Tuesday, July 03, 2012


In the last few days there have been tons of news regarding the upcoming Windows Phone 8.

I am thrilled with two of them, especially:

  • The addition of new markets, and
  • Marketplace pre-compilation of apps.

New Markets

For years I have been sending comments and suggestions to Microsofties (including TPTB), so as to open the AppHub (both WP7 and XBLIG) to devs in countries outside the list of supported ones. Ditto for XBLive services and marketplaces.

As a dev living in one of the unsupported countries, it was quite frustrating that the only two ways to get your app/game to the AppHub were either opening a company in, say, the US, and or talking to a publisher. Being both solutions, cumbersome.

Recently, MSFT announced that for Windows Phone 8, this is finally becoming a reality. So, at launch, over 180 countries will be added to the WinPhone8´s Marketplace (consumers) and its related AppHub (developers).

Please, allow me getting it off my chest: FINALLY!!!

Marketplace Pre-Compilation

On March, 2010, I had submitted a suggestion to the XNA Team through the Connect site entitled “Native Image On-The-Fly” (edit: I am afraid it got lost in the last database purge, so the provided link won´t work).

My suggestion was pre-compiling all approved apps/games to be published on the XBLIG channel to native images. Given the similar architecture of the XBox 360 consoles, this should be a straightforward process to be done once per app/game on the server side, with low-to-none chances of image corruption as target hardware would not change, saving the customer from waits stemming from Jittering during execution.

The benefit, simple: faster start-up and running times of games since the console would be executing native images of assemblies instead of the (MS) intermediate-language versions of them (please note that memory would still be “managed”).

As a result of one of the new features introduced to WinPhone8 devices (that is, support of native code), there was no reason why the above-mentioned rationale would be kept away from the upcoming product.

Well, … MSFT also announced that the Apphub will introduce a new service: pre-compilation of assemblies.

So, if you build with managed code, the assemblies you submit to the AppHub will be compiled by the servers to native code before they make it into the marketplace.

Please, allow me again getting it off my chest: FINALLY!!!

Both news are a huge step forward. Let us hope MSFT eventually extend them to the XBox360’s AppHub …