If you find yourself looking longingly at the Windows Phone 7 books at your local bookstore but are short on money to buy them, here are four books on the topic that you can download for free!
Programming Windows Phone 7
Written by Charles Petzold, published by Microsoft Press.
You’re not going to get more bang for your non-bucks than with Programming Windows Phone 7. Spanning over 1,000 pages, this leviathan of an ebook is written by the guy who literally wrote the book on Windows development. It’s quite thorough, covering not just Silverlight and XNA development, but also programming techniques applicable to those frameworks as well as mobile development.
The ebook edition, which covers both Silverlight and XNA development, is free-as-in-beer and available for download from Charles Petzold’s site. If you feel more comfortable with physical books, they’ve split the content into two dead-tree books: one that covers SIlverlight and one that covers XNA. I’ve listed those books in other sections of this article.
Written by Rob Miles, self-published.
Windows Phone Programming in C#, a.k.a. “The Blue Book”, is written by Rob Miles, a Microsoft MVP and an instructor at the University of Hull in the UK. He’s known for his instructional materials on programming, which include the C# Yellow Book, a free book covering introductory programming in C# and the 19-part Windows Phone 7 Jump Start instructional video series. Windows Phone Programming in C# is just one part of a course on Windows Phone development provided by Microsoft Faculty Connection for university and college teachers. The book comes with a package of labs, which includes code for exercises and PowerPoint slides for lectures. Whether you’re leading a class or just doing some self-directed learning, this package is free and worth checking out.
Written by the Windows Phone Team, self-published.
The user interface for Windows Phone 7 sets it apart from other smartphones, and the applications you write for it should have user interfaces that fit in well. If yours apps respond to user input and gestures one way and Windows Phone and the standard apps do so in a completely different way, you’re going to either confuse or annoy your users. That’s why you need the UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7.
If you’re serious about developing apps for Windows Phone 7 and getting them into Marketplace, you’ll definitely want to get the UI Design and Interaction Guide and make sure you’re familiar with our UI guidelines and know the rationale behind them.
Written by Microsoft Patterns and Practices, self-published.
Just as the UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7 looks at the front end of Windows Phone 7 apps, the Windows Phone 7 Developer Guide is all about the back end – the underlying architecture of your app. This book covers things like the MVVM design pattern (that’s Model-View-ViewModel), which you might not have seen if you’ve never done Silverlight or WPF development before, connecting with web services, creating cloud-based services for the phone and the like. The book is written by the people at Microsoft’s Patterns and Practices group, a very picky bunch whose job is to share their knowledge of the best ways to build applications.