News

Build 2017 Conference Is Now Open for Registration

Paul Ballard

14 Feb , 2017  

Tickets went on sale for Microsoft’s yearly Build developer conference Tuesday, and the registration website was immediately flooded with takers–so much so, that users trying to sign up experienced technical problems throughout the morning.

Though many devs reported on Twitter that they had successfully registered, some posted complaints that they experienced long waits or needed to refresh the page repeatedly.

By midday, however, the problems seemed to be abating. So if you want to attend Microsoft’s biggest developer event, don’t delay: Build 2016 sold out the same day tickets were released.

Priced at $2,195, the conference will take place May 10-12 in Seattle. Along with technical trainings and hackathons, past conferences have included major announcements about new Microsoft projects and products.

A Microsoft blog post promises Build 2017 will cover the following topics:

  • Mixed-reality experiences

  • Cutting edge, intelligent cloud apps

  • Simplified end-to-end dev ops experiences

  • Mobile experiences for nearly any device

  • Apps that make your customers more productive

  • AI-powered apps we have yet to imagine

 … Read more

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News

Microsoft’s Privacy Suit Against Department of Justice Will Go Forward

Paul Ballard

10 Feb , 2017  

A federal judge ruled Thursday that a lawsuit Microsoft filed against the U.S. Department of Justice to protect customer privacy can continue.

At issue are so-called ‘gag orders’ that DOJ sometimes imposes on tech companies who have provided customer emails and other data to the department as part of an investigation. Microsoft says its customers have a right to know if their communications are being monitored under a search warrant, while the department maintains the secrecy is necessary to protect national security.

In the lawsuit filed last April, Microsoft had challenged the gag orders on two grounds: that they violated customers’ Fourth Amendment privacy rights and Microsoft’s First Amendment free speech rights. Judge James Robart from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington said he will allow the First Amendment claims to go forward, but struck down the Fourth Amendment argument.

The Justice Department filed a motion to dismiss the case last July. Other tech companies, including Google and Apple, have weighed in with court briefs in support of Microsoft’s arguments.

The issue of consumer privacy has taken on new dimensions as more and more people are moving personal information to the cloud. When it announced the lawsuit, Microsoft said it had received a whopping 2,500-plus requests for customer information from the government in an 18-month period.… Read more

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News

Visual Studio 2017 Will Be Released March 7

Paul Ballard

9 Feb , 2017  

It’s always an event when a new version of Visual Studio comes out, and the general release of Visual Studio 2017 marks 20 years of Microsoft’s groundbreaking integrated development environment.

Visual Studio 2017 will be available for download March 7, and Microsoft is celebrating the occasion with a two-day training for developers who want to experience all the bells and whistles in the new version.

The live, online event kicks off at 8:00 am March 7, with Microsoft leaders sharing news about Visual Studio, Xamarin, .NET and Azure in a keynote address and demos. That’s followed by a day of interactive trainings on March 8.

Available in preview since early last year, Visual Studio 2017 (formerly known as Visual Studio 15) promises better code navigation and debugging, a faster overall IDE, a light install option and increased support for mobile, cross-platform development, among other new features.

Click here to register for the online event. Microsoft is also encouraging developers to share their experiences with Visual Studio on social media using the hashtag #MyVSstory.

 

 … Read more

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News

Edge Improvements in Windows 10 Creators Update Will Include VR, EBook Support

Paul Ballard

1 Feb , 2017  

Microsoft has released a video detailing a bevy of new features for its Edge Browser in the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update. It’s the latest move in Redmond’s effort to make Edge competitive with Google Chrome and other popular browsers.

Here are a few of the highlights:

Better tab management

Users who like to keep dozens of tabs open at once will appreciate new tab management features that allow them to view thumbnails of all their open tabs. They can also set aside a group of tabs to look at later, reducing clutter without losing access to their past browsing.

WebVR support

Already available on Chrome and Firefox, WebVR uses a combination of VR device and browser to make virtualy reality experiences available on the web. Including it is part of Microsoft’s increased focus on virtual and augmented reality.

Ebook support

Users can now purchase eBooks from the Windows Store and view them on Edge, with Microsoft promising to expand the range of content available.

More, better extensions

Microsoft has made updates to the Edge Extension Toolkit for porting, extensions debugging and interoperability, and is touting a significantly greater number of APIs available to extension developers.

Microsoft Wallet integration

The Payment Request API works with Microsoft Wallet to easily access a customer’s stored payment information and speed up online shopping.… Read more

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News

Microsoft to Host Windows 10 Creators Update Webcast for Developers

Paul Ballard

27 Jan , 2017  

Want to learn a bit more about what’s coming in the Windows 10 Creators Update? Microsoft is hosting a free, live web event for developers February 8.

The four-event will include several substantive sessions on new developer tools and APIs, followed by a Q&A with Microsoft VP of Windows Developer Platform Kevin Gallo and others from the Windows 10 engineering team.

Here’s what to expect, from the event announcement:

  • See what’s new with Windows developer tooling: UWP tooling, Bash, Developer mode, and more.

  • Learn about the latest XAML advancements and how UWP helps you build Windows apps that are more personal and productive.

  • Hear the developer story behind the recent announcements of Cortana skills and the new Windows mixed-reality headsets.

There’s also a session on everyone’s favorite topic: how to make your app successful in the Windows Store.

RSVP here to register for the event and receive updates as the day draws near.… Read more

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News

Google Starts Testing Android Instant Apps

Paul Ballard

26 Jan , 2017  

Android Instant Apps, the lightweight versions of Android apps that can be run without downloading, are now available in a limited run.

Google first shared the idea for Instant Apps at its I/O developer conference last year. The concept is that users can quickly and easily experience an app by simply clicking on a url associated with the app, without going through the hassle of downloading it.

“Instant Apps is an important part of our effort to help users discover and run apps with minimal friction,” reads a post on the Android developer blog.

Instant Apps from BuzzFeed, Wish, Periscope and Viki are available to Android users as of this week, and Google says it will be expanding the experiment to more apps going forward. An SDK for building Instant Apps will be available “in the coming months.”

In the meantime, Google has outlined some steps Android developers can take to prepare their apps for Instant App adaptation, including removing unnecessary bulk and adding support for url-based navigation.

So are Instant Apps just a gimmick or do they provide value for users and developers? What are the lessons for other platforms? Sound off in the comments.… Read more

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News

SUSE Linux Can Now Run on Windows 10

Paul Ballard

19 Jan , 2017  

Last year, Microsoft gave a boon to Linux fans everywhere when it announced the Windows Subsystem for Linux. The system allows developers to run Linux command lines natively on Windows 10, accessing all their Windows files, and was originally offered in partnership with Ubuntu.

Now, the range of available Linux versions is increasing, with SUSE modifying the system to work with SUSE Linux as well.

“Running Linux binaries natively on Windows … that sounds awesome indeed. However, it’s quite unfortunate that Microsoft enabled the wrong Linux (that’s my personal opinion) by default within the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and it is time to change it to the real stuff,” SUSE’s Hannes Kühnemund wrote in a blog post January 12. He provided instructions for the setup, which can be done using either openSUSE Leap 42.2 or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP2.

While Microsoft is not officially supporting this version of Linux, it’s not likely to complain, as developers like choice, and making Windows 10 more developer-friendly was the whole point of adding the Linux option.

In other Linux news, Microsoft is officially supporting Clear Linux OS for Intel Architecture on Azure. It joins other Linux distributions already available including Red Hat, Ubuntu and SUSE.… Read more

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Wintellect Blogs

New WintellectPowerShell Version with Visual Studio 2017 Support

John Robbins

18 Jan , 2017  

We have a new version of Visual Studio coming soon so I did the work to update my WintellectPowerShell module to support it. And, what a huge adventure that turned out to be! I will discuss why its support for Visual Studio 2017 was hard a bit later in this blog entry. For those of you who are new to WintellectPowerShell, it is a module that brings a number of useful cmdlets for setting up symbol and source servers for Visual Studio 2013-2017 as well as WinDBG. Other cmdlets automatically download and extract all the lovely goodness of the SysInternal tools, automate the analysis of lots of minidump files, and so on. The module has been helpful to me over the years. You can look at all the source code on GitHub: https://github.com/Wintellect/WintellectPowerShell. To install WintellectPowerShell directly, execute the following command in PowerShell:

