Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games v1.0

I like it when my work life meets my gaming life and this is one of those moment. The toolkit for social games helps developers take advantage of the scalability of the Windows Azure Platform and includes a sample called Tankster – a HTML5 client connected to Windows Azure. The architecture uses a Web Role, a queue, a Worker Role and heavily relies on blob storage beyond that.

Nathan Totten’s latest blog post, “Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games & Tankster Version 1.0”, announces the release of the latest version of the Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games and the Tankster game. This release adds new features, improves the performance and stability of the server APIs, and contains many user interface improvements to the sample game.

With my gaming head on: “Look, green tanks with bug guns. Cool”


With my architect head on: “Look,  a diagram of how it uses storage. Cool”


Taken from this interesting read.

Download the Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games here.

Related Links:

Download IE10 Platform Preview 2

Internet Explorer 10 was voted highly in a small survey last week of UK ISVs looking at the significance of new Microsoft technologies to their own product roadmaps. Hence it is a timely to point out that last week we released IE10 Platform Preview 2 which is is now available for download at

There are plenty of new demos to look at but I also recommend you check out:

Channel 9 Videos:

Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview 3 is here – with hardware accelerated canvas support and plenty more

Note: Cross posted from IUpdateable from Eric Nelson.


A couple of weeks back I was at Web Directions manning a stand showing off Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview 2 (check out a post I did at the time including videos to watch on IE9 development).

The developers and designers present were in general impressed with the progress we were making with IE9. Way faster than IE8, far better standards support, focus on being great at HTML5 etc. IE9 is big news. Seriously big news. Its existence (once finally released) will significantly change how developers will build rich UX for the web, especially the web “outside the firewall”.  However Platform Preview 2 still was missing several key features which prevented a number of sites we tried out during the two days at the conference from rendering/working correctly – and just about everyone asked “will we implement canvas?”

The good news is yesterday we released Platform Preview 3 which adds a bunch of those features along with some great demos to show them off. You can install Preview 3 now alongside IE7/8 and check out the demos yourself. They are very impressive – my personal favourite being 250 gpu accelerated fish at near 60fps using <canvas>:


But others such as Amazon Book Shelf come a close second:


Related Links:

Internet Explorer 9 Preview 2 link + webcasts for developers

Note: Cross posted from IUpdateable from Eric Nelson.


At Web Directions last week in London (10th and 11th June 2010) I promised several folks I would put up a blog post to more information on IE 9. True to my word (albeit a little later than I had hoped), here is what I was thinking of:


First up, Install Preview 2 and try out the demos I was showing at the conference. Remember that IE9 Preview installs side by side with IE8/7 etc. It is not a beta nor is it intended to be a full browser. It is a … preview 🙂


Including good old SVG-oids 🙂



And then check out the following webcasts which were recorded in March this year at MIX:

In-Depth Look At Internet Explorer 9

High Performance Best Practices For Web Sites

HTML5: Cross Browser Best Practices

Internet Explorer Developer Tools

SVG: The Past, Present And Future of Vector Graphics For The Web

Day 2 Keynote containing IE9