Tag | Windows 8 Posts

At the BUILD 2013 conference this year the attendees were lucky enough to get Surface Pros as one of the give-aways. I realize this is a device that has been in the market since January of this year, but I wanted to record my thoughts as a user and a developer. Pros There are a number of things that I really find attractive about the Surface Pro. One of them is the screen which is crystal clear and bright. It is especially impressive after seeing the screen on the Acer W3 which looks like it belongs ...
This review is more person to me since I have known Matt Hidinger for a couple of years now and the fact that he just announced that he is leaving Chicago to join the Windows Phone team at Microsoft in Redmond. So let me first say congratulations to him again. Now I can’t say that I always agree with Matt, but I do respect him. One area that we disagree on (at least from his statement during this presentation) is that the official Twitter app is a good platform example. His point was more that they ...
Writing apps that stand alone will only get yon so far. If your app can allow the user to leverage other applications and share data you Can have a real winner on your hands. Jake Sabulsky started off by explaining that you should be concentrating on the core functionality of your app and letting the framework take care of the features that users require these days. This is implemented be leveraging contracts. When Windows 8 was released it included the File, Share and Pickers contracts. With the ...
On a recent Windows Weekly podcast Mary Jo Foley and Leo Laporte had me talking to my Zune HD (practically yelling) as they discussed if Microsoft got it wrong with Windows 8 by taking away the start button and forcing Metro full screen apps on users. Leo’s main argument was around the fact that the reason people buy big screens is so that they can have multiple windows open at the same time on the same screen. I really took exception to this. Even with every version of Windows leading up to Windows ...
Editing images can be a tedious task, especially depending on how far from what your eye saw the image comes out of the camera. There are thousands of photo editing applications out there so it is a delight when you find one that works well and makes the process simple. I believe that fotor fits that description. I found that fotor makes most simple adjustments such as brightness, contrast, sharpness, color temperature and cropping. It also has the added features of special effects such as borders, ...
It is always interesting to find out what technology I will have to work with next. One of the latest that I’ve had to learn is PHP and since I am running Windows 8 I had to get it working in that environment. At first I tried just downloading the Apache server files and running that, but then you have to deal with possible collisions between Apache and IIS. In the end I found out that it is easier to setup PHP for IIS. The first thing you need to make sure that the IIS feature installed. Then you ...
Generation App is the place for developers to get started building solutions on the latest Microsoft technologies. I originally understood it to be for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 development, but you can sign up for a 30 day adventure to build web apps and framework based apps as well. When you sign up you get a list of subject areas to study in order to create the best application possible. You also get daily emails with links to content to help you progress and helpful YouTube videos. The real ...
It is the beginning of a new year. No better time to take a look what we want to accomplish over the next year. My first goal is to have more Windows 8 and Windows Phone development content. This is a technology that I really enjoy developing for and I see challenges that every developer would like answers to. Things are also evolving on a daily basis which gives us a lot to discover and discuss. I am also looking to have more architecture topics. These will be both high level concepts and integration ...
This Christmas our household got its first Android devices. They were a couple of off-brand tablets and I have come to hate them. We bought them because they were cheaper. In this post I will be looking at this from an average consumer perspective. What was the experience and how does it affect my view of the platform. The main issue is the ability to download apps. This particular tablet did not come with the Google Play Store app. Instead it came with a link to download the Amazon Store app. I ...
Russ Fustino, Senior Developer Evangelist at GrapeCity, sits down with us to close the Iowa Code Camp to talk about Windows 8 development. Russ is a former Microsoft Developer Evangelist and host of the Russ Cam TV. In this podcast we hit a wide variety of topics like mobile development, social tools, and Windows 8 applications. Another area we hit is the ability for Enteprise Developers to have a marketplace to build applications and bring them to market in their evenings while using the same frameworks ...
When designing a Windows 8 app, you need a way to preserve the state of various items as you navigate from page to page. Windows allows this using the pageState dictionary - a dictionary that can contain any serializable object. If you're a web programmer, you can think of this as similar to using a session variable. Today I'll add this to the cascading ListBoxes shown earlier. You can download the code for that project at ListBoxDrillDown.zip. First, we'll add a navigation button to the page. Put ...
When you're dealing with hierarchical data (a tree-like data format such as folders that have sub-folders that have subfolders, etc.) you have to come up with an organized way of displaying it. You could create a tree view, similar to how Windows Explorer displays folders, but I wanted to try something different in Windows 8 - cascading ListBoxes. The user selects an items in a ListBox, and then a new ListBox appears to the right showing the sub-categories. This continues as long as there's data ...
Previously I wrote a post on how to get the eBay category list using their .Net SDK. I wanted to try doing the same thing in a Windows Store App for Windows 8 using Visual Studio 2012, but quickly ran into compatibility problems since the DLLs are compiled for .Net 2.0. I could have either changed the targetted framework, or attempted to re-write the DLLs, but neither sounded particularly exciting, so I simply decided to fall back to using a simple URL request and parsing it via Linq to XML. As mentioned ...