  1. Install-Module -Name WintellectPowerShell -Scope CurrentUser

If you have a previous version of WintellectPowerShell installed, you will see an ‘Authenticode issuer’ error when you try to update. The error is because since I last released a WintellectPowerShell build, my code signing certificate needed to be renewed. When PowerShellGet does checks a signed module, it checks all the certificate fields.… Read more

News

New Webinar: An Introduction to Azure DocumentDB

Josh Lane

16 Jan , 2017   Video

In the last several years NoSQL database stores have emerged as viable and useful alternatives to traditional relational databases. While relational technologies like SQL Server will likely always have a place in the enterprise, the means to store data as documents or connected graphs vs. classic “rows and columns” is powerful and should occupy a first-class position in any modern enterprise developer’s toolbox.

Azure DocumentDB is true NoSQL-as-a-service; it provides a fast document-oriented data store that scales globally on the Azure cloud and provides familiar JavaScript and SQL-style query syntax. It has SDK integration with .NET, Node.js, and other developer platforms, and even offers protocol compatibility with MongoDB. Attend this one hour, demo-filled webinar to see DocDB in action and learn how you can start using it today!

Click on the video above to view, and post your feedback in the comments.… Read more

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News

‘Game Mode’ Coming to Windows 10 Creators Update

Paul Ballard

13 Jan , 2017  

The Windows 10 Creators Update set to release in April will have a ‘game mode’ that optimizes performance for gaming. While details are slim so far, the new mode will support both Universal Windows Platform and Win32 games.

“Windows Insiders will start seeing some of the visual elements for Game Mode this week, with the feature being fully operational in builds shortly thereafter,” Microsoft’s Xbox lead Mike Ybarra wrote in a blog post Friday.

Some have speculated that Game Mode is really part of Microsoft’s effort to integrate Windows 10 and XBox One, essentially taking standards like 4K resolution that are part of the latest Xbox dev kits, and applying them to Windows 10. You can read more about this theory on WindowsCentral.

Users will also soon be able to stream games with Beam on both Windows 10 and Xbox One, Ybarra wrote.

He also detailed some new features that were previously announced, such as new tournaments for Xbox Live.… Read more

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News

Microsoft Launches Platform for Connected Cars

Paul Ballard

9 Jan , 2017  

Microsoft has created a new platform for building connected cars, and Nissan is its first partner.

Announced at CES on Thursday, the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform will draw on the Microsoft Azure cloud and will bring services like Office 365, Cortana and Skype into the car.

In Nissan’s keynote address, company execs demonstrated how Cortana could help a driver reroute when a meeting location is changed, make breakfast plans and schedule oil changes, all while en route. Car owners could even use remote car monitoring to track where family members are in their journey.

While Microsoft and the Nissan/Renault Alliance already announced their plans to collaborate on connected vehicles last year, the presentation more clearly illustrated what such a partnership could look like.

It’s one of a number of car-tech partnerships visible at CES this past week, as companies vie to see who will lead development of the smart vehicles of the future. Ford and Toyota are launching a new consortium to help developers build apps for connected cars. The SmartDeviceLink consortium will open-source its code on GitHub, allowing developers to potentially build one app that could work on all SDL-enabled cars.

Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant will start showing up in Ford vehicles this summer, and the automaker is already rolling out the ability for owners of hybrid and electric cars to track them from home.… Read more

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News

Webinar: Using TypeScript with React

Eric Greene

6 Jan , 2017   Video

Want to learn how to combine TypeScript with React for top-notch enterprise JavaScript coding?

TypeScript makes available critical programming features from C# and Java such as strong-typing, interfaces, and generics. React has become a very popular library for building multi-platform UI components. Combine the two, and you get a powerhouse of rich functionality to code even the most complicated applications. TypeScript even supports the popular JSX language commonly used by React developers.

A new one-hour webinar from Wintellect instructor Eric Greene explores how easy it is to build React components with TypeScript. Click on the video above to view, and share your feedback in the comments.… Read more

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