Introduction and Prerequisities of Windows Phone 7


Before starting the development process of Windows Phone 7 applications, let's see what the prerequisites are.

Software Requirement:

  • Windows Phone Developer Tools RTW
  • Visual Studio 2010 Express

  • Zune Software

  • Silverlight

  • Windows Phone 7 UI Design and Interface Guide

  • Windows Phone 7 Marketplace Certification Requirements

  • Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 Express

  • Azure Tools for Visual Studio 1.2 June 2010

  • Azure SDK June 2010

  • Microsoft Expression Blend for Windows Phone

Hardware Requirement:

The following are the minimum requirements for Windows Phone 7 mobile devices that the manufacturers take into consideration to maintain some standards across the manufacturers.



Display WVGA (800 x 480) Should have a minimum resolution of 800X480 for providing a good user interface.
Multi Touch (4 Ways) This is for providing option for multi user processes like accessing shared portion, used for games etc
DirectX 9 Acceleration This is specifically for the GUI based processes, like games, rich user application to maintain the standards.
Global Positioning System (GPS) This is for providing location specific processes like GPS navigator, to integrate with Maps etc.
Accelerometer This is for providing the proper acceleration of the device normally used in games, location-based applications.
Compass This is for detecting the position like North, South, East, and West.
Light This is for using like a flashlight in the phone. Also we can enhance it to use it across some external application as a flash.
Camera This is for taking pictures that can be stored and accessed online, also to integrate with the social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter etc.
Button Controls(Up, Down, Side buttons) This is for providing the functionality that normally all phones have like attending the call, navigation etc.
Network Connection This is for providing the connectivity process like normal phones to make calls, text and similar purposes.
Data Connection This is for providing the functionality of internet to the phone with the technologies of 2G, 3G etc.
256 MB of RAM This is the base requirement for a Windows Phone 7 manufacturer because 90 MB of memory can be used by the application out of 256Mb. This is strictly complied with; if not then the device will fail in the Market Place.
8GM flash storage This is for the storage among the applications

Windows Phone Platform:

Microsoft has provided windows phone 7 with existing .Net core functionalities and libraries like Threading, LINQ, Multi threading, XML programming, Security, Reflection, Localization and Globalization. Apart from these available resources in Windows Phone 7 they have added 2 more major frameworks: Silverlight and XNA.


Silverlight is basically used for light-weight business applications and normal 2D games development using the XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language) Programming. Developers will have much flexibility using this framework along with often used UI tools like Microsoft Blend, Adobe Photoshop etc. to create a vector based process that can easily be transported to XAML. This is really not a new topic compared to the XNA development since Silverlight is already in the market for developing rich browser applications and it provides an option of creating applications with XAML which is highly advantageous for creating a vector based application. So it gives the developers a full control of the layout, design, structure and also the data binding components.


XNA is basically used for developing rich games where the framework comes with a game engine (with 3D) which helps the game developers to provide rich 3D games. Unlike Silverlight XNA is not much known across the developers since it has been used to develop Xbox games using Managed code. Why Microsoft provided the XNA engine with the Windows Phone 7 is mainly for integration of Xbox live integration with Windows Phone 7. The XNA engine provides the rich user experience that every developers take advantage of in providing next generation games with 2D and 3D game loop engines.

Using Azure:

When we create an application with Windows Phone 7, we need to save some data for future retrieval which is going to be a bit tough here.

Windows Phone 7 doesn't provide the direct connectivity with database to save data. To overcome this we need to use AZURE, Windows Azure provides the platform of Cloud Computing in storing and retrieving the data from different locations using Windows Phone 7. Say today we created a small application in Windows Phone 7 using Silverlight. Development proceeds day-by-day and finally we get an excellent product, then the number of users visiting also increase which eventually requires an enterprise database to save the details. So at this case we can use the Azure capability of extending the size of the database as needed since it exists in the cloud. If we use Azure for development of Windows Phone 7 applications, Microsoft has provided the additional advantage of using Bing Maps which is provided free of cost but only for the Windows Phone 7. Additionally Push notification services are also been provided in the cloud where we can use it to send notifications to the mobiles as Text which is eventually a better process for business needs.

Development Life Cycle:

As developers of Windows Phone 7 applications we need to register with the App Hub using the following link  and giving our Windows Live credentials which acts as a single signon for everything Microsoft provides. The main idea behind registering with App Hub is once registered and developed an application in Windows Phone 7 we can use our registered hand set as a physical device tester to test our application. The App Hub provides developers with up to 3 devices that can be registered and tested in real-time.

Now let us jump through the steps involved in the application development life cycle of the Windows Phone 7.

Step 1: Register with App Hub

As mentioned above the App Hub is the Microsoft place where we need to register and use for testing the application in real-time. Please follow the following steps to register in the App Hub.

Steps to register the APP HUB

Step 2: Market Place Certification procedures.

Once we are registered with the App Hub, before proceeding with the development consider reading the certification process document in order to avoid rejection of the product at the market level. Please refer to the following link for the Application Certification process checklist and validation.

Once the development is completed and the validation process is checked and passed by the Market, then the application will be available online for downloads. Microsoft reserves the rights to give 5 free applications downloads and unlimited number of paid application downloads.

Microsoft charges an amount of 99$ for the market place registration to submit the application developed. And for each download the Microsoft takes 30% of the fees paid and the developer will get 70% for his development charge.


In this article we have seen the prerequisites required for starting the development process with Windows Phone 7.

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