I had heard that Yahoo was bringing out a new web interface, but I was surprised to find a Windows 8 app show up in the store as a featured app. Given this is my mainstay for mail no matter what company I work for or what internet provider I am using. Now the question is how much benefit does it give over the Windows Mail client? For basic functionality the Yahoo Mail app is well laid out and easy to use. It makes quick work of operations like moving messages to folders or creating and replying to ...
Over the last couple of weeks I have noticed that Microsoft seems to have changed the requirements for Corporate accounts. These requirements were not in effect when I originally setup the account for the company that I work for. We also recently had our corporate account canceled without explanation and are in the process of working to get it reinstated. This all seems to revolve around rules to increase confidence that in the producers of content. They are now having Symantec validate a company ...
The end of the world must be coming. Not because the Mayan calendar says so, but because Microsoft is innovating more than Apple. It has been a crazy year, with pundits declaring not that the end of the world is coming, but that the end of Microsoft is coming. Let’s take a look at what 2012 has brought us. The beginning of year is a blur. I managed to get to TechEd in June which was the first time that I got to take a deep dive into Windows 8 and many other things that had been announced in 2011. ...
I think you probably read my rant about the logistics at Build 2012, as posted here, so I am not going into that anymore. Instead, let’s look at the content. (BTW If you did read that post and want some more info then read Nia Angelina’s post about Build. I have nothing to add to that.) As usual, there were good speakers and some speakers who could benefit from some speaker training. I find it hard to understand why Microsoft allows certain people on stage, people who speak English with such strong ...
When O’Reilly gave me an opportunity to review this book I was excited. It gave me a reason to finally put some time into this new platform and what developers will need to learn in order to be successful. This book by Ben Dewey is only 92 pages long, so if you were looking for an in-depth treatment of Windows 8 development you will need supplemental materials. It is also due for an update from the perspective of recent changes made by Microsoft prior to the final release of the OS and tools. This ...
So I have finally dried the tears after watching the Keynote for Build 2012. This wasn’t because it was an emotional presentation, but because for the second year I missed the goodies. Each on site attendee got a Surface RT, a Lumia 920 and a voucher for 100GB of SkyDrive storage. The event was opened with the announcement that in the three days since the launch of Windows 8 over 4 million upgrades have been sold. I don’t care who you are that is an impressive stat. Ballmer then spent a fair amount ...
Today was a big day for Microsoft with two separate launch event. The first for Windows 8 and all of it’s hardware partners. The second was specifically to introduce the Microsoft Windows 8 Surface tablet. Below are some of the take-aways I got from the webcasts. Windows 8 Launch The three general area that Microsoft focused on were the release of the OS itself, the public unveiling of the Windows Store and the new devices available from its hardware partners. The release of the OS focused on the ...
It isn’t very often that I worry much about hardware, but since I heard some others talking about “touch” mice for their Windows 8 machines I figured I would try one out and see what the experience was. The only Windows 8 compatible touch mouse that they had in the store was the Logitech t630 Touch Mouse. At $69 it isn’t exactly a cheap purchase. So how does it work with Windows 8. First it works well as a normal mouse with touch scroll capabilities. Scrolling works both horizontally and vertically. ...
So I have been standing at the end of a fork for a year peering down a corner looking at this way and that way trying to figure out where I fit in. I was so enthusiastic and excited about Silverlight when it came out. It was this amazing awesome technology that had this really cool animation and webcam/multimedia piece. I thought if I put my money on Silverlight it’s going somewhere, then HTML 5 came out and the wind shifted. I realized times were changing. I have been working with web technologies ...
This month Tom Benton will be presenting The Platform and Architecture of Windows Store apps in Windows 8. This is a subject that was requested by attendees over the last few months. Tom has been presenting this topic in Redmond recently and this should be a great discussion. As usual we are interested in hearing what topics that community would like to see presented. Leave any ideas in the comments of this post. If you have a topic you are interested in presenting please contact me through this ...
As I have been using Windows 8 more some of them apps that come with the system have been missing some features that I would like to see. So Microsoft, here is my wish list for some new features. Skydrive Copy files from one folder to another in Skydrive Get public and read only URLs of a file OneNote MX Print a page Mail Accept/Reject appointments Sort inbox Search inbox (use the search charm) Print email Store Keyword search (use the search charm) del.icio.us Tags: Windows 8 ...
I originally started this post when I had the Windows 8 preview setup on VirtualBox image. I have since put the RTM bits on a Dell E6530 that is my new work laptop. It isn’t a table so I am not getting the touch experience, but as a developer this makes the most sense for the moment. This is the first Windows OS that I have had to spend much time exploring to even get started. The first thing I ran into was when I clicked on the desktop icon I was lost. Where is the Start menu? Where are my programs? ...
I didn’t really try Windows 8 in the consumer preview or the technical preview, but I tend to shy away from beta software. The only experience I had with the OS prior to today was through someone else’s tablet and on a tablet it’s very sexy. So once RTM was going to hit on MSDN I decided I would try a desktop upgrade on my massively beefy system. Here are some of my first impressions: I feel like metro is geared too much towards devices. It’s a sexy interface for phones and tablets, but it doesn’t ...
Windows 8 is here (or at least very close) and that was the main feature of this morning’s key note. Antoine LeBlond started off by apologizing to the IT professionals since he planned on showing code. I’m not sure if IT Pros are that easily confused or why you would need such a disclaimer. Developers do real work, IT Pros just play with toys (just kidding). The highlights of the Windows 8 keynote for me started with some of the UI design elements that I had not seen when I was shown one of the Build ...

