April 2011 - Posts

[via Guy Barrette]

Windows Azure

Intrigued by Windows Azure ?

Try it free with a 30 day pass that does not require a credit card.

Go to http://windowsazurepass.com/ and use Canada as you country and CDNDEVS as the promo code.

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silverlight 5I’ll be doing an Advanced Silverlight training in Québec city later in May.

>> This course will be taught in French * <<

  • What: Silverlight Advanced training
  • When: May 10-11 (2 days)
  • Where: Québec, Qc
  • Registration/info: http://www.runatserver.com/Trainings.aspx#3

    Also note that we offer a free license of Telerik's RadControls for Silverlight to every attendee ($999 value)!!
    For more information on RadControls, visit:

    * We do english class as well… check our website!

  • Posted by pluginbaby | with no comments

    This morning I was just wondering why Microsoft does not have “intro videos” like Google has…

    And bam, here is a nice introduction to Windows Azure in a 4 min video:



    Well done, now I would need one to explain me Office365…

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    Windows Azure cloud

    Jump into Azure!

    Are you a developer and want to dive into the Microsoft cloud computing platform (Windows Azure) ?
    Already installed the Windows Azure SDK and Visual Studio Tools, now you are ready to start?

    You should try these resources (+ this might be a good start for the Azure Install Fest in Montreal)

    If you want more (much more!) try this awesome blog post by Cory Fowler:


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    The Montreal .NET Community is organizing a free AzureFest in Montreal. The goal is to help you with the very first steps: create your Azure account, understand the services (Windows Azure, SQL Azure, …), upload your first project in the cloud!

    • What: AzureFest Montreal + free pizzas and free WIFI!
    • When: Tuesday May 17 from 6pm to 9pm (pizza at 5:30pm)
    • Where: Microsoft Canada, 2000 McGill College, Montreal (Quebec)

    > More info (in french) and registration:

    See you there, bring your laptop, I’ll bring some cool prizes!

    Windows AzureSQL AzureWindows Azure AppFabric

    Posted by pluginbaby | with no comments

    Last week I was in Las Vegas for the Microsoft MIX conference.

    I was hesitant to go there but at the last minute I decided to attend. Finally I don’t regret it as I needed the latest information on Microsoft clients stack (moving) strategy, especially curious to listen how Microsoft articulate his message on HTML5, and what people think about it (+ I went to several interesting RDs meetings as well). As expected this was a huge HTML5 tidal wave. So I was there to contemplate the wind change for Silverlight, a process already started a few times ago:

    • The “Muglia gate” at the last PDC: the misinterpreted message “Our Silverlight strategy and focus going forward has shifted”.
    • This message was consolidated and confirmed as accurate a few days later. In case people still had confusion…
    • Then there was this post on the Silverlight Team blog, signed by 3 MS VPs a few days before MIX11, which I interpret as “we are not going to focus on Silverlight at MIX11, it will be a massive HTML5 show but please don’t freak out, we continue to push forward on Silverlight for some key scenarios.”

    Silverlight presence during keynotes was insignificant

    even Kinect got more attention… and this is not a web technology…

    For the first time in 6 years Silverlight was not shown in the first Keynote at MIX. In fact, it was barely shown at the second Keynote… Silverlight 5 got only 20 minutes of attention, including 10 min on the BlueAngels website done with… HTML5. So here we are.. Silverlight 5 was shown as a media technology, on a public facing web site. The exact opposite of what the consensus is beginning to believe: Silverlight is for LOB applications, HTML 5 is for public web site. Then we had a demo on the new 3D API, which is pretty solid but again… no focus on business apps here.

    But the lack of Silverlight emphasis at MIX can be explained reasonably:

    • Silverlight is now a mature technology, there was many more new features to announce for Windows Phone… and Windows Phone is… Silverlight!
    • All Silverlight 5 new features were already announced and demoed during a dedicated event, FireStarter back in December (just 5 months ago). Since then the team has been busy working to release the public beta, which is great.

    Having said that, I hated the first part of day 1 keynote, and not because of the absence of Silverlight. I found the “native HTML5” message very disturbing, it does not make any sense to me. HTML is everything except platform native! Microsoft trying to sell “Web = HTML5 = Windows” is pretty ridiculous.

