October 30, 2012, 4:23 PM — Alongside the expected hype about the subjective greatness of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, Microsoft used this morning's keynote session at Build to announce the availability of the new Windows Phone SDK 8.0, which includes 90% of the features most requested by developers, according to Kevin Gallo, developer platform general manager at Microsoft. The SDK's laundry list of new features is indeed expansive, including new tools for testing and debugging; a Wallet API to help developers make money with their apps; and tools for building and adding such features as voice recognition, VOIP, and camera integration.
Microsoft is betting big on the success of Windows Phone 8, the company's great hope for making an overdue dent in a mobile market dominated by Apple and Google. In order for that bet to pay off, though, the company knows it needs to win over the developer community, so packing the new SDK with useful tools -- both for developing and monetizing apps -- is a must.
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Windows Phone SDK 8.0 provides a standalone IDE (integrated development environment), using the Visual Studio Express 2012 edition, for developers to build windows Phone 8 applications. It also provides an add-in to the Visual Studio 2012 Professional, Premium, or Ultimate editions.
Microsoft offers a comprehensive breakdown of the SDK's features on the MSDN site.