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Announcing Windows Phone 7 Tools Beta

Pete Brown - 12 July 2010

Today we released the beta tools for Windows Phone 7. This is a strong, solid beta, just about feature complete. Heck, I'd almost consider it more of an RC when it comes to quality. If you've been waiting for a solid build before diving into wp7dev, this is the release for you.

The Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta includes the following:

  • Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone Beta
  • Windows Phone Emulator Beta
  • Silverlight for Windows Phone Beta
  • XNA Game Studio 4.0 Beta


Note that there were a number of namespace and naming changes. For example, most of the separate Microsoft.Phone.* assembles were merged into a single Microsoft.Phone assembly. We're not expecting any significant naming or API changes after this release, so this should be the only major update you'll need to do. Here's the full list of the breaking changes, directly from the Release notes. The release notes has a lot of other good info, so make sure you read them.

Breaking Changes for Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta

Item Description

Framework consolidation

Consolidated the following DLLs into Microsoft.Phone.dll.

Microsoft.Phone.dll contains the following:

  • Microsoft.Phone.Shell.dll
  • Microsoft.Phone.Controls.Navigation.dll
  • Microsoft.Phone.Controls.dll
  • Microsoft.Phone.Controls.WebBrowser.dll
  • Microsoft.Phone.Notification.dll
  • Microsoft.Phone.License.dll
  • Microsoft.Devices.dll
  • Microsoft.Phone.Execution.dll
  • Microsoft.Phone.Info.dll
  • Microsoft.Phone.Tasks.dll

Silverlight control template

Updated the Silverlight for Windows Phone control templates and changed the default control styles and templates. Along with simple cosmetic changes, the sizing of some controls has changed such that any layouts depending on a specific height / width of a control may be broken. In particular, since the MinHeight / MinWidth constraint has been removed from some controls, you may see controls getting "squashed" if the explicit height set in XAML is too small. Therefore, you should review layouts with the new templates. In general, applications should avoid setting explicit widths and heights on elements unless strictly necessary. Relying on alignment will generally give better results.

The following minor issues will be fixed in a future update:

  • The ScrollViewer has the HorizontalScrollBarVisibility set to Auto by default. You can temporarily work around this by setting the property to Disabled in your XAML. The horizontal scroll bar is also too large when it appears.
  • The Progress Bar works at runtime, but may have issues in the designer when using the indeterminate mode. This is due to differences in the XAML parser between runtime and design time.

Application Manifest File

Changed the following elements in the WMAppManifest file:

  • In the <App> element, Genre attribute, the value changed from NormalApp to apps.normal.
  • In the <App> element, RuntimeType attribute, the value changed from SilverLight to Silverlight.
  • In the <DefaultTask> element, removed the PlaceHolderString attribute.

Phone Controls

Removed Microsoft.Phone.Controls.dll. You must remove the following:

  • References to Microsoft.Phone.Controls.
  • References to the xmlns:mpc namespace declaration.
  • Any styles that have a TargetType set to "mpc: …" in the app.xaml.

Additonal work items to consider:

  • Use the default ListBox style in place of PhoneListBox (delete the Style tag).
  • Instead of PhoneListBoxItemLayout, you can copy the XAML code from the app.xaml file of an old project that used the PhoneListBox and manually add it to your project.
  • Use the ToggleButton control and apply a custom template in place of ToggleSwitch and ToggleImageButton.

Page and Frame Classes/ Navigation/Controls

Moved phone-specific members of Page and Frame classes to new classes, PhoneApplicationPage and PhoneApplicationFrame in the Microsoft.Phone.Controls namespace. Your builds will break if you use the old types.

API changes as follows:

  • PhoneApplicationFrame and PhoneApplicationPage are new classes.
  • SupportedOrientations property moved from Page class to PhoneApplicationPage class.
  • ApplicationBar property moved from Page class to PhoneApplicationPage class.
  • PhoneApplicationState property is new. It helps to save transient data on your page.
  • Use the State property in PhoneApplicationPage to store page-specific state instead of Stream property in PhoneNavigationEventsArgs.
  • Microsoft.Phone.Navigation namespace has been removed.
  • ObscuredEventArgs is a new class in Microsoft.Phone.Controls namespace. It handles obscurity changes in your application.
  • Removed the following items from Microsoft.Phone.Controls namespace:
    • Layout enumeration
    • ListView class
    • ListViewItem class
    • NavigatedEventArgs class
    • NavigationEventArgs class
    • ToggleControlButton class
    • ToggleControlSwitch class
  • Added NavigatingCancelEventArgs class and NavigationMode enumeration to System.Windows.dll.


Removed the WindowsPhoneEvents class and replaced with PhoneApplicationService class.

Renamed Pause and Resume with Activated and Deactivated.

Renamed ApplicationIdleDetection with ApplicationIdleDetectionMode and UserIdleDetectionMode.

Manipulation EventArgs in Silverlight

Changed the following properties:

  • Removed the Manipulation.CompletedEventArgs.IsTapEvent property.
  • Changed Translation properties to populate only when a pan is detected. This change affects the following properties:
    • ManipulationDeltaEventArgs.CumulativeManipulation.Translation
    • ManipulationDeltaEventArgs.DeltaManipulation.Translation
    • ManipulationCompleted.TotalManipulation.Translation
    Previously, these values would be adjusted on every finger move and did not respect the system defined dead zones. With this change, the Translation properties are only populated once the user has moved a certain number of pixels (as defined by ITouchSession) away from the original contact point.
  • Changed the Scale property to return 1 instead of 0. This change affects the following properties:
    • ManipulationDeltaEventArgs.DeltaManipulation.Scale
    • ManipulationCompleted.TotalManipulation.Scale
    Previously, when a Pinch/Stretch gesture was detected and the scale has not changed, the DeltaManipulation.Scale property would return 0. This made certain mathematical operations more difficult than necessary. Also, if the user started a stretch and then pinched back to the original contact points, the Scale would also report 0 which was confusing. It now returns 1 to signify the scale is 1:1 in relation to its original size. This change will affect any application that uses the IsTapEvent property, or includes code to detect and filter out scale values of 0 or relies upon non-filtered translations. To solve this issue, use OnClick instead of IsTapEvent, or check for a translation and scale of 0 in ManipulationCompleted.TotalManipulation or remove code that may have been adjusting Scale assuming a 0 delta instead of 1.

Push Notifications APIs

Changed push notification APIs. These changes apply to Microsoft.Phone.Notification and Microsoft.Phone.Shell. The following list shows the summary of changes:

  • Changed class, method, and member variable names.
  • Removed certain delegates.
  • Removed most of the custom exceptions.
  • Live tile URLs changed to domain restriction.

For more information, see How to: Set Up a Notification Channel for Windows Phone and How to: Send a Push Notification from a Web Service for Windows Phone.

Network state API

Changed the following namespace:

Old namespace Microsoft.Devices.NeworkInformation to new namespace Microsoft.Phone.Net.NetworkInformation.

LicenseInfo Class

Changed the following namespace and class names:

  • Old namespace Microsoft.Phone.License to new namespace Microsoft.Phone.Marketplace.
  • Old class name LicenseInfo to new class name LicenseInformation. This class contains the IsTrial method.


Changed the following APIs:

  • WebBrowser is now a sealed class. You cannot inherit from it.
  • IsScriptEnabled, Source, and Base are now dependency properties.
  • NavigatedEventArgs change to NavigationEventArgs.

PhoneNumberChooserTask and PhotoChooserTask

Modified the Chooser APIs, such as PhoneNumberChooserTask and PhotoChooserTask, to use delegates for returning data back to the calling application. The Completed event in those classes is fired when data is returned back to the application. You can assign delegates to the Completed event to retrieve the returned data. You must remove any references to ITask.

The following is a code example:

private PhoneNumberChooserTask phnTask = new PhoneNumberChooserTask();
            phnTask.Completed += new EventHandler<PhoneNumberResult>(OnPhoneNumberResult);

        void OnPhoneNumberResult(object sender, PhoneNumberResult result) {
                // implementation here


If you used Microsoft.Devices.Sensors namespace, you must change your implementation to use the latest Accelerometer class design.

Here is the summary of changes:

  • Removed abstract base class Sensor.
  • Removed generic SensorData<T> class.
  • Removed AccelerometerReading structure.
  • Accelerometer is now a private/sealed class.
  • Changed AccelerometerReadingAsyncEventArgs to AccelerometerReadingEventArgs.
  • Replaced AccelerometerStartFailedException and AccelerometerStopFailedException with AccelerometerFailedException.
  • Renamed HResult property of AccelerometerFailedException to ErrorId.

Interlocked Class in System.Threading Namespace

In the Silverlight System.Threading namespace, the 64-bit managed Interlocked methods are not supported. Use the 32-bit methods for your application.

The following is a list of the unsupported methods:

  • Interlocked.Add(Int64, Int64)
  • Interlocked.CompareExchange(Int64, Int64, Int64)
  • Interlocked.Decrement(Int64)
  • Interlocked.Exchange(Int64, Int64)
  • Interlocked.Increment(Int64)

Reactive Extensions for .NET Framework

Changed namespace from System.Reactive to Microsoft.Phone.Reactive. The new assembly is Microsoft.Phone.Reactive.dll. You must update existing projects to use the new reference assembly. The following namespaces were consolidated into a single new namespace Microsoft.Phone.Reactive:

  • System
  • System.Collections.Generic
  • System.Linq
  • System.Concurrency
  • System.Disposable
System.Observable.dll and IObservable and IObserver interfaces in System namespace did not change.


Removed System.Windows.Browser.dll because this is not supported. The HTML DOM bridge APIs in System.Windows.Browser namespace are not supported in Windows Phone.

The HttpUtility class is supported in Windows Phone. It is moving to System.Windows.dll in System.Net namespace. If your application uses HttpUtility class, change the namespace to System.Net.

Any Windows Phone application that started as a Silverlight 3 application will likely be impacted by this change. The default unhandled exception event handler in the Silverlight 3 application template used a type from System.Windows.Browser.dll.

