard   Windows Phone Emulator supports the mapping of the keyboard on your development computer to the keyboard on a Windows Phone. By default, the keyboard is not enabled. To enable the keyboard in the emulator do one of the following:

    • Add a control that accepts keyboard input (the PasswordBox control, for example), to your Windows Phone application.

    • Launch the Windows Phone Emulator by pressing F5 or Ctrl+F5 to build and run the application.

    • Press PAGE UP or PAUSE/BREAK.


      Press PAGE DOWN or PAUSE/BREAK to disable the keyboard in the emulator.

  • Deployment   The Windows Phone Application Deployment tool enables you to deploy your application to developer-registered devices for testing before you submit your application to Windows Phone Marketplace.

  • Debugging   You can debug Windows Phone projects the same way you debug any other project type in Visual Studio 2010. The Windows Developer Phone Tools add-in for Visual Studio includes support for debugging Windows Phone applications.

See also

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