Microsoft encourages development of WP7 and 8-friendly apps

New operating systems often bring new functionality to the table, and Microsoft's latest iteration of Windows Phone is no exception. One issue that developers face with new software is deciding on the future of something they have poured hours into creating - but Microsoft might have a solutiion.

The WP Market allows multiple XAP files (information on the .xap file's specifics here) under the same GUID. Numerous versions of an app can exist under the one developer, with details being tailored to fit a specific OS.

The Market can identify the version of Windows Phone in use, letting WP7 handsets see only WP7-compatible apps. WP8 handsets, boasting compatibility for older apps, can see applications for both. Should a developer want to make the app WP8-native, they can also automatically automatically update their app using Microsoft's Visual Studio software.

The efforts all seem to be focused on maintaining WP7's position, at least for a little while longer. Bigger developers might wish to concentrate their resources on WP8 but at least this way older phones can still use, and find, applications.

Source: Microsoft

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Yep, this is exactly what I did. I made two copies of my project, added all my source files as links to the original (so if I change code in one, it changes for both), and just added #if WP8 preprocessor directives to my code in a couple places for WP8-specific code. Uploaded both versions, submitted an update... and boom, WP7 users get the WP7 version and WP8 users get the WP8 version... and I have no code duplication to worry about, even between the WP7, WP8, and WinRT versions.

Nice, thanks for the details, I hope more developers do the same because as of now there is only a small percentage of apps that are going to end up as wp8 only.

I ended up duplicating the projects as I'm finding that I've been adding little bits here and there, and it's easier to give an approximation of the same experience than trying to code different UI's and code-behinds for each feature (eg data-sense on 8 vs a checkbox on 7).

As long as the important classes are all the same, and they'll work on WP7 or 8

how can we trust MSFT when they released 7.x even when they knew they were killing it with 8.x

makes me feel that 8.x is doomed and windows phone 9 is just windows with a different UI. that is their ultimate goal and why windows phone 8 is a waste of effort and learning skills for devs just like 7 was.

No skill learned is a wasted skill. Especially in writing software. As a developer, I can tell you that concepts from one to the other transfer easily and the only thing that might have been wasted is the time to develop something that's now broken because of their changes. The knowledge is never a waste.

neonspark said,
how can we trust MSFT when they released 7.x even when they knew they were killing it with 8.x

makes me feel that 8.x is doomed and windows phone 9 is just windows with a different UI. that is their ultimate goal and why windows phone 8 is a waste of effort and learning skills for devs just like 7 was.


They're not killing it, it's now the budget Windows phone. Look at the Lumia 505 or the Lumia 800 (which has become massively popular now that it's discounted) .

neonspark said,
how can we trust MSFT when they released 7.x even when they knew they were killing it with 8.x

makes me feel that 8.x is doomed and windows phone 9 is just windows with a different UI. that is their ultimate goal and why windows phone 8 is a waste of effort and learning skills for devs just like 7 was.


Its the same with the release of every OS, by the time a new release is available... the old one is outdated -.-. They knew it when WP7 came out, they knew it when WP8 came out. And I'm sure they'll know when WP9 comes out.

MS Pushes WP7 development, because WP7 is now their lowend tier of devices.

New hardware makes old hardware obsolete. New software makes old software obsolete. It's a fact of development, and you should be used to it by now.