Windows 8 Virtual Labs – nice idea but….


We have many great virtual labs for exploring our latest technology and I was excited to see that we had added Windows 8 development labs.

However…the graphical performance I get against these labs when run from the UK is poor. Turns out the labs are done by remoting into a Windows Server 2003 image which then remotes into a Windows 8 image. Ouch.

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I did manage to improve things by changing the remote desktop experience to the Windows 8 machine. After you make these changes, disconnect and reconnect to the Windows 8 image.

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Your experiences may be better…

Windows 8 Release Preview Virtual Labs

Developing for Windows on ARM – looking great!


On June 12th Jason Zander posted What you need to know about developing for Windows on ARM (WOA) along with a companion video on Channel 9. All looks very impressive to me – well done to the team.

In summary:

  • You do the dev on an intel machine
  • You can then deploy to ARM and get:
    • a great remote debugger
    • a great remote test tool
    • a great remote profiling tool

And if you were wondering “How much do I need to worry about ARM?”, the following summarises it nicely:

  • Javascript, C# and Visual Basic apps – write once, run on x86/x64/ARM
  • C++ needs to be compiled to the platform you are targeting

Related Links:

New to Expression Blend? Then check out these two videos over on BlendInsider


Many of us are familiar with:

  • Editing code in Visual Studio
  • Editing HTML files in a text editor (perhaps Visual Studio)
  • Editing XAML files in a text editor (perhaps Visual Studio)

But… far fewer of us are familiar with Expression Blend… which turns out to be a “must have” for Windows 8 Metro style app development as it does a great job of editing HTML and XAML.

Windows Forms meets Windows 8 Metro


Are you a Windows Forms developer looking to develop a touch enabled application?

Perhaps a touch enabled application that sports the latest Windows 8 Metro style of applications?

One choice would be to take forward your .NET skills and learn the new XAML presentation framework that comes with Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11. This would give you a great solution… but it would only work on Windows 8,. For many companies this is not a problem as they are targeting deployment through the App Store. However for some applications (LOB being a great example) the limitation is too restrictive and for others, learning a new presentation framework may not make sense right now after making a significant investment in Windows Forms.

There are alternatives and one I have recently come across is teleriks RadControls for Windows Forms which now includes a Metro theme.

Check out the video. Very nice.

P.S. In case you were wondering, Windows 8 Metro style applications have many other helpful features other than offering a great experience for touch. These include roaming support, lifecycle management, notifications, contracts and more.

Related Links:

A case study in moving a Windows Phone app to a Windows 8 Metro app


Two great posts by the Telerik team documenting what it took to move a Windows Phone app to a Windows 8 Metro style app. I would recommend you download a high resolution pdf (7MB) of the posts.

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Designing a Windows 8 Metro style app starting from an existing Windows Phone app – Design Case Study Part 1

Which covered:

How to design a Windows 8 Metro style app starting from an existing Windows Phone app – Part 2

Which covered:

Or better still… download the high resolution pdf (7MB)

FREE events covering Windows 8 for Application Developers start 30th March


My group is laying on a a three city (London, Manchester and Edinburgh) tour which focuses on the Windows 8 opportunities for developers. These are one day events providing accelerated learning on Windows 8 application development.

More details on the  UK Tech.Days home page.

  • London, Friday, 30th March 2012 – Register
  • Manchester, Friday, 27th April 2012 – Register
  • Edinburgh, Tuesday, 1st May 2012 – Register

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Visual Studio 11 Beta and .NET 4.5 Beta due February 29th


Which is a great use of an extra day in February 🙂

I have Thursday 1st set aside to get this all sweetly installed – perfect timing as Six Weeks of Windows Azure will have ended and I can safely think about rebuilding my pc.

Some more details:

And I will be most definitely install Team Foundation Server Express – FREE for individuals and teams of up to 5 users! Oh and yes… Visual Studio Express gets TFS integration. Sweet.

Windows Phone Camps in London (4th Feb) and Bristol (11th Feb)


Registration is now open for the 2012 edition of the Windows Phone Camp (powered by Tech.Days UK).

The Windows Phone Camps are learning events which will show you how to learn and build Windows Phone apps. You can work on your own projects with assistance from our Windows Phone MVPs, network with others and also have the option of attending short tutorial sessions on Windows Phone related topics. If you are new to Windows Phone, this is the ideal event for you as you will have the opportunity to understand the general approach and capabilities of Windows Phone development.

Read more and register over on the UK MSDN blog.