If you installed the latest MVVM Light version for Windows 8, you may encounter an issue where code snippets are not displayed correctly in the Intellisense popup. I am working on a fix, but for now here is how you can solve the issue manually.

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What is ALMing in Hinglish => Introduction ????? ?????? ??? ?????? ????, ?????? ??????? ?? ?????? ?????? ?? ????? ?????? ?????? 8 ?????? ?????? ??????????? ?? ?????? ???????? ?? ???? ???. ??? ???? ???????????? ????? ??????? 2011 ?? ?????? ?? ?? ???? ????? ?????? 8 ?????? ?????? ??????????? ?? ?????? ???????? ??. ALMing in Hinglish–Windows 8 Metro Style App manual testing using MTM11 In this second in the series of videos I bring to you Shubhra Maji who is a Program Manager on the Visual Studio ...
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I just pushed the following to Codeplex:

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So, day 1 of DevWeek. Lots and lots of Windows 8 and WinRT, as you would expect. The keynote had some actual content in it, fleshed out some of the details of how your apps linked into the Metro infrastructure, and confirmed that there would indeed be an enterprise version of the app store available for Metro apps.) However, that's, not what I want to focus this post on. What I do want to focus on is this: Windows 8 does not make .NET developers obsolete. Phew! .NET in the New Ecosystem In all the ...
Everyone loves naming conventions and product code names :) I’ve see a few people mislead by blogs and so called “.com press” to the point of confusion about what Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh and Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 actually are in reality. So let’s clarify: Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh – is the name of the refresh update to Windows Phone OS that allows for broad reach to new markets and languages, previously not supported in Windows Phone 7.5 OS. This update also provides support for market specific ...
In my last blog I talked about a new WP7 utility application. My intention at the time was to build a Wi-Fi strength meter, but after some research, I discovered that Microsoft has that part of the phone sandboxed. Its not a big deal now, but I hope they unlock those features in a future update as it could lead to some real cool applications. So what now? Well at first, I felt I was at a crossroads on application ideas. I still plan to release Mixtio Reader, but until I get some other issues worked ...

This is part 2 of a multipart blog post about the gestures and shortcuts in Windows 8 consumer preview. Part 1 can be found here!

