Windows 8

Visual Studio 2013 RTM today

Visual Studio 2013 RTM

Visual Studio 2013

The Visual Studio team at Microsoft has been working very hard to release Visual Studio 2013 (and all tools around) on time. S. Somasegar has published this morning at 4 AM (PST) a blog post to announce the online availability of the last version of your favorite IDE. So if you have an MSDN subscription you can download today Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server 2013 from your MSDN Subscription Download page. If you don’t, no need to worry, you can download for free the Express edition of Visual Studio 2013. I have been playing a bit with the RC version and one of the feature I like (besides all the amazing work done by the ASP.NET team) is the possibility to link your Microsoft Account to Visual Studio.

Save the date! On November 13th, Microsoft will host an event for the launch of Visual Studio 2013.

Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2

Today is also the official release of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2. You should be able to download the update for Windows 8.1 directly from the Windows Store. I haven’t done it yet since I have downloaded the full version from my MSDN account, but I’ll try to install it on another computer using this process. Read the official blog post from the Windows team for the release of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Visual Studio 2013 RC and Windows 8.1 RTM

Visual Studio 2013 RC

Visual Studio 2013 RC

A lot of new products this week! From the operating system to the development tools, everybody will have a great weekend, downloading, installing and playing with the new products 🙂 Microsoft has released this week the Release Candidate of Visual Studio 2013 with a Go-Live license. In other words, you can use Visual Studio 2013 RC for production purposes. The RTM version will be released on October 18th. This new version of the development environment brings a lot of new features around the XAML editor, the business applications, TFS… For more information, I invite your to read the post of Somasegar – Announcing the Visual Studio 2013 Release Candidate.

Download Visual Studio 2013 RC.

Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 RC 3

More quietly, Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 RC is also available. This small update will be the last one for Visual Studio 2012 and brings only bug fixes. The RTM is planned for the end of the year and more release candidate are expected. I recommend you not to install this update except if it fix a critical bug that is blocking you.

Download Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 RC 3. And here is the KB that explains what’s new in this update.

Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 are RTM

After all, it seems Microsoft is listening to the partners. Windows 8.1 was not supposed to be released before October 18th to the developers but… today you can connect your MSDN or TechNet account and download Windows 8.1 RTM and Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM. However, be careful because the download does not include an update process from Windows 8.1 Preview. You will have to install all your computer again…

Download Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Get up to $2,000 with your Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps

Keep The Cash

Once again, Microsoft is helping developers to create new application for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. Today, it’s all about ca$h. From March 8th to June 30th 2013, you can get $100 for each new application you publish on the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store, up to 10 per store. Yes, it means you can get up to $2,000 just for building applications, then you’ll make money selling those apps and maybe monetize them using ads. Read this interesting article about how to choose your business model.
Link to the Keep The Cash contest.

Have a look again at the 50 free templates for Windows 8 applications and start building new apps today!

Free Windows 8 Design Templates are coming back soon

Windows 8
Two weeks ago, Microsoft Malaysia published a list of 50 templates to help developers creating applications for Windows 8. The links to the SkyDrive account that was hosting the 500 MB file is down and even all the MSDN blog posts that were talking about it have been deleted by Microsoft or their respective authors. I think the reason of this “black out” is the success of the operation, imagine a lot of people downloading the 500 MB file on only one SkyDrive account.

But as you can see on the web site of Microsoft Malaysia, the templates should come back soon. Microsoft will probably host the file on another platform.

Microsoft Malaysia

Introduction to Windows Azure Mobile Services


Today I would like to write about one of the feature on Windows Azure that was created by the team of Scott Guthrie. This new service, still tagged as a preview in the Azure management console, allows you to make easier your developments for Windows Phone, Windows 8 and even iPhone and Android devices with:

  • Structured storage. You can send and retrieve structured data between your client device and Azure using JSON messages or with the Windows Azure Mobile Services SDK. The backend of this storage is a SQL Server database but you don’t have to take care of it. Windows Store C#, Windows Phone 8, iOS.
  • User authentication. You will be able using a very simple line of code to get your mobile users to authenticate using for example their Microsoft Account or Facebook to access some restricted data or just to be identify by your system. Windows Store C#, Windows Phone 8, iOS.
  • Push notifications. Send a push notification to display a toast or change the tile on the client device has never been easier. With one line of JavaScript embedded on Azure, you can send push notification to all of your users. Windows Store C#, Windows Phone 8, iOS.

Microsoft did an amazing job by creating a lot of content to help developers creating applications using Windows Azure and I’ve linked, for each feature mentioned above, the corresponding tutorial for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 apps or even iOS.

Ok, now that we have the big picture of what is Windows Azure Mobile Services, let’s code a little bit. For one of my project I’m working on, I needed to connect Mobile Services, not from a mobile device but from a Worker Role also hosted on Azure. The main problem is that the Mobile Service SDK is not working for other projects than Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 (in the .NET world). Remember what I said about the Structured storage? You can exchange data using JSON messages. So I’ll use the REST APIs to communicate with my backend.

Continue reading

50 free Windows 8 Design Templates


Microsoft Malaysia has recently published 50 application templates for Windows 8 to help developers to shape their apps for the Windows Store. These templates are ready to publish, in other words, you (almost) just have to open them in Visual Studio, change the name of the application and publish it in the store, that’s as easy. Each package is available in C# and JS/HTML. It’s about 500MB you can download on this SkyDrive.

Here are some samples of what you’ll get in the package:

You don’t have anymore excuse for not trying making applications for Windows 8.

[Update 1/26/2013] It seems the links are down, please look at Free Windows 8 Design Templates are coming back soon.