What Is the Windows Phone Emulator?
Use the Windows Phone Emulator to see how your app executes and debug it before you put it in the marketplace. The Windows Phone Emulator is a high-fidelity and high-performance virtualization environment. In other words, it has great sound and acts just like a phone. Right there on your PC, a screen pops up with a phone on it. You can't use it make a call, but you can push the buttons, use the touch screen (with your mouse), and simulate your app.
Now for the hard part: In order to start the emulator, you just need to press . . . F5! The emulator will load the program you currently have open in Visual Studio.
The emulator has a real phone skin — the same buttons as a phone. You'll see a Back button, a Start button, and a Search button. When you left-click a button, it's like tapping a soft key on the screen or pressing a button. You can't pan or zoom because there is no equivalent for multi-touch with a mouse (unless you have a multi-touch computer screen). You can scroll the screen around by pressing the left mouse key to simulate a press and hold.
In addition, the emulator has GPS simulation so that if your app needs the user's location it will work. Orientation support means that if your user turns a corner, the map will turn, as well.