Migrating Phone 7 applications to Windows 8
While both Phone 7 and Windows 8 follow Metro design principles, they are based on different technology stacks. Phone 7 development is done using Silverlight for Phone 7 and Windows 8 applications can be developed using XAML or HTML5. Since XAML is a subset of Silverlight, we believe that migration of the app to XAML would allow more code reuse and less effort as compared to HTML. However, Phone 7 Silverlight controls like Pivot and Panorama are not present in XAML. Instead there is Gridlayout control that can be used in Windows 8 Metro apps.
While Phone 7 needs to support a standard screen size, Windows 8 applications would need to support a range of screen sizes. Hence the User Interface needs to be redesigned as per the metro guidelines and corresponding screen sizes. Both Phone 7 and Windows 8 have the concept of Live Tiles, App Bars and need to support Landscape and Portrait mode. However Windows 8 application applications need to support snap view as well. You may want to read my earlier blog on other Windows 8 Metro features here .
The runtime for Phone 7 and Windows 8 application is also different. There is a good comparison of XAML vs. Silverlight for Phone 7 namespaces vs. Phone 7 and Windows Runtime namespaces which can be found here .
Additionally, it might not be possible to use phone specific features like Launchers and Choosers on the Windows 8 platform. Windows 8 Metro apps need to support mouse and keyboard input apart from the touch input. Hence the application should be designed accordingly. Preserving battery life is another consideration which is common for Windows 8 (tablet) and Phone 7 applications. Both Phone 7 and Windows 8 have similar application lifecycle. Details of Windows 8 lifecycle can be found here .
We will keep blogging as we keep trying to migrate existing applications to windows 8. Stay Tuned and do share any of your experiences with such migrations !