Category Archive for Microsoft
A while ago, Microsoft decided to abandon the name Metro. It has been replaced with the following naming scheme:
Metro apps = Windows Store apps
Metro design language / Modern UI design language = Microsoft design style language
Metro style principles / Modern UI style principles = Microsoft design style principles
Note that the casing is also important. For example, the apps in Windows Store apps is with a lowercase a, not an uppercase.
There are a couple of seats left for the Windows 8 App-a-thon that will be held on Friday September 28th at the Microsoft Offices in Zaventem. Register your place now.
What’s in a name? Of course you know hackathons. App-a-thon is your version of the ‘Windows 8 apps hackathon’.
Mark your calendar for 28-9 and spend your day coding/designing at last app-a-thon before GA on October 26th!
Team up with your best UX or developer friend to build a killer team, come alone, sign up with a group, whatever you want!
Hands on. Code. Build. Shine. Totally Windows 8.
There will be 2 coding sessions, 1 for Day Birds from 10AM – 4PM and one for Night Owls from6PM – 12AM. You can join us for one or both sessions.
Build an app, have fun and go home with fantastic prizes!
1st prize: Xbox 360 + Kinect
2nd prize: Deluxe App’ero Bongo Box
3rd prize: Professional Sharp Knife Set
No app idea yet? No problem! We have a bucket full of ideas and scenarios you can use right away to kick start your project!
Questions about UX & design? Don’t worry, we’ve got that covered. You’ll be able to talk to a Windows 8 UX Expert (will be there for 4 hours) and a designer (will be there the entire day!) to help out with logo’s, graphic design, etc.
Technical pre-requisites (for developers)
- Bring your own laptop: any device capable of running Windows 8 and Visual Studio Express
- Required software:
Windows 8 RTM via MSDN downloads (for MSDN subscribers) or Windows 8 RTM via Evaluation Center
Visual Studio 2012
Windows 8 SDK samples
UX designers: Photoshop or your familiar wireframing tool
• Check out the Windows 8 UX Guidelines
• You might want to download Windows 8 Style Apps Assets
The dates for TechDays Belgium 2013 have been nailed down: 5-6-7 March 2013
The location hasn’t been determined yet, so stay tuned…
The next meeting of the Belgian C++ Users Group is planned for Tuesday October 16th 2012 at 18:30 in the Microsoft offices in Zaventem.
The agenda is as follows:
- Session 1: An introduction to the C++ Network Library (Glyn Matthews)
- Session 2: Comparison between Unit Test Frameworks (Mark Van Peteghem)
Microsoft is sponsoring this event by providing the location, drinks and sandwiches.
The event is free for everyone, but you need to register for it.
On 12 September 2012, there will be a launch event for Visual Studio 2012. You can follow this event from where ever you are. See here for details.
Microsoft has officially announced the launch date for Windows 8: October 26th 2012
See the official source here.
Microsoft has made the Release Candidate of Visual Studio 2012 available for download. The release candidate comes with a Go-Live license.
Read Jason Zander blog post for details of this release.
Get it here.
The third meeting of the Belgian C++ Users Group is planned for Wednesday June 27th 2012 at 18:30 in the Microsoft offices in Zaventem.
There will be two presentations, and we are proud to announce that they will be given by 2 international top speakers:
- Kate Gregory is the author of over a dozen books, and speaks at DevTeach, TechEd (USA, Europe, Africa), and TechDays, C++ Connections (with fellow speakers Herb Sutter and Bjarne Stroustrup), among others. Her speaker ratings are consistently in the top 10%. Kate is a C++ MVP, a founding sponsor of the Toronto .NET Users Group, the founder of the East of Toronto .NET Users group, a member of the INETA speakers bureau, and a member of adjunct faculty at Trent University in Peterborough. Since January 2002 she has been Microsoft Regional Director for Toronto and since January 2004 she has been awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional designation for Visual C++. In June 2005 she won the Regional Director of the year award and in February 2011 she was designated Visual C++ MVP of the year for 2010. Kate develops courses on C++, Visual Studio, and Windows programming for Pluralsight and is writing a book on C++ AMP.
- Rong Lu is a Program Manager in the Visual C++ team at Microsoft. She holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science from Shanghai Jiaotong University. She is now working on Visual Studio vNext Application Lifecycle Management Tools for C++. Before that, she worked on the Visual Studio 2005 SDK, Visual Studio 2008 and 2010 releases, mainly responsible for designing architecture tools and SharePoint development tools. She has been a speaker at TechEd since 2007
Both are experienced speakers, and it’s a perfect opportunity for networking. If you ever wanted to ask a question to a member of the Visual C++ product team, now is your chance.
The agenda will be as follows:
- Session 1 (18:30 – 19:30): What’s new in VC++11 (Rong Lu)
- Session 2 (19:45 – 20:45): C++ AMP (GPGPU Computing) (Kate Gregory)
It is time to start taking advantage of the computing power of GPUs. C++ AMP can deliver orders of magnitude performance increase with certain algorithms by utilizing the GPU to perform mathematical calculations.
Microsoft is sponsoring this event by providing the location, drinks and sandwiches.
The event is free for everyone, but registration is required. Register now.
A limited number of seats are available.
( PS: If you know anyone interested in C++, please forward this invitation to them. )
Most op you will know by now that the Visual Studio 11 Beta UI is rather gray. There was a lot of feedback about this from the communities, and it seems Microsoft is listening. They have announced a couple of UI changes to bring back some color to the UI.
