When you launch Blend for the first time, you are greeted with a startup screen, as shown in Figure 12-1. At this point, you can choose to create a new project, open an existing one, or simply close the welcome screen.
NOTE Once this screen is dismissed, it's easy to create or open a project again: You just look in the File menu.
To create a new project, you need to select Windows Phone Application (see Figure 12-2). (The other options require a paid version of Blend.) You can call the project whatever you like and place it in any directory you like. All the examples in this book are in C#, so C# is the recommended Language setting.
After you create a new WP7 project, you see the main Blend user interface. Similarly to Visual Studio, Blend surrounds a central tabbed document area (called the artboard) with various panels and tool boxes. However, Blend is a more focused user interface than Visual Studio: