UK company looking to publish a Windows 8 application into the upcoming UK Windows Store?

Then check out the details over on the MSDN blog before doing step 1 – apply to join our shiny new UK Windows 8 for Application Developer LinkedIn Group which opens up the possibility of being invited to an Application Excellence Lab at Microsoft in Reading.

I would also encourage everyone to come along to one of our events or camps ( camp details will be announced soon on the MSDN blog).

And you will be able to find me at the following events:

  • Manchester, Friday, 27th April 2012 – Register (Note: Registration Full / Waiting List Only)
  • Edinburgh, Tuesday, 1st May 2012 – Register

These are exciting times to be a developer!

Gaurav Mantri of Cerebrata Cloud Storage Studio fame is in London on April 3rd

Cerebrata (now owned UK company Red-Gate) make awesome tools for Windows Azure – thanks largely to the work of Gaurav Mantri.

And it just so happens that the UK Windows Azure User Group has Gaurav speaking on April 3rd in London. Definitely a session worth attending if you are in London that day.

Gaurav Mantri, CEO of Cerebrata Software (recently acquired by Redgate) will be speaking to the UK Windows Azure Group about Cerebrata tools, how they are used and how they were built using underlying REST APIs provided by the Windows Azure Fabric. Gauriv is here for a short duration from India so this is a rare opportunity to catch him speaking. If you’re already building a project in Windows Azure then you almost certainly use Cloud Storage Studio, Diagnostics Manager and CmdLets. If you don’t you will be soon! Redgate will be at the meeting to offer some free product licenses to a few attendees. Please register for this meeting @

Worldwide Partner Conference in July – I will be there, will you?

I’ve just had confirmation that I will be off to Toronto in July to spend a weak immersing myself in our latest musings to our fantastic partners on Windows 8, Windows Azure, Private Cloud and more… whilst also having the opportunity to meet and chat with UK partners who are attending – and in theory we all get to stay in the same hotel! Surprisingly this is my first time at WPC even though I am soon entering my 16th year and I am really looking forward to seeing so many partners in one venue – and seeing first hand which announcements, technologies and products excite them and which puzzle them.

If you are a UK software product author attending and are interested in Windows 8 and/or Windows Azure then lets connect up via

If you are a UK software product author and haven’t yet decided whether you should attend, then take a look at 10 Great Reasons to Attend WPC on the UK WPC Hub and… act soon as there is an early bird discount as well as the potential impact of the Olympics on flight prices to consider.


July 8th to July 12th

JavaScript Programming with Douglas Crockford

New to JavaScript programming?
Think you know what JavaScript is… but haven’t really used it for many years?
Considering building Metro apps for Windows 8 using JavaScript?

Then … you could do worse than setting aside a few hours to watch, well, pretty much anything by Douglas Crockford.

I’ve started with the following from 2007 but there are plenty more to go with:

History and introduction
The Good Parts

Douglas and his relationship with JavaScript is nicely summed up as

“a journey from deep scepticism about a flawed, half-baked scripting language in the earliest days to a growing affection for what is now a still-flawed but surprisingly beautiful and powerful language that has ‘radically changed my way of thinking about programming languages.’”

My favourite Windows 8 Shortcut keys

In other words… the ones I know about and keep using …and need to jot down somewhere (here!) lest I forget 🙂

Charms and App Bar
Windows-C Open the Charms bar.
Windows-I Open the Settings charm.
Windows-K Open the Connect charm.
Windows-H Open the Share charm.
Windows-Q Open the Search pane.
Windows-W Open the Settings Search app.
Windows-F Open the File Search app.
Windows-Z Open the App Bar.
Multiple Monitors/orientation
Windows-PgUp Move the Start Screen or a Metro-style application to the monitor on the left.
Windows-PgDown Move the Start Screen or a Metro-style application to the monitor on the right.
Windows-O Lock device orientation.
Moving Windows/Apps
Windows-Shift-. Move the gutter to the left (snap an application).
Windows-. Move the gutter to the right (snap an application).
Windows-Tab Cycle through apps.
Windows-Shift-Tab Cycle through apps in reverse order.
Windows-Ctrl-Tab Cycle through apps and snap them as they cycle.
Windows-, Temporarily peek at the desktop.
Windows-V Cycle through toasts.
Windows-Shift-V Cycle through toasts in reverse order.
Windows-Space Switch input language and keyboard layout. (This is to remind myself how to fix this when I accidentally change it 🙂

Q&A: Can I use Visual Studio 11 to do Windows Azure development?

This one seems to keep popping up…

The following is true as of 12th March 2012

Short Answer: No. You will need Visual Studio 2010 or 2008.

Long Answer:  You will need to setup a development environment for Windows Azure using Visual Studio 2010 before installing Visual Studio 11. You can find details here.

Day 3 of Windows 8 training… JavaScript OMG :-)

I am just completing the final day of some rather good Windows 8 Metro App developer training. 90% of the time we have been using JavaScript.JavaScript has many “omg” moments when compared to trusty C#. Which is why it has been very handy to have Mike T sitting next to me. If you find yourself “without Mike” (as I will next week), then I would recommend you take a look at his series of OMG posts!

JavaScript OMG! #1 to #5 

  • Semi colons are optional
  • Type system
  • underflow/overflow/Divide by Zero
  • Regular Expressions are built in
  • Truth and Falsy – true unless one of undefined, null, 0, –0, Nan, “”

JavaScript OMG! #6 to #10

  • Global variables live on a global object
  • Expando objects
  • Wrappers
  • Type conversions
  • Object to primitive conversions

JavaScript OMG! #11 to #15

  • Variable Scope – no scope blocks, can use before declare
  • Bitwise operators – avoid
  • Equality and Strict Equality – === and !==
  • “use strict” – use it!
  • Magic of short-circuiting ANDs and Truthy/Falssy

JavaScript OMG!: #16 to #20

  • Optional Function Arguments
  • Nested Functions
  • Arrays vs Lists
  • Function Invocation Context and Strict Mode
  • Nested functions and Invocation Context

JavaScript OMG #21 to #25

  • Everything is a function
  • array.sort won’t sort numbers correctly
  • parseInt() needs help
  • Callbacks and scope
  • Function Literals create functions

JavaScript OMG #26 to #30

  • Partial Application and Mapping
  • Self Defining Functions
  • This or That
  • Events
  • And finally… “It’s just like everywhere”