Laurent Duveau

Windows 8 all in! (WP8 & Azure too...)

  • Speaker Idol Montréal

    C’est le grand retour du concours Speaker Idol de la Communauté .NET Montréal!!!

    Pour le dernier meeting de l'année nous vous invitons à venir présenter votre techno préférée, votre librairie fétiche, votre projet open source innovateur ou tout autre sujet touchant le développement logiciel.  En fait, le choix de la techno n'est pas si important, ce qui l'est c'est de gagner de l'expérience pour présenter un sujet technique.  C'est un "soft skill" qui est primordial dans le développement de votre carrière.  En effet, vous aurez à faire des présentations à des clients ou à vos patrons. Une présentation bâclée ou mal présentée peut être un frein à un projet, une vente ou même une promotion.

    > Rappelez-vous que ce qui sera jugé est votre présentation et non la techno que vous présentez.

     

    L’aventure vous tente ?

    Nous vous suggérons de visionner la formation Plurasight gratuite "Get Involved" de Scott Hanselman et Jeff Attwood: http://getinvolved.hanselman.com

    Ainsi que:

    Prix* à gagner pour les présentateurs:

    • 1 Xbox One*!!
    • 1 certificat* pour formation gratuite au choix chez Intertech.com
    • 1 licence* Telerik DevCraft Complete
    • 1 licence* Jetbrains au choix (dont resharper)
    • 1 licence* Mindscape au choix (sauf MegaPack)
    • 2 licences* de Cerebrata Azure Management Studio

    *Les prix (sauf la XBox One) sont des gracieusetés des fabricants.  Sans aucun engagement de la part de la Communauté .NET.

    Informations sur le concours

    Présentation de 10 minutes: en français ou en anglais, avec support visuel comme un PowerPoint et du code.
    Attention, 10 minutes c'est très court pour les démos en direct.  Assurez-vous d'introduire votre sujet, d'expliquer la problématique qu'il essaie de régler, de le démontrer et de conclure/résumer à la fin.  Et le tout en seulement 10 minutes!  Oui c'est un gros défi alors assurez-vous de vous concentrer sur l'essentiel et le message que vous voulez passer.

    Une première présentation en publique: Le concours est ouvert uniquement aux personnes qui n'ont jamais fait de présentation technique dans un user group ou une conférence.

    Date limite: Vous avez jusqu'au lundi 26 mai 23h59 pour soumettre votre candidature. Veuillez envoyer une brève description (200 mots max.) de votre présentation ainsi que votre bio à info@dotnetmontreal.com

    Nombre maximum de participants: Parmi les candidatures reçus, les 8 meilleures seront choisies pour présenter. L'annonce des candidatures retenues sera faite le vendredi 30 mai.

    L'ordre des présentations: En ordre alphabétique des noms de famille.

    Panel d'expert: Après chaque présentation un panel d'expert va donner un retour aux participants basé sur

    • Maitrise du sujet
    • Qualité de la présentation
    • Aptitude à faire passer votre message
    • Qualité du PowerPoint

    Important: les experts sont là pour vous aider à vous améliorer en vous donnant des conseils.

    Ce qui va être fourni: Un laptop avec les plus récents outils Visual Studio et SQL Server Express.  Si vous avez besoin d'outils particuliers veuillez apporter votre propre laptop.

    Ce que vous devez amener: Dans tous les cas assurez vous d'avoir une clé USB avec votre présentation PowerPoint et votre code.

    Vote du publique: À la fin de la soirée le publique dans la salle vont voter et des prix seront remis aux meilleures présentations (1 par participant, voir la liste ci-haut).

    Le gagnant aura la possibilité de faire une présentation complète d'une heure la prochaine saison.

  • Windows Phone Coding Day in Montreal!

     

    This is going to be fun, and I know for sure that lot’s of great folks from the WP community will be there:
    Atley Hunter, Sébastien Lachance, Matthieu Guyonnet-Duluc, Christian Hissibini, Tom Walker, Peter Henry, John Marshall, …

     

    What: Full day workshop on Windows Phone apps development (bring your laptop!)

    When: Saturday May 3, 2014

    Where: Microsoft Montreal office

    Cost: free, and you’ll leave with plenty of goodies!


    Registration:
    http://wpcodemtl.eventbrite.com

     

    See you there!

  • Beyond Tiles Workshop II, back to Montreal!

     

    Really glad that more XAML events comes to Montreal:

    Beyond Tiles Design Integration Workshop Tour in Canada

    “Join us again in this second wave of the Beyond Tiles Workshop and learn advanced design integration techniques to produce pixel perfect Windows and Windows Phone user interfaces. Replicate the original vision of designers with fidelity by following best practices as implemented by the Windows Phone design studio and leading agencies in the Microsoft ecosystem.”
     