Application Bar

Changed the following Application Bar APIs:

  • The type of the PhoneApplicationPage.ApplicationBar property changed from ApplicationBar class to IApplicationBar interface. The member variable of the PhoneApplicationPage used to be of type ApplicationBar, it has been changed to type IApplicationBar. Since the ApplicationBar class implements the IApplicationBar interface, the code you wrote before will still work.
    The interface change should not affect normal application code that creates or modified the application bar through XAML or code. In cases where the application bar objects are cached, you should use an interface. Here is an example code:
    ApplicationBar bar = this.ApplicationBar;
    IApplicationBar bar = this.ApplicationBar;
  • The ApplicationBarIconButton class has a new required Text property. You must set this property before you add the button to the application bar; otherwise, you will get an InvalidOperationException.

Orientation and Layout Updates

Orientation: Previously, only the page was rotated, but not the entire application frame. There was a two-phase event system for detecting changes in orientation, [On]OrientationChanging followed by [On]OrientationChanged. In this release, the entire application frame rotates and there is only a single event/override-[On]OrientationChanged. You should remove all handlers for the OrientationChanging event.

System Chrome: There are fewer layout passes to handle the differences in layout when page transitions occur. There is no visible effect as a result of this change.

The updates also provided the correct behavior for TransformToVisual and FindElementsInHostCoordinates APIs. Make sure that you remove any code that previously provided workarounds for these APIs.

User Interface

Removed UIElement.Effect and the corresponding effects DropShadow and Blur.

New Exception for Xbox LIVE games

If a game update is available, Xbox LIVE services will not be available until the player installs the game update. When a game update is available, GamerServicesDispatcher will throw a GameUpdateRequiredException when this method is called from a previous version of the game. Games must handle the GameUpdateRequired exception on Windows Phone and allow the player to confirm requests to update the application.

Application Activation Behavior

A second launch of an application that is already running or deactivated causes the termination of the first instance of the application. Any code that assumed a resume of the application should be re-evaluated. Your code should not assume that launching the second instance will bring the previously running instance back to the foreground. For more information, see Execution Model Overview for Windows Phone.

Microsoft.Phone.Shell namespace

Changed the following enumerations:

  • Old DownloadInterval to new UpdateInterval.
  • Old DownloadRecurrence to new UpdateRecurrence.

XNA Framework

  • While the XNA Framework supports Touch for Windows Phone, it no longer supports Touch for Windows-based games.
  • Texture2D.SaveAsGif has been removed.
  • Developers must deselect D3DX analysis to run the PIX for Windows performance tool.
  • The GamerServiceType parameter has been removed from GamerServicesDispatcher.Initialize.
  • GetPartnerToken now requires the AudienceURI parameter. This parameter cannot be null or an empty string.
  • In the Windows Phone Emulator, the SkinnedEffect bone index channel must be specified as one of the integer vertex element formats - either Byte4, Short2, or Short4. This same set of integer data formats cannot be used for other shader input channels such as colors, positions, and texture coordinates on the emulator.
  • In a previous release, the emulator did not support the VertexElement.Byte4 format for the bone index channel, and we advised developers to override ModelProcessor.ProcessVertexChannel and convert bone index channel data from Byte4 to Vector4. This workaround will not work in this release and must now be removed.
    Any vertex format can be used with any shader input channel on Windows Phone devices, Xbox 360, and Windows.

Tim Heuer has updated the source code for the four tutorial videos. Be sure to download the new source if you've been working with the previous source.

Make sure you uninstall the old version of the tools before installing this release.

I apologize for the truncated table. I gave up trying to clean up that nasty HTML. Just grab the release notes :)

posted by Pete Brown on Monday, July 12, 2010
filed under:      

8 comments for “Announcing Windows Phone 7 Tools Beta”

  1. Alexandresays:
    Is it possible to add a service reference in Visual Studio Express 2010? I would like to use this version of Visual studio but it is useless for me if I cannot create a WCF service and add a reference to this service from my WP7 project.

  2. Mike McGuiresays:
    Do this release integreate with the final VS2010 release or do we still need to use express of VS2010 RC and on the same theme does it still use the beta blend 4?
  3. Petesays:

    This release and the previous release both worked with the final VS2010. The tools download comes with Blend 4 for Windows Phone 7 Beta


    Haven't checked on that yet.
  4. Bart Czernickisays:

    I am very pleased to say that the signed assemblies problem is gone. That was SOOOO freaking annoying and the workaround didn't really work. Things like the Bing Maps and Control Toolkit just work now.

    I wrote an article on using the Bing Maps with Windows Phone 7. The second CTP broke everything (with the assembly signing) and now it is fixed again:

  5. Robertsays:
    I'm glad to see this come out, although I had a lot of problems with it. The uninstall caused me a lot of headaches, but I finally resolved it. The install program hung on the next to the last step; after 8 hours I killed the process. This caused VS2010 to no longer have a C# compiler, or anything else, except the shell. So, a full VS2010 install was necessary. I lost two days over this. I hope it's better for the release.

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