Getting almost started with Windows Phone 7.1 development

It was 2nd of Feburary, and I was eagerly opening a gift wrapped, measuring 7” x 3.1” and for my greatest surprise it is something I was dreaming for about 6 years. Yes a smart windows phone powered by Nokia and code named as “Lumia” by some smart Scandinavian marketing  gentleman.

When I got the phone my first interest was to change the wallpaper to taylor swift, but my sweet brother had already did that on my behalf !!!. and the next one was to immediately write a hello world program in it. So I started looking into the options and I am writing them here.

WARNING : Please read the blog completely and start development. (There are cases where step n might not be appropriate for your environment)

1. You need Microsoft Visual studio 2010 or later (2011 beta is going to release boss). Express edition is also fine. You can download them at visual studio for windows phone home page.

2. Then download and install the Windows phone SDK 7.1.

3. Note that if you have not already installed, or you don’t have Visual studio 2010 SP1, I highly recommend you to install it before installing Windows phone 7.1 SDK, as there seem to be installation issues in specific scenarios.

4. Now install zune to your computer. If you wonder what it is, this is the only peephole Microsoft gives you to connect your windows phone to your computer. In a world where anything is connecting to everything nowadays, I don’t understand why Apple and Microsoft still wants everyone to download a 100 MB software. I am rather a big fan of, “Your USB device is connected and ready to use”.

5. Now launch Visual studio and open a project under Silverlight Windows phone Application as shown below

image

There are a lot of other project templates out there under the same category, but to get started this one should be fine.

After creation you will see the typical WPF style window layout. Now that you have a bare bone application, ready to be deployed, select the configuration as “Windows Phone Device” as shown below

image

 

Now build the project, if everything goes right you will get an error. “Zune software is not launched. Retry after making sure that Zune software is launched.”, and please do so. Also make sure, you don’t have any keypad lock on your phone device. Also make sure the phone is not pin locked. (Tip : set the maximum screen timeout for the phone, for less annoyance). Now run it again, you will get an error as follows :

Failed to connect to device as it is developer locked. For details on developer unlock, visit http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=195284.

If you visit the above link with technical debts in mind, you will be pissed off to see a request for buying a membership for 99$ a year, that is famously advertised as AppHub membership, using which you can write programs and upload them to the Windows Phone Market. To download the program you created in the OS that you bought, into the mobile you bought costs an another 99$. Damn……..

After some bing’ing (am still a shameless Microsoft fanatic) there seems to be lot of Westerners who are already lurking around to find possible workarounds to this. One such possibility, that is now just a part of history is the labs.chevronwp7.com that allows you to download apps/ debug apps using your phone, but not to marketplace. But the Chevron community have ideas to buy more licenses for this, but nothing is promised.  So this is the best I can go about my windows phone and now I have planned to publish all the phone apps I write as source to my blog, so anyone who has a $99 apphub account, use them Smile. But I really really appreciate microsoft for producing such wonderful eco system.

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