Microsoft rolled out an update to the Windows Phone SDK to include support for applications on 256 MB phones. The update is version 7.1.1 and it also allows developers working on Windows 8 machines to develop using WPSDK 7.1. Microsoft wrote on their developers' blog that this update isn't a huge one aside from the above mentioned functions. What it also updates the current SDK install to do is:

  • The Visual Studio IDE is patched to enable selection from a list of emulators, and launching it (note that the WPSDK can only support connecting to one at a time, though)
  • The Windows Phone [512 MB device] emulator image is updated to use build 8773
  • A second, new emulator device image is included, allowing you to emulate running your app on a 256 MB device
  • The Microsoft Advertising SDK is updated to the latest version (previously only available as a separate install), which fixes some issues devs were encountering at runtime
  • IntelliSense now supports specifying the 512 MB device requirement in your manifest file, should you choose to opt your app out from running on the new 256 MB devices
  • Language support is again consistent both in the IDE (the 7.1.1 Update supports all 10 of the WPSDK 7.1 languages) and in the emulator OS (Malay and Indonesian have been added)

Downloading the patch is a three step process – you accept, install and then finish. It is a pretty heavy patch at just under 300 MB. 

Needs more developers

Devs can support 256 MB phones

Microsoft and Nokia want the developer base for Windows Phone to increase and flourish. They've put together an application development program at Finland's Aalto University. The two companies are investing $24 million in the project, which is called AppCampus. Will adding app support for lower end phones increase their chances at becoming a major OS, to compete head on head with Android and iOS? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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