I've done web development on Macs and PCs for years; however, the release of the Nokia Lumia 920, and Windows Phone 8 has seriously intrigued me.
I really see it as a new opportunity that my company can be on the forefront of.
I've played around with native iOS app development (see JobGizmo); however, iOS has never really been my visual and ux style, and with the wide open terrain of Windows 8, I just couldn't resist trying to get my hands dirty. With that said, I've jumped headfirst into Windows Phone 8 Development, and would like to provide a list of steps for those who would like to follow the same path. if this list were out for me, maybe it would have made my transition less of a headache (although, truthfully, it wasn't THAT bad).
Acquire a pc that has a 64-bit CPU.
I purchased a Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 13 at Best Buy.
Install Windows 8 Pro.
The Yoga 13 came with regular Windows 8, so I purchased a hard copy of Windows 8 Pro along with the laptop (again, from Best Buy). After about a day of back and forth, I realized that I did NOT have to do a full disk install to get Windows 8 Pro activated. All you have to do is navigate to the System window, click on the link that says something like "Get more features with a new edition of Windows" and then enter in the serial number that came in the Windows 8 Pro box. It's really easy. Go through the prompts. Your system will restart numerous times. Just hang in there.
Turn on Hyper-V.
Hyper-V is a feature that allows Windows 8 Pro to run multiple operating systems simultaneously. In order to run the Windows Phone Emulator, Hyper-V has to be enabled. It is disabled by default. In order to enable it, follow the steps at the following link: http://noelarlante.com/how-to-install-hyper-v-in-windows-8-pro-and-lenovo-w530/
Download the Windows Phone 8 SDK.
The SDK can be found here: http://dev.windowsphone.com/en-us
Download Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone 8.
Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone 8 can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/products/visual-studio-express-for-windows-phone
tip: You'll have to go through Microsoft's developer registration process in order to have a non-expiring copy.
Make sure to save your development projects on a hard drive partition different than the hard drive partition you've installed Visual Studio on. For some reason, Visual Studio has a problem building a project that is on the same hard drive. Go figure. My Lenovo came with two partitions, 1. the C Drive, and 2. a D Drive, which is a separate partition. All my computer programs get installed on the C Drive. I created a Projects folder on the D Drive, and worked out of that directory for any files created from Visual Studio.
I hope these 6 steps are clear enough to assist you in getting started with Windows Phone 8 development. I would suggest to play around with some of the tutorials found in the Visual Studio Express start page, and on dev.windowsphone.com.
Feel free to leave a comment, or contact my company if you have any questions.