Installing the Windows Phone 8 SDK
Published on Friday, November 2, 2012 7:46:23 AM UTC in Programming & Tools
I finally came around installing the SDK for Windows Phone 8 that has been released just a few days ago. The download page can be found here, where you can choose from using the web installer or download the whole package as iso file. I choose the latter because I wanted to put the SDK on multiple machines and not download the components multiple times. When I double-clicked the downloaded iso, I was presented with a rather bland error message though:
Not very helpful, and I wasn't able to figure out what Windows 8 didn't like about the iso. Downloading the file a second time resulted in the same problem. I was however able to handle the file using the excellent open source tool 7-Zip. It would open the iso, verify the contents and extract everything without errors. So if you run into the same error, I suggest you go and try alternate ways to open the file too – it may indeed be a glitch with the current version available for download.
Edit: the iso file correctly mounts on another machine, so apparently it’s an isolated issue with the computer I was working at before.
The SDK has some particular system requirements (all of which can be found on the download page also), one of them being support for a CPU feature called Second Level Address Translation. This is required for the emulator in the SDK, or more specifically for Hyper-V which the emulator runs on. If you want to learn more about it, a starting point is the corresponding Wikipedia article, and in particular the additional link provided there that provides information on how to find out whether your CPU supports it or not. During the installation, Hyper-V (which is a Windows feature) will be turned on automatically for you if necessary and if it is supported by your CPU.
This may result in the irritating experience that the SDK setup prompts you to restart the computer, and when you do that, the system may restart a second time automatically just after it finished booting. Don't worry, that's normal, at least in the Microsoft world :-). If your CPU is not supported by Hyper-V, you will still be able to install the SDK, but you can't use the emulator during development.
After the reboot(s), you can start developing for Windows Phone 8 right away. Have fun!