    Previous experience developing Windows and/or Windows Phone apps is required.

    What can I Expect?

    In this hands-on workshop you will be able to explore the process of taking a set of high fidelity comps provided by a designer and translate those to Blend and Visual Studio with pixel perfection quality. You will learn techniques for exporting vector and bitmap assets from Expression Design into Blend and to define the right layout panels to host your UI. You will also learn how to skin controls and design lists. The goal is to achieve perfection when translating comps to UI. You should already be familiar with Blend, Visual Studio and XAML in general

    What will I Achieve?

    In the morning you will learn different Design Integration techniques with the help of a couple design experts. In the afternoon you will put this learning to the test with a hands on workshop where you will be provided with a couple UIs for Windows and Windows Phone. You will then take these UIs and turn them into high fidelity UIs in Blend – all with XAML.

    What Should I Bring?

    This is a workshop: bring your laptop! You will need Expression Design (download for free at www.microsoft.com/expression) and Visual Studio with both Windows and Windows Phone SDKs. When installing Visual Studio make sure Blend for Visual Studio is also installed. If you need a free version of Visual Studio you can download and install from here: http://www.visualstudio.com/downloads/download-visual-studio-vs (install both Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows and Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone).

    How much does it cost?

    This is a complimentary event‚ specifically offered to support the Canadian design and developer community.

     

    More info and registration (Montreal):

    https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032586215&Culture=en-CA&community=0

     

    See you there!

  • Productivity enhancements with Windows Phone 8.1

    Windows Phone 8.1 has been released for developers, and will be available for all soon.

    Of course you can already find great in detail reviews of Windows Phone 8.1:
    http://www.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-81-review

    or this nice video tour of its new features:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4Bygaqp3Wk&feature=share

     

    Here I want to focus on the new features that help me boost my productivity since I installed the update on my phone.

     

    Settings

    • “Show more Tiles” (now for non 1080p phones) increase tiles density on your start screen, more tiles = more tasks done quickly.
    • “Sync my settings” across devices, particularly interesting in IE where you can see tabs opened in your other devices.
    • “Project my screen” (TV, PC, projetor), this feature *will* allow you to mirror your screen to an external display, wirelessly using Miracast technology and *new* WP8.1 hardware, or via USB but we need to wait for the desktop app to be released by MS first. So it is not there yet, but it sure will be an excellent business feature.

     

    Action Center

    • The long awaited feature, now on your Windows Phone! All your notifications in one place: essential.
    • Action center is also available under Lock screen! Yes, just swipe down on your lock screen, even if PIN protected.

     

    Calendar

    • "This week" view is a very nice addition, I already can’t live without it!
    • Also includes weather info for each day, perfect to schedule your next activities and movements.

     

    Keyboard

     

    Phone

    • "Speed Dial", quickly call your favorites contacts.
    • Pin both "Battery Saver" and "Storage Sense" to your Start screen, they both are now separate apps which can be pinned with Live tiles, showing actual battery usage and storage info! Battery Saver also shows running background tasks, perfect to efficiently find the culprit if an app drains your battery!
    • Mute SMS message threads (no more notifications and Live Tile updates for this thread), go into the message thread you want to mute, check out more options at the bottom of the screen, and tap on mute thread. Also, note that a setting allows you to automatically mute messages during quiet hours (which is automatically activated while you are on a meeting or via different options you can set).

     

    Cortana

    Cortana, the new personal digital assistant, is truly amazing to organize your busy life!!

    It is beta and USA only for now, but you can get it if you set both your region and language to english United States.

    You can open Cortana with the search hardware button, an try questions like:

    • "What's my schedule like tomorrow ?"
    • "Set up an apointment with Joe Black tomorrow at 11am"
    • "Directions to the nearest pizza restaurant"
    • "Track United Airlines flight 250"

    And much, much more… watch this video to learn more about its features and see it in action:

  • Azure User Group meeting in Montreal

     

    If you are an ASP.NET dev and still wondering about Azure, the cloud offering from Microsoft, this is a presentation you don’t want to miss!!

     

    “Top Azure features every ASP.NET developer should know about”
    This meeting will be presented by Bill Wilder, MVP Azure from Boston, USA.

     

    When: Monday, April 28, 2014
    Where: Microsoft Montreal office (2000 McGill College, 4th floor, Montreal, QC)
    Cost: Free for existing members, 5$ for visitors

     

    To RSVP, visit http://www.meetup.com/dotnetmontreal/events/135071842/

  • Problem after installing Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC

    Since I installed Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC last week I keep getting the following error message while opening an existing solution:

     

    Problem:

    The 'Microsoft.VisualStudio.Editor.Implementation.EditorPackage' package did not load correctly.

     

    Easy Fix:

    Remove %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\12.0\ComponentModelCache and restart Visual Studio 2013.

     

    Happy coding!