Check out this blog post for a description of the changes, including before and after screenshots. I definitely like the new upcoming changes
Our devices are becoming increasingly connected, and at the same time our customers expect the applications running on those devices to be fast and fluid. Asynchrony is important on the client for responsiveness and on the server for scalability.
Today Microsoft is announcing Casablanca, an incubation effort to support cloud based client-server communication in native code using a modern asynchronous C++ API design. Casablanca is a project to start exploring how to best support C++ developers who want to take advantage of the radical shift in software architecture that cloud computing represents. If you are a developer writing a responsive client app, or a scalable server-side solution, where asynchrony goes hand in hand with parallelism, you should give Casablanca a try.
Here’s what you get with Casablanca:
- Support for accessing REST services from native code on Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 Consumer Preview by providing asynchronous C++ bindings to HTTP, JSON, and URIs
- A Visual Studio extension SDK to help you write C++ HTTP client side code in your Windows 8 Metro style app
- Support for writing native-code REST for Azure, including Visual Studio integration
- Convenient libraries for accessing Azure blob and queue storage from native clients as a first class Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) feature
- A consistent and powerful model for composing asynchronous operations based on C++ 11 features
- A C++ implementation of the actor-based programming model inspired by Erlang.
- A set of samples and documentation
Here are a few links
Microsoft has announced the different Windows 8 editions. There will be: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows RT. Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro are versions of Windows for x86 CPU’s (32 and 64 bit), while Windows RT is for ARM CPU’s. Check this blog to get a table with the differences between the 3 flavors of Windows 8.
I got the confirmation email from Microsoft that my MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award for Visual C++ is extended for 2012
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2012 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Visual C++ technical communities during the past year.
See my MVP profile.
The Metro UI of Windows 8 works completely different compared to the Windows 7 and 8 desktop UI.
You might need a little help to find your way around.
Kent Walter wrote an excellent article explaining how the Metro UI works and how to use it efficiently, including an overview of all Windows shortcuts.
Read it here.
TechEd Europe this year will be in Amsterdam from 26th of June till 29th of June.
If you register before 31st of March you’ll save €300.
TechEd offers over 400 breakout sessions spread across 12 tracks featuring diverse technologies at a level of detail unmatched in the industry – from understanding the latest business productivity solutions to diving deeper on Microsoft’s Cloud strategy. TechEd also features over 250 self-paced labs created by product experts, and is an ideal place to pick up new ideas and skills to increase productivity and build better solutions.
Plus TechEd Europe offers an additional day of deep training via the pre-conference seminars happening on Monday, 25 June. These day-long sessions will enhance your learning experience through supplemental in-depth, comprehensive training. Take an accelerated path to the certifications and skills you need to increase your professional appeal and prepare to add new value in the real world, with an extended skill set you can put to use immediately.
One of the pre-conference seminars is all about C++, “C++ in 2012: Modern, Readable, Safe, Fast”, see details.
All the recorded content and slides from TechDays 2012, including related downloads and content, is now online.
23rd of March is the Belgian Windows 8 Developer Day.
Subscribe to the day-track to immerse, and the night-track to start building. Totally free… totally Windows 8.
Join the first Windows 8 Developer Day in Belgium! A full day conference with technical sessions that dive into the platform for building Windows 8 Metro Style apps.
With Windows 8 Consumer Preview just released, you’ll learn first-hand how to:
- use the new features in Windows 8 Metro apps to your advantage
- monetize and distribute your app
Your keynote speaker is Giorgio Sardo, HTML5 and Windows 8 Senior Technical Evangelist at Microsoft.
When the sun sets, we dive into the night with the very first Nacht van Windows 8 / La nuit de Windows 8, an app-a-thon like you’ve never seen!
Team up with your best UX friend to build a killer team, come alone, sign up with a group, whatever you want! And win prizes with you app…
Microsoft has announced that it will release Visual Studio 11 Beta on 29th of February, and that it will be “go live,” meaning you will be allowed to start using it in production environments. Read the official announcement.
The user interface of the new Visual Studio 11 is completely overhauled. It now follows the Metro principles of clean UI that uses typography and white space for layouting instead of lines. Below are two screenshots of the UI in the beta version.
As you can see, it’s completely different compared to Visual Studio 2010. Themes are supported, so you’ll be able to design whatever theme you want. An in-depth discussion of these changes can be found on the Visual Studio Team Blog.
The product pages have also been updated with information about the upcoming releases. One new version of the product is called “Team Foundation Server Express Beta”, which is a free collaboration software targeted at small teams. Read more about it here.
Daniel Moth from the C++ AMP development team has posted an interesting blog post about double precision floating point arithmetic support in C++ AMP and its limitations on current hardware.
Read it here.
Microsoft unveiled the new Windows 8 logo, which follows the clean styling guidelines of the Metro design principles.
According to the design team:
With Windows 8, we approached the logo redesign with a few key goals on mind.
- We wanted the new logo to be both modern and classic by echoing the International Typographic Style (or Swiss design) that has been a great influence on our Metro style design philosophy. Using bold flat colors and clean lines and shapes, the new logo has the characteristics of way-finding design systems seen in airports and subways.
- It was important that the new logo carries our Metro principle of being “Authentically Digital”. By that, we mean it does not try to emulate faux-industrial design characteristics such as materiality (glass, wood, plastic, etc.). It has motion – aligning with the fast and fluid style you’ll find throughout Windows 8.
- Our final goal was for the new logo to be humble, yet confident. Welcoming you in with a slight tilt in perspective and when you change your color, the logo changes to reflect you. It is a “Personal” Computer after all.
Read the official announcement.