MCSD: Windows Metro Style Apps – but which one?


While I was at the Worldwide Partner Conference last week in Toronto I had dinner with an old friend and colleague Tim Sneath. Tim has been instrumental in a lot of the great evangelism around XAML and Windows 8 but now has a new challenge, heading up Microsoft Learning.

We got onto the subject of Microsoft Certifications and their importance (or not) when companies are hiring developers – a great little discussion which a week on has popped back into my mind as I will be interviewing candidates this month for a vacancy in my team. Plenty of the candidates who apply for technical roles in Microsoft do indeed have certifications. I on the other hand (as interviewer) do not. Hmmm. (Well, actually I do – but I seem to recall the last couple I did were on SQL Server 2000 and that is a long time back.)

However I am moving more back to development in my new role around Windows 8 and potentially could do with setting myself a “little dev challenge”.

Right now I’m thinking the “little dev challenge” should be passing MCSD: Windows Metro Style Apps.

Hmmm…. now which one to go for?

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And more importantly… by when… 🙂

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Windows 8 Developer Camps in London during July


The team has worked to create a day that is flexible enough to help someone brand new to Windows 8 dev OR is already working on a Windows 8 application. That is very cool.

And there is even a Saturday session on the 21st.

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Register today:

First impressions of Telerik RadControls for Metro… very nice. #TelerikMetro


Just spent 30mins with the beta of Telerik RadControls for Metro. Looking very promising, certainly enough for me to register for their free Webinar on the 24th of July 6pm UK time -  Why Build for Windows 8 and How RadControls for Metro can Help.

The beta includes the following controls:

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And comes with a nice sample:

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Although I think snapped view needs a little work 🙂

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P.S. Don’t forget to unblock the downloaded chm file

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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.