Friday, November 23, 2012

Win8 vs Android

Android and iOS have many advantages over Windows Phone 8, but perhaps the biggest is the length of time they’ve been available. The first Android-powered handset – the T-Mobile G1 – came out in 2008 and Apple’s first 2G iPhone landed in 2007. Since then both platforms have evolved significantly.

Windows Phone, by comparison, is a newbie and is still very much finding its feet within the space. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as it’s always good to have new ways of doing things. But it does pose problems for certain types of users invested in other platforms.

Coming from Android 4.2 to Windows Phone 8 was an odd experience, almost like stepping back in time. On the surface Windows Phone 8 looks ultra-modern and fresh. The UI is snappy and navigating around the phone is simple. Few key points are:

  • Microsoft’s vision for how you interact with a mobile device is also very bold, it dares to try something new – and that’s highly commendable
  • Microsoft’s SkyDrive is thoroughly excellent, offering all the functionality of Dropbox and top-notch syncing between mobile, desktop, and tablet, which is great
  • It looks pretty, has lots of cool things like the People hub, which aggregates all your social feeds into one place, and it powers some of the best hardware
  •  Xbox Music, which is by far the best music service available on any platform, absolutely wiping the floor with iTunes and Google Music in my opinion.

Perhaps Windows Phone is best viewed by someone who's never used iOS or Android. It’ll be interesting to see how Windows Phone stacks up against RIM’s BlackBerry 10 platform, which is scheduled to launch on January 30. 2013 will be an interesting year for both companies

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Windows8 Phone Skydrive

Microsoft has a bunch of new developer tools related to its SkyDrive file-sharing and cloud storage service, including new software development kits for .NET and Windows Phone 8.

The new SDKs for the .NET software framework for Windows and the recently released Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system are available for download at Microsoft's own developer portal or via NuGet for Visual Studio projects, the company said in a blog post announcing their availability.

The .NET SDK comes in both a client and server version, providing a .NET library for client desktop apps as well as for ASP.NET applications, Microsoft said, adding that "[w]ith this release you can now create applications that target traditional desktop scenarios and as well as server side scenarios."

Along with the Windows Phone 8 SDK, the devkit for .NET allows developers to build SkyDrive functionality into their apps and programs. For example, with the client version of the .NET SDK, developers can now create WPF, Windows Form or console applications that let your users use their SkyDrive data.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Windows8 Chief Resigns

Barely two weeks after playing a prominent role in Microsoft's launch of Windows 8 and the Surface tablet, Redmond veteran Steven Sinofsky is out as head of the Windows Division, effective immediately.

Sinofsky, who led development and marketing of Microsoft's flagship product for more than three years, joined the company as a software design engineer in July 1989. His departure, announced late Monday, was abrupt and took the tech and business worlds by surprise

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer addressed Sinofsky's departure in a company statement, describing the move as a "leadership change" without explaining why such a prominent and out-front executive was leaving the company so soon after the roll out of its biggest new product in years.

"I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company. The products and services we have delivered to the market in the past few months mark the launch of a new era at Microsoft," Ballmer said.

Sinofsky took over the Windows Division in July 2009 after more than a decade contributing to and leading the development of Microsoft's Office products. He was also heavily involved in recruiting talent to the Redmond-based company over the years.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Windows 8 Phone

With Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Windows Azure, developers using Visual Studio 2012 can build experiences that span the Windows ecosystem, from desktops to laptops to tablets to smartphones to the cloud.  And with that in mind, today’s release of the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 enables some exciting new capabilities for developers, such as using C++ and DirectX to build stunning experiences, enabling in-app purchases to sell virtual and digital good within apps, helping developers to streamline their efforts with the advances in Visual Studio 2012 and .NET, and more.

The Windows Phone SDK 8.0 works with the Visual Studio 2012 and enables you to get started today building great apps for both Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.x.  It includes emulators for both environments, including the ability to validate for multiple chassis, and support for simulating various network conditions (e.g. ‘2G’, ‘3G’).  It includes new templates for developing Windows Phone apps, such as for building apps with Direct3D, and it sports enhanced diagnostics for analyzing apps, such as power and network profiling and responsiveness monitoring.  It enables building native apps as well as building managed apps that consume native libraries.  It enables much easier portability between Windows 8 apps and Windows Phone 8 apps.  It includes .NET portable library support, so you can write your libraries once and reuse them across all your apps. The list goes on.