Windows Phone 8 software development kit now due 'later this year'

Windows Phone 8 software development kit now due 'later this year'

Summary: Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 developer kit is now expected around the time Windows Phone 8 launches, which is expected to be October 29.


Microsoft's promised delivery of its Windows Phone 8 software development kit (SDK) some time "this summer" has now shifted to "later this year."

In a September 5 post on the "Windows Phone Developer" blog, Microsoft officials acknowledged the new, later timing. The new estimated delivery time for the full SDK is at the same time as when Microsoft launches Windows Phone 8. The Windows Phone 8 launch date is October 29, according to my sources. (Microsoft still hasn't officially confirmed the October 29 date, but I'm feeling pretty darn confident of it, for what it's worth.)

Next week, on September 12, Microsoft will "share detailed instructions on how current Windows Phone developers with published apps can apply to obtain the near-final Windows Phone 8 SDK seemingly in the next couple of weeks. However, the number of developers who will get the SDK will be "limited," officials warned. The full publicly-released Windows Phone 8 SDK isn't due until the Windows Phone 8 launch.

Microsoft has been making private builds of its Windows Phone 8 SDK available to a small number of developers outside the company since earlier this year. An early version of the SDK leaked earlier this summer.

Developers are clamoring for the new SDK because Microsoft has made major, deep-level changes to the Windows Phone operating system between the current 7.x version and the coming Windows Phone 8 OS release. Microsoft is now using the Windows 8 core inside the Windows Phone 8 operating system. The coming Windows Phone 8 operating system also includes a number of brand-new featues, like multicore support, NFC support, encryption and more of which many developers want to take advantage.

Microsoft also is switching up how different developer tools and technologies will work with Windows Phone 8 -- something else that has developers interested in getting their hands on the SDK.

That said, Microsoft is guaranteeing that Windows Phone 7.x apps will run on Windows Phone 8.

Back in June, Microsoft officials disclosed many of the coming Windows Phone 8 operating system features that will be core to Microsoft's next-generation smartphone operating system. On September 5, during a Microsoft-Nokia Windows Phone 8 event in New York, Microsoft execs added a couple of previously officially undisclosed features to that list, including new "lenses" that look somewhat like Instagram filters, the ability to do screenshots on Windows Phones, pinch zoom support in the camera.

Microsoft officials said they wouldn't be disclosing the full set of Windows Phone 8 OS features until a later, unspecified date.

Topics: Smartphones, Microsoft, Software Development


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • So Much For Being Steam Rolled by Apple

    "Delay" ought to be a four letter word. Now that Nokia has confirmed the 920 and 820 (with an "unpure" version of Pureview), Samsung has slapped Windows 8 inside a Galaxy S3 case, and Android is continuing its droning (oops, sorry, it already passed from Honeycomb to Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean - how are those updates going for you), we're stuck in iOS hell for the foreseeable future. I had really high hopes foe Win Phone 8, but the dearth of hardware, and now software, guess I won't be ditching the iOS ecosystem as I had hoped for.
    • Why post here then?

      So you wrote all that for what?
  • thanks, the android updates -

    - are going great. All three of my androids are running 4.1 jellybean, none are rooted.
    Samsung galaxy nexus - has had 4.1 almost 3 months
    Bought the nexus 7 a month ago - came with 4.1
    Transformer TF300 - got 4.1 a few weeks ago.
    • Lucky or ..

      You're so lucky, you have the exact devices that got JB. You must have had a clue about that before buying them, had not you?
  • Makes me wonder.

    One of the big advantages iOS has is the immense community of small but innovative developers. But these are exactly the ones that Microsoft is putting at the end of the line. Big companies get private builds, everyone else gets the single-finger salute. Not the best way to encourage people to switch to WP8.
    terry flores
  • I'm not worried about this delay....

    I doubt any of the good apps currently will be instantly ported over if it's not needed or if they aren't going to use the new features.

    Also (and Mary Jo may know a little info on this), is there a chance that MS is working with several major app makers already? The Nokia Apps have to work with the new guts of the there is somethign to go by for developing apps.

    I bet some of the big name app producers already have some form of an SDK and are using it to make Windows Phone 8 specific apps.
  • Things like this scare me.

    and make WP8 and WinRT feel like they are being rushed to market.
  • Delay is bad

    This is potentially fatal for Nokia...
  • Agreed MS are now only interested in Big Name developers, not us Indies

    They do not seem interested in me (independent Apps/ Game Developer) I was expecting the SDK to come out today, as its near the end of Summer, and it was a Joint Microsoft/ Nokia WP8 Announcement day afterall. But the general SDK availability is some way off, and to my mind a little late. Sure the SDK has been availbale to the Big Boys.