  • Windows 8.1 Update 1

    Windows 8.1 Update 1 has been announced last week at Microsoft Build 2014 conference.

    It is free and already available for MSDN subscribers, and for everybody else on April 8th via Windows Update.

     

    This update is mainly for mouse and keyboard users.

    Microsoft finally realized that pushing touch features to everybody was definitely not a good choice, and lead to the low Windows 8 adoption that we all know.

    This update is what Windows 8 should have been since day 1, and it would have help with adoption for sure.

    The fact is 90% of people don’t have a touch PC (and probably don’t care about touch) so migrating to Windows 8 has been very painful for them, if ever considered.

    Anyway this is a good thing, 2 updates later and MS is finally doing it right with Windows 8!

     

    Some of the new features of Windows 8 Update 1:

    • Boot to Desktop: it was introduced by Windows 8.1, but it is now the default for non touch systems (staring at the obvious… )
    • Power and Search Buttons on Start (Ok now I am not ashamed anymore to show someone how to shutdown a Win8 PC… going to settings menu to shutdown a PC… WTF!!??)
    • Modern Apps on the Taskbar (more integration and coherence between desktop and modern apps, good thing)
    • Desktop clicks don't open modern apps anymore (I was so tired of this…)
    • Title Bars for modern apps, with minimize and close buttons.

    All in all I am *very* happy with this update for my laptop, where I never really use modern apps.

    In the opposite, I really enjoy Modern Apps on my touch devices and Surface.

    Starting with this update I think the dual mode of Windows 8 really works.

     

    Scott Hanselman did an awesome quick video walk-through of the new features of Windows 8.1 Update 1:

  • BUILD 2014 day 2 Keynote recap

    Notable announcements of day 2


    Microsoft Azure (some of the new features…)

    • Awesome new Azure portal (preview today) with customizable new dashboard, Online service and Application Insights integration, …
    • Staging server with single click swap for production deployment
    • Create/manage Azure Virtual machines directly in Visual Studio, including support for remote debugging (allow you to attach the local debugger to processes running on the VM)
    • Azure Web Sites
      • SSL certificates free for all web sites!
      • Support for Java
      • Autoscale
      • Traffic Manager
      • Backup
    • SQL Databases
      • Self-service restore with daily automatic backups (up to 31 days)
      • Max size is now 500 GB (up from 150 GB)
      • Active geo replication
    • Mobile Services
      • Notification Hub with push notifications to any mobile device including Kindle now
      • Office 365 integration with Active Directory support
      • Offline data synchronization
      • Remote debugging

    Open Source

    • Roslyn, the .NET compiler platform, is now an open source project on CodePlex! (good for Xamarin!)
    • New broader initiative called .NET Foundation to showcase the multiple .NET components available as open source (24 .NET open source projects so far)

     

    Note: I had never before seen so many iOS, Android and Java logos in a MS conference… and it’s a good sign! MS is now a cloud + services company. Even John Gruber appeared in a promo video during the keynote.

     

    Watch the entire keynote online:
    http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2014/KEY02

    Read the official press release:
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/events/build/

  • BUILD 2014 day 1 Keynote recap

    build

    Notable announcements of day 1

    Universal apps

    • New model in VS2013 update 2 to create apps for both Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1, and later Xbox One as well (so “Universal” in the terms of Windows…)
    • So today you can create an app that shares XAML, C#/C++, Javascript code across your Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 projects.
    • A new touch version of Office is being written as an universal app
    • “Shared app identities” allows users to purchase an app once and use it on Windows and Phone!

    Windows 8.1 Update

    • Series of enhancements for better mouse/keyboard integration with Metro and the desktop (at last!!)
    • Default boot to desktop mode for non touch systems!
    • Desktop: Pin Windows Store apps to the taskbar, right-click context menus, …
    • Start menu is back with vengeance and tiles support!
    • Windows free for 9” and less screen devices!

    Windows Phone 8.1

    • Cortana (beta): new digital personal assistant for WP8.1, replacing the bing search button (good riddance!!)
    • More customizable lock screen + API
    • Action Center, a pull down notification bar that allows quick access to app info and settings
    • Support for multi-sim phones
    • New workflow keyboard with swipe interface
    • Support for Bluetooth LE (i.e. Fitbit)
    • New Nokia devices: Lumia 630 (with on-screen buttons) and Lumia 930

    The 15 minutes mandatory video!

    Introducing Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update

     

    Watch the entire keynote online:
    http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2014/KEY01

    Read the official press release:
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/events/build/

  • My BUILD 2014 Schedule

    As you probably know, Build conference starts tomorrow and I have 18 sessions in my schedule, it’s gonna be a fun week!!!

    If like me you’re passionate about XAML, Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Store App development, I have curated this list of sessions just for you (and me…):

    Let the fun begin!