    Silverlight is not dead

    it is funny that as soon as a technology is not shown at a Microsoft technical conference people think it is dead. What we see is Silverlight taking the back seat. It is no more the diva, but it is not being killed. I am sure Silverlight is still playing an important role in Microsoft strategy, but not like we thought at first. This might be difficult to admit for people (like me) who have invested lots of energy (even their whole business) on Silverlight, but think about this: the initial message "Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform implementation of the .NET Framework for building media experiences and rich interactive applications for the web" is no more. 5 or 6 years ago when Microsoft started working on SL they couldn’t have predicted all the changes that happened in the way we consume technologies. Nobody could. Data and apps are moving to so many devices (Mobiles, Tablets, TV, …). iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, … Silverlight is not there, and will probably never be. So Silverlight is not a Silverlight bullet, Microsoft realize it (and it’s a good thing!), and decide to embrace HTML5. while it is time. True cross-platform is for HTML5, Microsoft needs to be on that front too (whatever you think of HTML5 today: no tooling, not mature, …). I agree their marketing message could be a lot better. The way they talk to developers currently is a total mess. From the first keynote we know that the IE team wants Silverlight dead. period. Dean Hachamovitch declared that browsers should read the web without plugins. In the mean time Silverlight team has done an incredible work to deliver this solid release full of incredible features! I guess we have to deal with Microsoft having multiple heads going to different directions.


    Silverlight future?

    I see Silverlight going back to where it comes from: WPF! which is ironic… Rich browser experiences are moving toward HTML5. Silverlight is strong and shine for real integrated desktop apps. Silverlight 5 features bring awesome stuff for enterprise apps: elevated trust in browser, vector printing, P/Invoke, unrestricted file access, multiple windows… Silverlight is loosing its “cross platform” promise from its initial headline. The “reach” is now an HTML5 job. The key point here is to not compare Silverlight and HTML5. You won’t use both technologies for the same goal. I really don’t want to compare tooling, productivity or performance, as a .NET developer, see Silverlight and HTML5 as 2 options part of your tool belt. Know the differences and best choice for your project.

    And this changes nothing for me. Talking to my customers or while teaching courses, I have always promoted Silverlight for platform business app, not really for public web sites. I (and my company) have built tons of Silverlight apps, among them 1% media and 99% LOB apps. Even now with all the hype and momentum on HTML5, we would rebuild the same apps with Silverlight. But we would for sure consider HTML5 for web sites. Anyway if you are a web developer it would be silly not to consider HTML5 => this is the web! Ignoring HTML5 would be a mistake. But the time you invested in XAML is not lost either.

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    This week I was invited at the Visual Studio Talk Show, a french .NET podcast, to chat with hosts Mario and Guy about the main announcements (HTML5, Silverlight 5, Windows Phone 7, IE10, Kinect, …) made at MIX this year, so in case you need a recap...

    Les nouveautés de la conférence MIX 2011:

    Posted by pluginbaby | with no comments

    If you are in Montreal area, you may be interested in this informal meeting organized by Microsoft:

    ”Coffee And Code” MS community gathering

    1245 Rue Drummond
    coin Sainte-Catherine ouest
    Montreal, Canada H3C 1V8

    Friday April, 29
    1pm to 5pm

    You can see the event and register on Facebook:


    See you there!

    Posted by pluginbaby | with no comments

    Check out this free Silverlight tool to filter and mass download your selection of MIX sessions:


    You’ll get a .bat file, then you need to install wget before downloading content, read more here:


    Note: you can watch or download sessions free from the official site as well, but you will find this tool pretty convenient.

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    On Monday I did a “Back from MIX” presentation (in french) at the Montreal .NET Community with my co-worker Justin.
    It was great and I did my best to articulate the message from Microsoft at MIX, which is a task much harder than you would think (huge difference between both keynotes, and what MS is doing with HTML5…), so I tried to question and make people think by themselves.


    Download the slides (french)



    We Love Windows Phone fan-video

    MIX sessions and keynotes

    Silverlight 5 beta

    Silverlight 5 Augmented Reality demo

    Silverlight 5 3D

    HTML5 samples

    IE10 tests


    VS2010 ASP.NET MVC3 Tools update

    Kinect Sdk (spring 2011):


    Project NAVI (Navigational Aids for the Visually Impaired)

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