    I guess all our WP7.X Apps will all be in the WP8 market. But in truth Microsoft is only interested in Indie Apps as Apps Counts fodder. They do not promote their In Apps Advertsing,and as a result their PubCentre eCPM rates have dropped off the cliff in the last months, with no response, or interest by Microsoft. So us Indie developers are now getting scant revenue or interest from MS platforms. So much for 'Developers, Developers, Developers'. Great Tools but the lack of respect and interest is diminishing our interest in the Platforms.
    Windows 8 is another platform, and opportunity, but we are relaint uponthe MonoGame OpenSource project to recapture the XNA community, that Microsoft deserted us on.
    • Not sure, this is my point of view

      They cancelled the vacations for WP team. I think they are dealing with a buggy last minute OS release. The SDK release is limited because they can't give assist to all the developers about the bugs that are getting fixed.
  • So Much For The “Windows” Commonality

    Microsoft has committed brand suicide by using the same product name “Windows” across its desktop, tablet and phone architectures. That gives a superficial impression of some kind of platform commonality, which completely falls apart once you look deeper into it. For developers, it’s a complete can of worms, with in fact 5 different underlying architectures with no common APIs, common functionality, common build system or common deployment. Everything is different. Even for users, that leads to irritating inconsistencies in functionality between products, odd restrictions etc.

    Contrast Android, which offers a single platform and a single SDK across all the hardware that it runs on: phones, tablets, devices that are in-between, and others that are not so easy to categorize. Users can expect to pick up any Android device, of whatever form factor, and they know common things will work in a common, standardized way.

    People like to complain about the “fragmentation” of Android. But in fact Android “fragmentation” is superficial, while in Windows fragmentation runs right to the rotten core.
    • Funny post

      You criticize Micrsoft's OS naming conventions and cite it as a source of confusion for users as well as developers; yet, Windows Phone devices, Windows 8, and eventually Windows RT are all consistent within their respective markets. No two Windows Phones are noticeably different regardless of the hardware (so unlike Android OS) they run on. Windows 8 provides the same user experience and UI regardless of form factor, and the same holds true for Windows RT. You're comparing apples and oranges by pitting the UI of Windows Phone 7/8 against that of Windows 8 or Windows RT (intentionally, I imagine). Android OS is extremely fragmented, deal with it. Most Android Phones still run on 2.3, most of them having hideous custom skins/UI's pushed forward by the manufacturers who wants to distinguish their phones from the crowd. The bloated, sluggish, inconstant OS that is known as Android only thrives because it follows iOS's model and serves as a cheap alternative.
  • One more thing...

    One more thing to keep developers away from the platform. By comparison, I have had the iOS6 beta for months now. Exactly, what does my yearly developer fee buy me with Microsoft, surely feeling like a second class member to Angry Birds wasn't something I expected. The chosen ones get a head start but they still take 30% from the small guys who are working behind the curve in some cases on their apps. Also, limiting the beta seems silly, it's already late and they want to delay the SDK access further and risk angering some developers. Maybe i'll get it just in time to compete with the iOS6 app I have been workin on for month. Will someone please tell Microsoft they are a distance third place phone OS. Now start acting like it!
  • How much do we know about the feature set

    Could it be more features are being added to over shadow ios 6. I remember MS stating only half the feature set has been officially revealed
  • So, later this year means 6 weeks?

    Or is it 7? Not sure what the panic is all about. 6 weeks. SIX weeks.
  • Windows Phone is already Big in India.

    India, the most populous democracy on the planet buys more Windows Phones than iPhones, I don't think that iO.S. is as much of ''an established power'' as Apple hopes, I'm glad Windows is still ''the established power'' it was, because Windows & Windows Phone work great together.

    Most applications on the Windows Phone are of way higher quality than the iPhones, and the Windows Phone Store is not taunted by malware (virusses and spyware) as Google Play (formerly the Android Market) is, Microsoft gaurantees that all Windows Phone 8 applications are of high quality and routinely checks the apps if they function well or are malware, something neither Google nor Apple does.'

    Samsung secretely loathes Android which is why they work together with the Linux Foundation (despite the fact that Android is a Linux-based O.S., Samsung has eyes for Tinzen) and Google is a bad company to partner with, their way or the highway (same goes for Apple and Microsoft, but they're better at descision making).

    Windows Phone will be a long-term success, sure Microsoft has been selling smart-phones since 2001, but they didn't have Nokia nor Microsoft SkyDrive back then, times have changed, and so has Windows Mobile/Phone.
    Văn Minh Nguyễn