Nico's digital footprint

I grew up in the nineties, that makes me awesome by default

slides and demo for my WiPhug talk

by Nico

Yesterday I did a talk in the Belgian Windows Phone User Group about beginning XNA development. It was the first time I did a talk in my own user group and I had a great time.

I also learned a very valuable lesson: don't name your Autohotkey snippets the same as your classes. It was quite the hilarious moment when I entered the class name in the "Add File" dialog and hit the Enter key.

Besides that small setback everything went great. The slidedeck and demo (shooting iphones down with a pink magenta Lumia) are zipped up and can be found here.


Tags:

.Net | Devices | WP7 | XNA

My community day session slides and demos are online

by Nico

Yesterday was Community Day, the biggest community driven event in Belgium.

I did a talk there about porting over a Windows Phone 7 app to Windows 8. It was very exciting, I never spoke to such a crowd before, let alone hooked up my portable to a cinema beamer.

The talk itself went pretty well but I did suffer from demo failure, what was really odd since the demo worked perfectly an hour earlier. I researched the error after the talk and it seems that in a Windows 8 Metro app the path to the manifest file is an absolute path for some reason. I suddenly remembered that I moved the solution to another folder right before the talk, so it was my own fault. Reminder to self: never move a folder before doing a talk.

Anyway, it was a great day, I've met some nice people, had fun discussions and attended an App clinic on UI (thanks Lesley for the useful information!). See you next year community day!

Download my slides and demos here.


Tags:

.Net | Metro | MVVM Light | Presenting | Windows 8 | WinRT | WP7 | XAML

What I expect from the WP summit's keynote

by Nico

Tomorrow we will get the first details of the next Windows Phone version. A moment I've been waiting for since the first details of Apollo (the codename for WP8) started showing up. That said, I feel like a kid the evening before Christmas, staring at presents unable to open them or to take a peek inside.

What do I expect from the keynote? I expect announcements concerning new resolutions, multi-core CPU's, private marketplace, IE10, NFC, Wallet, new camera features, swappable SD cards.

Those are the most obvious things and I'm pretty sure that we'll hear about 95% of them tomorrow. Besides this I hope to hear from WP 7.7 or even better, existing devices will get a complete upgrade to WP8.

And let's not forget the dev related stuff, WP8 will run on WinRT, the kernel used in Windows 8, allowing devs to share 99% of apps between Windows Phone, Windows 8 and maybe even Xbox. I also hope for beta SDK availability tomorrow at the event and a release date set at about the same time as Windows 8 (around October). Maybe we'll even get some early access to the Smartglass SDK, that would be a whole lot of epicness.

No matter how it turns out, I'm pretty confident that it will be awesome. I'm already looking forward to using the complete WinRT ecosystem, but even more to developing apps that plug into each and every WinRT client.

I'll be following the livestream with our User Group's board and our friends at Microsoft while enjoying some beer and pizza, so setting is perfect. I'll also be spamming Twitter, so keep an eye on it there.

BEWARE: everything I talked about in this post is my own opinion, I have no knowledge of what effectively will be shown at tomorrow's keynote.


Tags:

WP7 | WP8 | XAML | WinRT

Will Microsoft pull a hattrick?

by Nico

Microsoft has had a busy week and currently is the topic on social media. How come? Well for starters at their E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) they announced SmartGlass, a technology that connects the devices throughout your home. You can, for example, start watching a movie on your phone on your way home, keep watching it on your television by using your Xbox360 and then finish it on your tablet when your wife wants to see her favorite soap opera. And the best part of this? It will all be free, it’s just an app on your phone, tablet and/or xbox. It will even be available on iOS and Android. That’s right! Microsoft is supporting the competition now, although it’s pretty safe to assume that the Windows ecosystem will have some extra features compared to Google and Apple.

So pretty impressive start of the week for Microsoft, techies around the world (myself definitely included) were pretty excited about this announcement. Skip ahead a few days later, today on Thursday 7th of June Microsoft announced the next version of Windows Azure, their cloud based platform. And what an announcement it was! Scott “The Gu” Guthrie showed off some of the new features and the world saw that it was good. Azure will include features like Caching, Media Services, Virtual Machines and Websites. You will be able to setup a virtual machine locally and upload the VHD to the cloud, and it doesn’t even have to run a Microsoft operating system. Azure now has support for Linux virtual machines. They have a partnership with Suse and Ubuntu to offer you the server versions of their OS with all the scalability features that a Cloud OS should have. Next to that you can soon host your blog in the Cloud with a free website subscription (free as in free for a year, definitive pricing isn’t known yet). This feature has support for PHP and ASP.net obviously but Azure now brings support for Python as well. Oh and on a “small” sidenote: you can use MySQL now for your Azure apps. There’s a lot more announced for Azure today, just take a look at the keynote or read the blogs from the various Azure MVP’s. Or just search for #meetazure on Twitter but prepare to have your mind blown.

So that’s two days that Microsoft succeeded in actually announcing spectacular technologies, social media is exploding in awe, screaming that Microsoft is finally doing it right. I really agree with this. Datacenters and webhosting companies will have a difficult time competing against the Azure system. Even vmWare and Amazon AWS are facing dark times. In my opinion, Microsoft has officially won the war for the living room with SmartGlass and the war for the cloud with Azure vNext.

So what remains then? The war for the mobile world obviously. At the moment this war is being fought by Apple and Google, ammo mostly being patents. But on June 20th the WP7 summit will start, the keynote will be live streamed just like Azure’s keynote today. So if you put 2 and 2 together, it’s pretty obvious that MS will be announcing WP8 end of this month. If all the rumours about WP8 prove to be true they will effectively surprise the big audience a third time in one month, thus pulling a hattrick.

And how I hope they do! It’s long overdue that they succeed in changing their image from a monster company only interested in money. That was maybe true years ago, but to me they now are a company that dares to innovate, Windows 8 is the biggest proof of that. And they actually listen to their users while supporting the open source scene. Who would’ve thought that of the big bad Microsoft?

To wrap things up, I really like where they are going with all this. I enjoy Windows 8 a lot these days, I’m impressed by both SmartGlass and Azure and I’m eagerly awaiting Windows Phone 8. You’re doing great Microsoft, keep it up!


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About the author

Hi,

My name is Nico, I’m an MVP Windows Platform Development living in Belgium.
I’m currently employed as a .NET consultant at RealDolmen, one of Belgium’s leading IT single source providers.

I'm also founding member and board member of the Belgian Metro App Developer Network, a user group focussed on Windows 8 and Windows Phone development. If you're in Belgium feel free to drop by if we're doing an event. http://www.madn.be

Since June 2012 I'm a proud member of Microsoft's Extended Experts Team Belgium. And in February 2013 I became a member of DZone's Most Valuable Bloggers family.

In 2013 I became a book author and wrote "Windows 8 app projects, XAML & C# edition".

In 2014 I received the MVP award for the very first time.

I hope to get feedback from my readers either through comments, mail (nico_vermeir@hotmail.com), twitter, facebook, …

 

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