Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 platform comparison

Applies to: Windows Phone 8 | Windows 8 developers.

The release of Windows Phone 8 is a significant step toward convergence with Windows 8. Here, we compare the Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 development platforms, and discuss how developers can create apps for both platforms and maximize code reuse.

Similar XAML UI controls

Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 have similar but different design guidelines and building blocks used to create your UI. The core guideline for UI development in Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 is to design the user experience for your app tailored for each platform. It’s important to make your app look right and be immersive on each device on which it runs to create the best possible experience for your app users.

On Windows Phone 8 you’ll want to create your UI to target the phone form factor, supported screen resolutions, and unique user experiences such as lock screen integration, live Tiles, and the navigation model. Similarly, on Windows 8, your Windows Store app should adhere to Windows 8 user experience best practices, and take advantage of the platform’s support for different app views and navigation controls, and of integration with the device through contracts and the many other features that will enhance your app and make it a success.

You create your UI on both platforms using XAML. Your app will consist of one or more pages, and each page contains a UI created by and customized by UI controls. The set of controls available on Windows Phone 8 is available in the System.Windows.Controls namespace. The set of controls used on Windows 8 is in the Windows.UI.Xaml. Controls namespace. Although these are different namespaces and the types are different, there’s a lot of similarity in the controls that are supported. Most of the controls are named the same and will be familiar to you coming from either platform. This supports design reuse – you can design your app for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 with the same UI building blocks in mind. For a comparison of the control sets available on both platforms, see XAML controls comparison between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.