Announcing the Windows Phone 7 Release, WP7 Silverlight Toolkit and XNA 4.0!

iStock_Leaping against blue sky Small Today is a great release day. We’ve launched everything you need to write Windows Phone 7 applications. Not only that, but we’ve also released XNA 4.0 not only for phone, but for all supported XNA platforms.

Visual Studio Tools for Windows Phone 7

Today, we released the production version of the Visual Studio Tools for Windows Phone 7. These are the only tools you’ll need for building Windows Phone 7 Applications with Visual Studio 2010 and Expression Blend 4.  

If you were working with the Beta, the very good news is that there are not many breaking changes (see the table below) and so upgrading should be very quick.

Please note that all of the Windows Phone for Silverlight Developers and  iPhone To Windows Phone 7 Tutorials and Videos will be upgraded to this release within the next few days.  If you run into issues, please feel free to contact

From the release notes, here are the breaking changes from the beta.

Item Description
Updating applications created with earlier versions of Windows Phone Developer Tools Changes have been made to the WMAppManifest.xml and template files. Now that manifest validation has been turned on, you may need to update these files in your older projects. A number of the changes are listed here. However, you can also compare the WmAppManifest.xml, app.xaml and app.xaml.cs files in a new project to the same files in your old projects to determine what has changed and then update your old files accordingly.

The following list shows changes you must make to the WmAppManifest.xml file:

  • In the <App> element, change the value of the Genre attribute from NormalApp to apps.normal.
  • In the <App> element, change the value of the RuntimeType attribute from SilverLight to Silverlight.
  • Remove the PlaceHolderString attribute from the <DefaultTask> element.
  • Add the NavigationPage attribute to the <defaulttask> element and set it to the main page of your app. For example: <DefaultTask … NavigationPage=”MainPage.xaml”/>.

The following list shows changes you must make to the App.xaml file:

Note: The recommended option for updating this file is to obtain a copy of the most recent version. Using your old file, copy the information specific to your application (such as, resources) to the new file.

  • Remove the <Application.RootVisual> element
  • Add the <Application.ApplicationLifetimeObjects> element. For example:

          <!–Required object that handles lifetime events for the application–>
          <shell:PhoneApplicationService Launching="Application_Launching" Closing="Application_Closing"
               Activated="Application_Activated" Deactivated="Application_Deactivated"/>

The following list shows changes you must make to the app.xaml.cs file:

  • If you have added the <Application.ApplicationLifetimeObjects> element to the App.xaml file then you will need to add these event handlers to the app.xaml.cs file:

    private void Application_Launching(object sender, LaunchingEventArgs e)

    private void Application_Activated(object sender, ActivatedEventArgs e)

    private void Application_Deactivated(object sender, DeactivatedEventArgs e)

    private void Application_Closing(object sender, ClosingEventArgs e)

  • Add the following initialization code to your app.xaml.cs file and call InitializePhoneApplication() in the app constructor:

    // Easy access to the root frame
    public PhoneApplicationFrame RootFrame { get; private set; }

    // Avoid double-initialization-
    private bool phoneApplicationInitialized = false;

    // Do not add any additional code to this method
    private void InitializePhoneApplication()
    if (phoneApplicationInitialized)

    // Create the frame but do not set it as RootVisual yet; this allows the splash
    // screen to remain active until the application is ready to render.
    RootFrame = new PhoneApplicationFrame();
    RootFrame.Navigated += CompleteInitializePhoneApplication;

    // Handle navigation failures
    RootFrame.NavigationFailed += RootFrame_NavigationFailed;

    // Ensure you do not initialize again
    phoneApplicationInitialized = true;

    // Do not add any additional code to this method
    private void CompleteInitializePhoneApplication(object sender, NavigationEventArgs e)
    // Set the root visual to allow the application to render
    if (RootVisual != RootFrame)
    RootVisual = RootFrame;

    // Remove this handler since it is no longer needed
    RootFrame.Navigated -= CompleteInitializePhoneApplication;

    // Code to execute if a navigation fails
    void RootFrame_NavigationFailed(object sender, NavigationFailedEventArgs e)
    if (System.Diagnostics.Debugger.IsAttached)
    // A navigation has failed; break into the debugger



Limit to the number side loading of applications on the phone Developer phone registration is the process through which a registered Windows Phone® developer may unlock a retail Windows Phone to side load applications for development and testing. A limit on the number of side loaded applications that may concurrently be installed on the phone will be enforced. The default limit will be 10 applications. Attempts to side load more than 10 applications will result in an error. This limit does not affect applications installed via Windows Phone® Marketplace.


XNA Framework assembly references The public key token for XNA Framework assemblies has changed. Assembly references in content projects and game projects created using previous releases of Windows Phone Developer Tools must be updated to work correctly. You can do this by removing and re-adding references that do not resolve correctly using the References node in the Visual Studio Solution Explorer.


