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Can Window Phone 7 or 8 development be done remotely, such as on an Amazon EC2 instance or a rented VPS running Windows, via using an RDP or VNC client from a PC running Linux (or OS X, or maybe even an iPad)?

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Yes, it can be done remotely if environment for development is installed and configuration is done.

Basically, there is a list of software that needs to be installed: Install Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows® Phone 7.1 or 8 on any drive. If Visual Studio 2010 Professional or higher, or any other Visual Studio Express product, is already installed on your development computer, Windows Phone SDK is installed on the same drive as the existing Visual Studio installation.

Here is a link to a full instruction: Installing the Windows Phone SDK

You may also need this tool: Windows Phone Developer Tools RTW

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