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The software development kit for Windows Phone 8 has been a fairly closely-guarded secret up until this point, but in an announcement at BUILD 2012, Steve Ballmer has confirmed it is now ready to download.

The fledgling platform has quite a few challenges ahead if it is to compete with the two juggernauts of iOS and Android, and as well as lagging behind in terms of general consumer reach, the number of apps available for the Redmond company’s new ecosystem will also have to be dramatically improved.

windows-phone-8-logo

WP8 (3)

The 120,000 apps currently available at the Windows Phone Store may seem significant on paper, but unfortunately, it’s dwarfed by the Apple’s App Store and the Google Play, which boast a cumulative sum total of around 1.4 million. Quality is the order of the day when it comes to apps, but there still has to be a wide selection available to users, and although it’s certainly going to take a while for Windows Phone 8 devices to gather momentum, the alternative interface and array of promising devices won’t do it any harm whatsoever.

iOS is currently the platform of choice from the point of view of developers, but with Windows Phone 8 presenting something of a fresh slate, I wouldn’t be surprised to see many a dev attempt to make a name for themselves on the Microsoft platform. Unlike Apple and Google’s mobile OSes, Windows Phone 8 doesn’t stick with basic icons and widgets, and having seen developers create some real marvels already on Windows Phone 7.x, I’m quietly excited about what’ll be on offer for its successor.

WP8 SDK

If you wish to download the Windows Phone 8 SDK, then please check out this link for further details. You will of course need to be running Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro, and your 64-bit setup will need 4GB of free hard disk space and 4GB RAM installed. Furthermore, if you wish to take advantage of the Windows Phone 8 Emulator, you will need to be running Windows 8 Pro edition or greater. If you meet all the criterion, go ahead and download the new Emulator.

BUILD is still currently ongoing, and should we learn anything more with regards to Microsoft’s new releases, we’ll be sure to let you guys know.

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