Allow Windows Phone 8 Development on non-SLAT processors
I'm sure there are many developers out there with "older" systems that are completely capable of running Windows 8 64-bit and Visual Studio 2012 but are not able to develop and test Windows Phone 8 applications because of Microsoft's choice to make the Windows Phone 8 emulator a Hyper-V virtual machine. There should be a mechanism to run the emulator using either VMware Player or VirtualBox which will use SLAT if it's present but will continue to work if it isn't or update Hyper-V to do the same.
I don't understand this choice as I am able to write applications for Windows 8 using the built in simulator and I would think that is more involved than developing for the phone. Making it MORE difficult to develop for the phone isn't smart when you need more apps to compete with other ecosystems.
My Dell XPS420 quadcore PC suddenly is "useless". That's unfair!
Warning to other developers: I spent the money to upgrade my VMWare Workstation 7 license to Workstation 9 because I was under the impression that it would allow me to run Hyper V and therefore the emulator. It doesn't work and I wasted my whole weekend trying to make it work! VMWare won't emulate hardware SLAT in software! If VMWare Workstation can't do it, neither will VMWare Player. Anyone who says otherwise has a SLAT-capable machine and just doesn't realize it. I have a perfectly good Intel Q9550 CPU here at home with plenty of RAM that runs circles around the machines at my workplace. It runs Windows 8 just fine in a VM. The emulator requirement for SLAT should not exist.
Microsoft: If your latest software is unable to run on all of the CPUs in the "high-end" CPU list on cpubenchmark.net, then you are doing it WRONG! I just want to develop some basic apps for Windows Phone 8 but I can't do that without paying the "Apple tax" but this time in Microsoft land (i.e. pay $800+ to upgrade my hardware for a single CPU feature)! That's completely messed up. While I could partially write the purchase off on my taxes as equipment depreciation, it would take years to recover the losses incurred for the relatively minor gain. I *might* purchase a cheap (< $100) Windows Phone 8 device designed for developers...but they don't exist - the closest is the Nokia Lumia 521 but they are out of stock everywhere as of this writing. And even that would be overkill for what I want to do. It is cheaper and I get to keep my sanity intact by simply not supporting Windows Phone 8.
Let's be honest - we've pretty much reached the limits of silicon when the same computer equipment is sufficient for all tasks over a 5+ year time span and that outlook doesn't seem to be changing for another 5 years. THAT is the real reason people aren't upgrading their PC hardware every couple of years. They don't see the need. Even as a software developer and hardcore PC gamer who loves new tech toys and used to upgrade frequently, I certainly don't. Almost nothing pushes my existing hardware setup to its limits. Minor new hardware features like SLAT are a terrible reason to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on new equipment. But maybe that is your objective: Continue the Wintel relationship by forcing developers to upgrade their hardware through subtle, incremental hardware dependencies. That is a terrible business model and you can kiss your potential developer base for Windows Phone 8 goodbye. Users complain about your app store not having enough apps - well, it is stupid **** like not being able to run the Windows Phone 8 emulator on perfectly fine hardware that is cause of those complaints.
No developers = no apps = no users = no money! Fix this NOW!
planned to migrate some android and ios apps to wp8, but seems unlikely without SLAT. anyway, wp market share is small, and it'll be smaller obviously due to its own decision. btw, people say wp8 is shiny, it is not compared with android and ios and even blackberry, just better than wp7 shipped with notorious IE which doesn't work for many normal website...
Average developer commented
Why should I bother helping microsoft with WP8 if I can develop and test for the most important mobile OS (android) without stupid hardware and software limitations??? Because of the tiny market share that WP holds? HAHAHA.
Get things easy for developers, stupid microsoft
Microsoft sure like to shoot themselves in the foot... Try and get lots of "Apps" in their store, but make it as difficult as possible to develop them. I have a perfectly good Windows 8 64 bit quad core dev machine(Q6600), which I can't use due to the SLAT requirement. WTF??? Do you guys at MS even care about your developers or your own platforms' success whatsoever??
i totally agree. i really want to get into wp8 programming and already got a windows 8 machine, but then goes the problem of not having hyper v in my machine. hours of searching for a free solution, didn't get me anywhere. it only told me that either i pay for an upgrade to windows 8 pro or a dev account to test on my phone.
Long John commented
I was all hyped about Windows 8 phone. But after going through this whole process of "upgrading" to w8x64, installing a new VS and the noticing that the emulator does work, sucks. Then I though, lets use the phone for debugging, but no, you need a payed dev account to debug on the phone. Then the architecture not allowing to write to the SD-card scares me even more. All together, this is so unfriendly, that I am considering not buying a W8 phone and sticking with Android. Sad to see such a nice product fails because of unfriedly dev support.
Petr Vones commented
This http://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/details/775116/ is also related, resolution "There are known compatability issues for XAML designer when running in Virtual Box, we don't support this scenario."
Petr Vones commented
It should be possible with VMware Workstation http://www.developer.nokia.com/Community/Wiki/Windows_Phone_8_SDK_on_a_Virtual_Machine_with_Working_Emulator but will Microsoft include a VMware Workstation license for MSDN subscribers just because it is the only option to run an emulator ? Thats ridiculous at all.
Scott Marcus commented
Almost every review of the 8X and WP8 say "This phone is really cool, WP8 is really cool, but the eco-system is too weak, not enough apps." So, it seems bizarre that it is so difficult for WP7 developers to move forward. Can't use Windows 7, can't use W8 32 bit, can't use an emulator, can't use W8 non-pro version, can't use a machine without SLAT.
I agree. We cannot develop WP8 apps on PC running Win7 and non-SLAT hardware. We cannot create Windows Store apps on Windows 7. I never thought one day Microsoft, the company that developed .NET, will become so unfriendly and impose that many restriction on developers.
Andrew W commented
Also as an msdn subscriber who is anticipating a surface for windows 8 pro next year there is only so much cash outlay possible within tight budgets. WP8 development is off the table at present.
I wonder do we need an emulator when a simulator will work just fine (even within vmware player I can run w8 with sim), after all whichever is used frequent testing on hardware will be necessary.
Please rethink - lets get the momentum going wp8 needs apps, market share needs boosting.
I couldn't agree more. I have an older but very high end 64 bit machine that works very well for my needs. I really don't have an interested in buying another high end laptop when there are new tablets on the way. This requirement for a newer machine to develop for Win and WP 8 has really put a damper on my interest in developing for this platform.