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With the Windows 8 Consumer Preview version out in the open and the Visual Studio 11 Beta also available, I’ve been putting some more effort into trying them both out. The first impression of the new Visual Studio 11 build was: Why doesn’t it work at all on Windows 8?! The issues I encountered were odd to say the least. Visual Studio did install correctly, which was a good sign, but when I started it, I was greeted with a multitude of popups each telling me that some package could not be loaded. ...
I’m frequently impressed by the additions and changes to Windows as I spend more time on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Here, for example, is how a the progress is now shown for a copy across my home network. I think this is demonstrating to me how the destination is not able to keep up with the flow. I’m now intrigued to see if there is anything I need to do to improve performance ...
I decided to download and install the Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11 previews. I figured I had an Acer Inspire One netbook that BARELY met min specs that was holding down paper (as on does with an Acer netbook....) I will not tell you about the installation of Win8. This is because I had my brother download and install it. I will say that he had already downloaded and created the install package on a USB drive. I gave him the netbook at 1PM. He sent me a text saying it was done at 5PM. To me, that's ...
This blog post started as a simple one, but grew to be quite large and time consuming. I am splitting it, because I really want to publish the first findings already. Stay tuned for more! I am sure that you heard that Windows 8 was released last week in an early although quite stable stage called "consumer preview". Windows 8 is an interesting mix of touch-based and mouse/keyboard based system. Some aspects are a bit annoying (see my post about the "split personalities" in Win8 to see what I mean!) ...
This past week was just massive in the amount of Betas, evaluations, review guides and educational material that were released. We saw Windows 8 come out in a Customer Preview, the same for Windows 8 Server. There are plenty of things to go over and review, but that is a number of posts coming. If you have been using the TFS Preview, then you pretty much had an idea what you would be looking for in TFS coming out and of course the announcement of TFS Express was exciting. Anyhow, here are a couple ...
It is about time to look at the new .NET Framework 4.5 release along with the brand new Visual Studio 11 Beta 1. Besides the new features I wanted to see if the massive performance complaints have been taken and addressed. First the good things. VS11 Beta 1 does start a lot quicker as its predecessors. It is nearly as fast as VS2008 which was from the performance aspect the best release since VS6. This is great news. Below are some numbers I did compile on my Windows 7 x32 PC with a Intel Duo 6600 ...
From Brian Keller: “I’m very pleased to announce the availability of the Visual Studio 11 Beta ALM Virtual Machine along with 6 hands-on-labs / demo scripts. This marks an exciting milestone in our journey towards RTM. You can now roll up your sleeves and start learning about the many capabilities we announced at TechEd North America last year and have been talking about in greater detail since then. You can download and install the beta of Visual Studio 11 (and Team Foundation Server 11, .NET Framework ...

Update: Posted the video of “MVVM Applied” below.

This week I was “on tour” in Belgium and Netherlands and presented 3 times:

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If you tried to build applications for Windows 8 with XAML/C#, you may have noticed an annoying issue: If you have a list controls (for example a GridView) and you bind the ItemsSource property to a property of type ObservableCollection on your ViewModel, the GridView is not updated when the collection’s content changes. The CollectionChanged event is raised properly, but it is not honored by the binding system. Read the rest of this entry » ...

Today I gave a talk in TechDays in Belgium about MVVM in Silverlight 5, Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8. This was the first time I gave that particular talk, and in addition keep in mind this is a developer preview, meaning that it is not finished, and not always stable.

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We’re only in February, but the rest of the 10 months left in 2012 look to be very interesting in the Microsoft space with products that Developers and IT Pros will find intriguing. Redmond Channel Partner posted a great article outlining what products we can expect to make an appearance this year and when. Some highlights: Windows 8/Windows Server 8 Well we all know this is coming, and that it will be a huge focus of Microsoft’s marketing (once their people are actually allowed to talk about it). ...
One of the new data controls in Windows 8 Metro is the ListView. The ListView does the same thing as the ListBox, plus more. In this post, I’ll build on the TwitterClient, from my previous post: Windows 8 Composition and Content. and show how to refactor the ListBox to a ListView. I’ll also mention a few of the differences between the two controls. Refactor ListBox to ListView To save you a little time, I’ll show you the XAML for the ListBox, from my previous post. Then I’ll follow up with changes ...
This was a big week for Windows 8 news (given the relative secrecy around the whole project). At the beginning of the week we learned that the Consumer Preview (fka the "Beta") of Windows 8 will be released at the very end of the month in concert with the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona (MWC). Then, just yesterday, Windows and Windows Live Division President Steven Sinofsky uploaded an 8600+ word post to the Building Windows 8 blog detailing Microsoft's plans for Windows on ARM (i.e. ...
Composition is an integral part of Windows 8 UI design from both aesthetic and logical perspectives. This post modified my previous post, Refactoring Windows 8 Code-Behind to MVVM. adding to the variety of compositional examples. I’ll start with an explanation of composition in Windows 8, modify the previous code to show the power of composition, and then highlight a few more existing examples of where composition naturally fits into the Windows 8 UI environment. Understanding Windows 8 Composition ...
In my previous post, Using LINQ to Twitter in Windows 8 Metro Apps, I cheated a little (some might say a lot) on my UI architecture by using code-behind. In this post, I’ll make it all better by showing you how to separate the model and interaction logic from the UI design – proper separation of concerns. I’ll accomplish this with a pattern, named Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM), which is widely used for WPF, Silverlight, and (soon) Windows 8 Metro Apps. I’ll start by discussing what MVVM is, move to ...
While the title of this post suggests focus on LINQ to Twitter, it also indicates that I’ll be discussing how to build a Windows 8 Metro application. The application itself will display a list of tweets from Twitter’s public feed. In the sections that follow, you’ll read background information on pre-requisites to understanding the post, learn how to get LINQ to Twitter working with Visual Studio 11, and then see a step-by-step on how the application is built. Getting Started You can build Metro ...