Character encoding. Support for all character encodings will be removed, except for those in the following list.

  • utf-8
  • utf-16
  • utf-16LE
  • utf-16BE
  • ISO-8859-1

Use of an unsupported encoding value in an application will result in an ArgumentException exception. You must modify existing applications to remove references to unsupported encoding values. XML data should specify only supported encodings. For example:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding= “utf-8”?>.


A GamerPrivilegeException is returned if the user does not have content privileges. If AllowProfileViewing and AllowUserCreatedContent flags are not set in a gamer profile, then the user cannot view profiles or display the gamer card of another user. The following methods now check for these privileges and will return GamerPrivilegeException if the user does not have these privileges:

  • Guide.ShowGamerCard(PlayerIndex player, Gamer gamer)
  • Gamer.BeginGetFromGamertag(string gamertag, AsyncCallback callback, object asyncState)
  • Gamer.GetFromGamertag(string gamertag)
  • Gamer.GetProfile()
  • Gamer.BeginGetProfile(AsyncCallback callback, object asyncState
The picture sharing mechanism has changed. Previously, Windows Phone® 7 would place the picture into the Isolated Storage of the application. The picture would then be loaded when the application was launched. Now, when the application is launched, it is passed a string token. To retrieve the picture, the application calls the GetPictureFromToken() method, public static Picture GetPictureFromToken(string token), which takes the token as a parameter and returns a Picture object. You will need to update existing applications.

The following code example illustrates how to use the GetPictureFromToken method to retrieve a photo. For more information see, How to: Create a Photo Extras Application for Windows Phone:

using System.Windows.Media.Imaging;
using Microsoft.Phone;
using System.IO;
using Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Media;
using System.Windows.Navigation;
protected override void OnNavigatedTo(NavigationEventArgs e)
//Gets a dictionary of query string keys and values
IDictionary<string, string> queryStrings = this.NavigationContext.QueryString;

//This code ensures that there is at least one key in the query string, and checks if the "token" key is present.
if (queryStrings.ContainsKey("token"))

//This code retrieves the picture from the local Zune Media Database using the token passed to the application.
MediaLibrary library = new MediaLibrary();
Picture picture = library.GetPictureFromToken(queryStrings["token"]);

//Creates WriteableBitmap object and adds to the Image control Source property.
BitmapImage bitmap = new BitmapImage();
WriteableBitmap picLibraryImage = new WriteableBitmap(bitmap);
retrievePic.Source = picLibraryImage;


Deployment and debugging. While deploying or debugging, if you get the following error: “Application could not be launched for debugging”. First, verify that the application is installed on the target device and that there is no splash screen in the project. Then, uninstall the application and in Visual Studio perform the following steps:

  1. Add an image file with the name SplashScreenImage.jpg to the project.
  2. In Solution Explorer, right-click the file and select Properties.
  3. In the Properties pane, set Build Action to Content.
  4. Rebuild the application and redeploy it.
Installation on Windows Vista. Windows Phone Developer Tools setup blocks installation on Windows Vista and forces the user to install Windows Vista SP2.

You can read more about the release on the Windows Phone Developer Blog.


Today we also released the Silverlight Toolkit for Windows Phone 7. Like the desktop toolkit, this is a way to ship out-of-band controls and other goodies. Also like the desktop toolkit, you’ll find it at

The toolkit includes a number of controls that the community has requested:

  • GestureService and GestureListener
  • ContextMenu
  • WrapPanel
  • DatePicker
  • TimePicker
  • ToggleSwitch

David Anson has put together a great blog post on the individual bits, as have John Papa and Tim Heuer. Jesse Liberty has been creating some great tutorials on his site as well as on

Want to get started with Windows Phone 7 Development yourself? Check out the get started page on

XNA 4.0

The big news on the XNA side is phone support, of course. However, it’s the full release for Windows, Xbox 360 and phone. XNA Game Studio 4.0 is included with the Windows Phone developer tools.

Quick Links

About Jesse Liberty

Jesse Liberty has three decades of experience writing and delivering software projects and is the author of 2 dozen books and a couple dozen Pluralsight & LinkedIn Learning courses. He was a Senior Technical Evangelist for Microsoft, a Distinguished Software Engineer for AT&T, a VP for Information Services for Citibank and a Software Architect for PBS. He is a Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer and a Xamarin MVP and a Microsoft MVP.
This entry was posted in iPhoneToWP7, News, Tools and Utilities, WindowsPhone and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Announcing the Windows Phone 7 Release, WP7 Silverlight Toolkit and XNA 4.0!

  1. Pingback: Windows Phone Developer Tools and the Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit Released! :

  2. Pingback: Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools and Silverlight for Windows Phone 7 Toolkit released |

Comments are closed.