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Installing the Windows Phone 8 SDK on a Mac, using Parallels

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Windows Phone 8
Created: (02 Sep 2013)
Last edited: ltomuta (27 Aug 2013)


Pre-requisites / Technical requirements

Installation guide

Install Parallels Desktop 8 following product's typical install guide and then follow Parallels' guide for installing Windows 8. It is a rather straight-forward process but since we aim to run the Windows Phone emulator (a virtual machine) inside the Parallels virtual machine we have to customize the Windows VM installation, so make sure to select "Customize settings before installation".

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Windows VM customization

If you have neglected to enabled VM customization at install time, or if you want to experiment with other combination of options, you can edit the setting below, and many more which are not directly relevant for this subject, using Parallels' Virtual machine -> Configure... menu. For the settings to be accessible simply stop the running VM then restart it after the settings have been changed.

Number of CPU cores

The Windows Phone Emulator's Windows Phone 8 images come configured for multicore devices, so they expect to have two CPU cores available to them. However by default Parallels makes only once CPU core available to Windows, invoking stability concerns. We have therefore two options here:

  • change VM's configuration to allow Windows to see two (or more) CPU cores
  • install Windows on a machine with just 1 CPU and later edit emulator VM's settings to lower its CPU setting.

You can experiment with the two options and see which works best on your machine, we recommend the first approach if your machine is powerful enough.

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