"Yes of course you can use the emulator (although it doesn't really emulate the hardware well in many cases I am finding). But this is not something you can tell consumers to do. The point is not to emulate the WP7 eUI, the point is to run WP7-like apps
on a tablet (or any other PC that has a touch screen) in full-screen mode. Plus you don't want to sell a tablet and tell people that the WP7 emulator is going to be your primary UI. In addition, it could take advantage of the bigger screen, just like iPhone
apps that were adapted to iPad can."
@BitFlipper. I was not suggesting the UI be Wp7 based. The UI (i.e. your Shell) app would be WPF and/or SL out of browser. But to run native WP7 apps on desktop, wouldn't you still need an emulator control to emulate at least the screen sizes and hw (i.e.
buttons, usb, phone, etc). Or are you saying any WP7 app should be able to run up-level on WPF?
"I think this is already handled at the harware/driver layer. If you bring the stylus close to the screen, the hardware/driver simply stops forwarding touch events, so software never need to worry about this. At least this is how I believe it works."
Last I looked at Ink apis, you could control these behaviors and handle various different events. Depending on the app, you may want different behaviors in different contexts. I could be wrong as it has been a while.
Yes you touched on the idea I'm talking about. The "shell" would provide an alternative environment for WP7-like apps to run in. In this environment, the idea is
not to emulate the phone, hence the typical phone buttons and fixed screen resolution are not required. Instead, these apps can take advantage of the larger screen size etc.
So the idea is, someone is creating a WP7 app. Within VS, there is an option to
also target this "WT7" framework. If the developer chooses this option, they then get two projects that basically use the same source code. The WP7 project is specifically running on the WP7 emulator or WP7 hardware. The "WT7" version runs
as a fullscreen app that can take advantage of the higher resolution etc. Yet 99% of the source code is the same. There could be runtime or compile time flags that the developer can use to determine which platform it is actually running on at the time, in
cases where different code paths are required, but other than handling different resolutions and availability of various hardware features (no GPS on "WT7" version, hardware keyboard on "WT7" version), the code will be mostly the same.
From a consumer pov, the way it works is like this: They run the "WT7" shell, which is a fullscreen application. They don't see the same UI as WP7 (no tiles, no phone features etc). There will be icons for installed apps. There will also be a button to go
to the app store. When they go to the app store, they can search and browse apps, just like you would be able to do from a WP7 phone. Except in this case, apps that are WP7-only will be filtered out. Apps that support both WP7 and WT7 (or only WT7) will be
listed. The install/uninstall mechanism is the same as it is for WP7 - in other words - simple.
An additional feature could be that WP7-only apps could also be allowed to run in this shell, but in that case the fixed resolution and hardware buttons will be emulated. But this is
not the main idea behind this. This could be a nice way for 175 million Windows 7 users to try out WP7 apps though, even if they don't already have a WP7 device.
Some of the big advantages of this is that, if WP7 is popular, and many apps are developed, this opens up these apps for Windows tablets to use as well (and any touch-enabled PC). In addition, you immediately create a much larger installed
base of consumers that could buy apps from the app store, making it more attractive for developers. How many copies of Windows 7 were sold again? OK, only a small percentage of these have touch screens, but apps can be developed so that they can work with
a "single touch" as well (mouse) or with the hardware keyboard.
I don't know, to me it seems like something like this could be worth it.