When Microsoft released the new version of its Windows Phone SDK to app developers a few weeks ago, one big feature that was lacking was being able to use the SDK to make apps in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview version. Today, Microsoft announced on its official Windows Phone developer blog that an updated version of the Windows Phone SDK, 7.1.1, has been released that solves that issue and can be downloaded from Microsoft.
In the blog, Microsoft'sstates that while this patch does allow app developers to start making Windows Phone apps within Windows 8, there are still a couple of things they should keep in mind. One is that the emulator could see some performance issues if Hyper-V is enabled. The other is that while Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 technically works on Windows 8, Microsoft is not offering any official support for the SDK under Windows 8 until the final shipping versions of Windows 8 is released.
That being said, this update goes a long way to making it easier for folks to build apps that target both Windows Phone and Windows 8; the WPSDK 7.1.1 runs quite well side-by-side with Visual Studio ‘11’. Particularly with the Consumer Preview out, the ability to run the IDEs side-by-side has been a major request from our developer community. As you are starting to evaluate your strategy of targeting both platforms, we still continue to believe that code reuse via XAML and C#/VB.NET will continue to be your best strategy; and this side-by-side support should help make your life much easier as you can develop and debug side-by-side, as well.
Another new feature in Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 is that developers can now switch between running their apps on a 512 MB emulator and a 256 MB emulator. This is, of course, to make sure that their Windows Phone apps can run on the "Tango" update devices such as the Nokia Lumia 610 that will only have 256 MB of memory on board.