Category Archive for Microsoft
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.
I received an amazing email from the Microsoft Community Program Manager stating the following:
“Congratulations on being awarded MVP of the Year based on your contributions in 2011!”
It goes without saying that it’s a great honor to receive this title
This year, there are 29 MVP’s awarded with the MVP of the Year title, out of around 4000 MVP’s.
I would like to congratulate all MVP’s receiving the title.
On the 1st of March there will be an honorary dinner in Bellevue/Seattle sponsored by S. Somasegar, Senior Vice President of the Developer Division at Microsoft together with other executives and community leads in the division. I’m really looking forward to this dinner.
A while ago, I’ve posted the following posts on this blog:
Those articles were written using the Visual C++ 11 Developer Preview.
Starting with Visual C++ 11 Beta, there will be a few small changes to the C++ AMP specification compared to the C++ AMP in the Visual C++ 11 Developer Preview. Tamer Afify from the C++ AMP team explains it as follows in his blog post:
“In the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview, C++ AMP had a grid class that was basically an extent, plus an index object representing an origin. In the Beta we have removed grid from the programming model and instead you simply use an extent. Also the tiled_grid class was removed and a tiled_extent class is introduced with the same functionality that tiled_grid provided.”
Every API that returned or accepted a grid or tiled_grid now returns or accepts an extent or tiled_extent. Most C++ AMP code can be modified with a simple find and replace operation. The find and replace operation is a bit more complicated if you have set the origin parameter of your grid to something other than the default zero index object. Check Tamer Afify blog post for more details.
Once the Visual C++ 11 Beta has been released, I will write an update for my above presentation slides and my Mandelbrot implementation.
As promised, Microsoft has released an open specification of C++ AMP: Accelerated Massive Parallelism
This allows other compiler vendors to implement support for C++ AMP on any platform.
Read the official announcement.
Download the specification.
Here are the slides of my presentation on C++ AMP that I gave to software engineers at my company.
One of the demos in the presentation is a Mandelbrot renderer. This blog post
describes this C++ AMP Mandelbrot renderer in more details.
It is time to start taking advantage of the computing power of GPUs…
A while ago I wrote an article about how to use the Microsoft Parallel Patterns Library (PPL) to render the Mandelbrot fractal using multiple CPU cores. That article can be found here.
This new article will make the Mandelbrot renderer multiple times faster by using a new Microsoft technology called C++ AMP: Accelerated Massive Parallelism, introduced in the Visual C++ 11 Preview.
Read the rest of this entry »
The Belgian C++ User Group is organizing a dinner on Monday 13th of February at 19:00, somewhere in the Brussels area, but the place depends on the number of people coming.
Already joining us:
- Tarek Madkour from Microsoft, Principal Program Manager Lead in the Visual C++ team
- Jim Hogg from Microsoft, his main focus is C++ compiler optimizations
If you ever wanted to speak directly with the Microsoft Visual C++ development team, now is your chance.
If you know any C++ people that would be interested in this, please tell them about it.
Since I need to make reservations somewhere, please let me know (email@example.com) before 31st of January if you are joining us for dinner.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me.
PS: this is not a sponsored dinner, so everyone should pay for themselves, but that shouldn’t be a problem I hope.
I’m honored to have become a Microsoft Extended Experts Team Member (MEET).
The official page gives the following description of the MEET program:
Do you have a complex problem, but not the knowledge to solve it? Then you can get in contact with a community of Belgian experts.
All MEET members are selected for their knowledge and skills in their field. And they are also excellent communicators. All share knowledge through their personal blogs and they are also frequent speakers at Microsoft events or their respective user group.
MEET gets the explicit support of Microsoft Belgium and Luxembourg.
I’m going to try to get a C++ User Group going in Belgium, and got support from the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Belux Team
Here is the official call for action:
Are you passionate about C++ and interested in finding like-minded people? Feel like coming together, setting an informal User Group in 2012? We’d like to support you in that and have a call to action for you.
Marc Gregoire, C++ MVP and author of the book Professional C++, 2nd Edition is one of the folks passionate about the technology and interested in starting up a more active C++ community in Belgium. Are you interested? Join Marc and the MSDN Belux Team for an informal discussion at the Microsoft office in Zaventem on Tuesday January 10th 2012 at 6:30 PM.
Contact Marc through email, leave a note on the MSDN Belux Team blog or reach out to Katrien De Graeve from MSDN Belux via her Twitter and we’ll see you in January.
If you are looking for some of the other Microsoft technology communities there is the full listing here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/nl-be/cc196311.
If you want to know which events Microsoft Belgium is organizing, take a look at www.msdn-events.be. There you’ll find a list of Live Meetings, Offline Events, Community Events, …