Windows Phone / RT System Will Be Free ?

This morning we read a news about Microsoft is considering making Windows Phone and Windows RT system free of charge.

I think it is not bad because most of phone makers are using free mobile OS system Android. another non-free mobile OS system is Apple OS but people like Apple, so the market shares of Android and Apple OS are much bigger than Windows Phone / RT, it doesn’t make sense if Microsoft still charge Windows Phone / RT from device makers. also, Microsoft owns Nokia mobile department now, and Nokia has the most big Windows phone market share at present.

About more details news, read the verge.

Windows Phone 8 Announced

Microsoft pushes big news in this week, just after their Surface tablet, today they announced the new smart phone platform: Windows Phone 8.

OK, what the main feature of Windows Phone 8 ? What the big different with Windows Phone 7 and Windows phone 7.5? I think the main changes based on previous Windows phone is: Windows phone 8 shares core with Windows 8 ! It means: Windows phone 8 will use the same core with Windows 8, and more, it means Windows Phone 8 will be more and more closer Windows 8, and further more, it means Windows Phone 8 will be just a kind of Windows 8 System. All applications on Windows 8 can run on Windows Phone 8 or just need minor changes and adjustments. This is really a new and great feature ! It will benefit to not only consumers, but also developers, and hardware companies.

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The others features which were introduced today:

Multi-core processor support

Bigger, sharper screens

NFC wireless sharing

Internet Explorer 10

Wallet

Better maps and directions

Cooler apps and games

More details please visit Microsoft Windows Phone official blog.

 

Also, Windows phone 8 has new start screen, please watch the introduction video:

First Windows Phone 7 Application

We have introduced the prepare process which we develop Windows Phone 7 Application “Install Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2010”. Today we start to write the first Windows Phone 7 Application.

Open Visual Studio 2010 (We are using VS 2010 Ultimate version so all interface which you will see might be some different if you are using Visual Studio 2010 Express) and create a new project:

There are two kinds of templates for Windows Phone 7 Apps :
1: Silverlight for Windows Phone;
2: XNA Game Studio 4.0;

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The Silverlight template can build most of Windows Phone 7 project; The XNA Game Studio template focus on Windows Phone XNA game and general XNA games;

In our first WP7 application, we choose “Silverlight for Windows Phone” template and its “Windows Phone Application”; We gave the file name FirstWP7App. After you click OK you can see below screen:

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Here you can see the Windows Phone emulator ! Great !

We don’t want to introduce how to use the emulator or how to write the Windows Phone 7 App here, you can find lots of tutorial in the internet. In this article we just want post our Windows Phone code and some operations in Visual Studio 2010, and also we use the same rule in our subsequent Windows Phone 7 Application articles.

It is very similar with you write a normal Silverlight Application.

1: In the middle column which you can see it is Silverlight source code, Find the code block as the following:

        <!--TitlePanel contains the name of the application and page title-->
        <StackPanel x:Name="TitlePanel" Grid.Row="0" Margin="12,17,0,28">
            <TextBlock x:Name="ApplicationTitle" Text="MY APPLICATION" Style="{StaticResource PhoneTextNormalStyle}"/>
            <TextBlock x:Name="PageTitle" Text="page name" Margin="9,-7,0,0" Style="{StaticResource PhoneTextTitle1Style}"/>
        </StackPanel>

Now we first change “page name” to “My Page 1”,

        <!--TitlePanel contains the name of the application and page title-->
        <StackPanel x:Name="TitlePanel" Grid.Row="0" Margin="12,17,0,28">
            <TextBlock x:Name="ApplicationTitle" Text="MY APPLICATION" Style="{StaticResource PhoneTextNormalStyle}"/>
            <TextBlock x:Name="PageTitle" Text="My Page 1" Margin="9,-7,0,0" Style="{StaticResource PhoneTextTitle1Style}"/>
        </StackPanel>
2: Then we drag a TextBox, a Button and a TextBlock controls from toolbox into Phone interface:
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3: Change TextBlock’s properties: FontSize = 40, FontWeight = Bold, Foreground = any color which you like
 
