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Windows Phone 8 adds DirectX, native development, easier app porting

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A common platform between Windows Phone and Windows, Microsoft has announced a native game development platform based on DirectX that should allow for easier app porting

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At its Windows Phone summit, Microsoft set the tone by talking a lot about "shared core" — it's practically a new mantra. Here's one way we'll see that in action: a native game development platform based on DirectX. A "common platform" for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, which is to say there's a shared kernel across the platforms. Shared hardware drivers and the "hardware-based security" of Windows.

More simply put, developers should be able to quickly port their games to Windows Phones without re-writing a lot of code. Kevin Gallo, who runs the Developer Platform for Windows 8, said that some of the tools game developers already use will be able to run on Windows Phone 8, including Havok and Autodesk. Andrew Bowell of Havok Technology took the stage to showcase its middleware — humans with hair that flips somewhat realistically. It's one that the company has shown off a few times in the past at various other developer events, and indeed its tools has been used on a number of high-profile titles over the years, across all platforms. Speaking of that ubiquity, Microsoft is also highlighting how native code simplifies porting apps between iOS and Android, as well.

The SDK will be available to developers "later this summer." Check out our Windows Phone Summit live blog for more granular detail.