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

Great (none Windows 8 Metro) example of “content before chrome”and “swipe with mouse”


One of the principles of Metro design style is "content before chrome". This is the idea that less is more and that only the most relevant elements should be on screen. In practice this means a lot of navigation/commands are not present until needed. On a tablet a swipe of the finger temporarily overlays the chrome onto the content. For example:

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This week I was searching for a digital tv app to use on my Windows 8 laptop and came across http://www.progdvb.com/. I’ve been using it happily on and off in this default mode:

Chrome is winning:

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Note there is plenty of chrome yet all I want to do 99% of the time is watch the tv stream and the navigation and play controls are simply “noise”.

Then yesterday I realised there was a TV Window mode which I was far happier with.

Content is winning:

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But just now I realised the developers of progdvb have really done themselves proud. Long before Metro came up with swiping to reveal chrome, they did it with the mouse. If you “swipe the mouse” (a term i just made up!) across an edge, then the relevant chrome appears. Very, very nice.

From the right:

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From the left:

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From the top:

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From the bottom:

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Related Links:

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:

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)

Windows 8 Tablets… what I’ve spotted so far


We all would love to see the list of Windows 8 tablet machines…but for the moment the OEMs are largely keeping their powder dry.

However I have pulled together what I have spotted so far … which is certainly enough to keep me excited 🙂 Be warned … some are simply rumours!

In date order:

September 2011: Samsung Windows 8 Developer Preview

The “Build tablet” reviewed on techradar.

January: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga “multi-position notebook” aka notebook/tablet

This sweet looking machine was unveiled in January 2012. I’m currently using a Lenovo W520 and rate Lenovo machines highly.

This one comes in at 3.1 pounds with 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD. Read more on tom’s guide and on Wikipedia

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February: Windows 8 Consumer Preview event

Included the Samsung preview slate from Build, Lenovo U300 (not a tablet) and devices from Texas Instruments and Qualcomm

Watch the video where we showed off some of the hardware.

Read coverage of the event.

April 16th: Intel Cove Point Ultrabook-Tablet Hybrid

12.5-inch screen, two USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port

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Photos Intel

They also showed this interesting take on Windows 8.

From this:

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To this when you close the lid. Yes… that is Windows 8 peaking out underneath:

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Read more on Wired.

Go 1:10 into the video

April 27th: HP Tablet Rumour

Rumour reported on zdnet/neowin of a HP 10.1 inch tablet with  8 to 10 hours of battery and slightly thinner than an iPad.

Read more on zdnet.

May 15th: Windows 8 Ultrabook Intel reference design

Nothing new from April above but you can read more on engadget.

May 24th: Dell Tablet Rumour

Rumour reported on neowin of a 10.1inch tablet, 2GB RAM and  running Intel Clover Trail Atom Dual Core with up to 12 hours of battery life.

Read more on neowin.

Installing Windows 8 Metro Applications without needing to download from the store


As a consumer you would use the Windows 8 Store to get an application onto Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

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The store is a great way to discover, try, buy (optional) and update applications.

But… if you are an Enterprise looking to get Metro applications onto your employees Windows 8 desktops then you will likely want to do it more directly.

Which is where “sideloading” fits in.

Technet has detailed documentation on Windows 8 Sideloading to add and remove line-of-business (LOB) Metro style apps

In brief:

  • App must be cryptographically signed
  • App can only be installed on a computer that trusts the signing certificate
  • Group Policy must have the Allow all trusted applications to install setting.
  • Computer must be domain joined to run the app (not needed for install)

At which point installing an app is as simple as

add-appxpackage C:\app1.appx

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.
Miscellaneous
Windows-Space Switch input language and keyboard layout. (This is to remind myself how to fix this when I accidentally change it 🙂