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Actually, above 2 and 3 settings equivalent to add the following source code:
        <!--ContentPanel - place additional content here-->
        <Grid x:Name="ContentPanel" Grid.Row="1" Margin="12,0,12,0">
            <Button Content="Button" Height="73" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Margin="277,25,0,0" Name="button1" VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="160" />
            <TextBox Height="72" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Margin="12,25,0,0" Name="textBox1" Text="TextBox" VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="259" />
            <TextBlock Height="190" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Margin="31,135,0,0" Name="textBlock1" Text="TextBlock" VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="394" FontSize="40" Foreground="#FFEFA025" FontWeight="Bold" />
        </Grid>
4: Double click Button control and use the following code for double click event:
        private void button1_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
        {
            this.textBlock1.Text = "Hello ! " + this.textBox1.Text;  
        }
5: Now change Target to “Windows Phone 7 Emulator” and run the application:

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6: The emulator will load some while if it is the first time loading:

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7: The following is the result. Note you have to use the keyboard in emulator to input your text:

wp7_01_07

This is our first Windows Phone 7, very simple, some content maybe the same as other places because it is too simple to let it unique. But please know this is really ours own sample code.

Silverlight Map Control on Windows Phone 7

Microsoft’s Bing Map control on Windows Phone 7 let people confused : There are multiple articles about them, but which one is the newest information ? Do the programmers need to install “Bing Maps Silverlight Control ” or not ?

See here, another Microsoft Official page: Using the Silverlight Map Control on Windows Phone 7, we can not find any information to install Bing Maps Silverlight Control, but it just says:

Download the Windows Phone Developer Tools from App Hub. This download includes the Microsoft.Phone.Controls.Maps.dll, which contains the API for the Bing Maps Silverlight Control for Windows Phone. You also need to install the Windows Phone Developer Tools October 2010 Update from the Microsoft Download Center.

It means If you installed Windows Phone Developer Tools, you get a API for Bing Map Silverlight Control for Windows Phone.

But the question is: Where is the Bing Map Silverlight Control for Windows Phone ? Before we only knew Bing Map Silverlight Control for Desktop, Are they the same ?

Here a web page: Bing Maps Silverlight Control for Windows Phone says:

Especially note that the namespace names of the Bing Maps Silverlight Control for Windows Phone are different than the names of the desktop version of the control. The map control for Windows Phone has the following namespaces: Microsoft.Phone.Controls.Maps, Microsoft.Phone.Controls.Maps.AutomationPeers, Microsoft.Phone.Controls.Maps.Core, Microsoft.Phone.Controls.Maps.Design, Microsoft.Phone.Controls.Maps.Overlays, and Microsoft.Phone.Controls.Maps.Platform.

So all information which we gotten by now indicates: Bing Map Silverlight Control for Windows Phone must be different than Bing Map Silverlight Control Desktop version. the desktop version normally  downloaded from here: Bing Maps Silverlight Control SDK ;

But the question is still: Where is Bing Map Silverlight Control for Windows Phone ?

OK, actually, we have already gotten answer from above content: After you installed Windows Phone Developer Tools from App Hub, you have already installed Bing Map Silverlight Control for Windows Phone for your Visual Studio.

Go back to your Visual Studio 2010, check your ToolBox, you can see the Map control has already been there:

In Additional, Let us check the namespaces difference when you write your code:

For Windows Phone 7 Bing Map App:   using Microsoft.Phone.Controls; (actually Microsoft.Phone.Controls.Maps )

For Desktop Bing Map App:   using Microsoft.Maps.MapControl;

Below there are related links:

How to: Use the Bing Maps Silverlight Control for Windows Phone (a sample)
Windows Phone Development
Code Samples for Windows Phone
Controls for Windows Phone