Following the official launch of Windows Phone 8 on Monday, Microsoft has made available for download the necessary developer tools for the building of software for the platform.
The Windows Phone SDK 8.0 is now generally available for download, after being released in September to only a small number of developers.
The new development kit was included in Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 8 Developer Platform, which comes with a refreshed Dev Center.
The new SDK was announced at the //BUILD 2012 conference, where Microsoft detailed its availability based on the new common Windows core that its desktop and mobile platforms arrive with.
With this new feature in tow, developers will benefit from increased capabilities when building new applications, the company announced.
“Moving to a common Windows core meant that almost every major underlying subsystem had to change. For example, for the .NET Framework, we moved from using .NET CF to Core CLR, two different versions of the Framework that forked from each other over five years ago,” Microsoft says.
“This investment, in turn, allows developers to take advantage of support for native C++ programming, familiar tools, and common APIs to target phones, PCs, and tablets for an estimated combined opportunity of roughly 500 million units next year.”
The Windows Phone SDK 8.0 comes as a full-featured development environment that can be used for the development of both applications and games for devices running under Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.5.
The platform comes with a stand-alone Visual Studio Express 2012 edition for Windows Phone, but can also be used in conjunction with Visual Studio 2012 Professional, Premium or Ultimate editions.
“With the SDK, you can use your existing programming skills and code to build managed or native code apps. In addition, the SDK includes multiple emulators and additional tools for profiling and testing your Windows Phone app under real-world conditions,” Microsoft notes.
The new SDK was released with support for Windows 8 64-bit (x64) client versions (Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro) and requires 4 GB of free hard disk space and 4GB of RAM.