Tag Archives: windows8

BUILD: getting ready !

This blog post is part of my BUILD series.

The BUILD conference is now only a few days away and we’re all looking forward next week for the keynote! Remember that even though you’re not coming to Anaheim, you’ll be able to follow the keynote live from the www.buildwindows.com website.

In this post, I’ll like to share a couple of interesting links on Windows 8 and the development story coming with it.

Introducing Windows 8

On June 1st, Microsoft did the very first demonstration of the next generation of Windows, internally code-named “Windows 8” (press paper here – YouTube video is available here). The only information related to the development platform was all about HMTL5 (“Web-connected and Web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript that have access to the full power of the PC”). At this point, Microsoft also demonstrated Windows 8 running on an ARM platform.

Revealing Windows 8 features

Late August, Steven Sinofsky, the president of the Windows division started a new blog on MSDN named Building Windows 8. This blog is similar to the one created for Windows 7. The goal is to start a dialog between the Windows team and the rest of the world.

What have been shared so far:

  • the copy/paste experience has been improved (details here)
  • ability to use ISO and VHD directly from Windows (details here)
  • USB 3.0 support (details here)
  • Hyper-V will be part of the client version of Windows 8 (details here)
  • ribbon in Windows Explorer (details here)
  • the Metro UI (as shown in the previous image) will be available side by side the standard desktop Windows. The classic desktop Window is “just another app”.

The last point is particularly important because it show Microsoft is taking a different approach to go to the tablet world. Rather than having a particular OS (limited to tablet related tasks) they choose to offer a completely new UI (based on Metro) AND the full power of the classic desktop OS.

HTML5 and a new UI platform

Without any doubt HTML5 will play a big role in Windows 8. We can expect a new set of tools (maybe an evolution of Expression Blend ?) and libraries to leverage HTML5. Joe Marini (Principal Program Manager at Microsoft for the Web platform on Windows Phone) wrote this on Twitter: “Imagine being able to use standard HTML5/CSS/JS while using platform-specific integration with familiar progressive enhancement techniques.”

Even though we know HTML5 will be a new option for software developer in Windows 8, it will not be the only option. On June 20th, Microsoft splits up its XAML team and they created 3 teams:

  • one team working on XAML for Windows
  • one team working on XAML for Windows Phone and XBox
  • one team working on XAML tools

From this change, we can learn at least 3 things

  • XAML will play a big role in Windows 8
  • XAML will soon be available on XBox
  • XAML will probably be available to native developers (Windows team is mainly using native code)

This is probably enough for stopping the “WPF, Silverlight and XAML technologies are dead” discussion. Moreover, a couple of months ago, we started to see various (unofficial) references to a new UI platform codenamed Jupiter.

We’re not sure what Jupiter is, but Mary-Jo Foley described it as: “a new user interface (UI) library for Windows, built alongside Windows 8. It will be a thin XAML/UI layer on top of Windows application programming interfaces and frameworks for subsystems like graphics, text and input. The idea is Jupiter will bring support for smoother and more fluid animation, rich typography, and new media capabilities to Windows 8 devices”.

Because there is now a XAML team in the Windows division, and because of the strong commitment to native and C++ development lately, we can expect to see the power of XAML available to native code in the Windows 8 world.

Another interesting reading about what the potential development story I Windows is available in Windows 8 for software developers, the Longhorn dream reborn?

If you want to have more details about what we know so far about Windows 8 features, you can check out this post on Winrumors.

Getting ready for the trip (and the last rumors)!

The conference is now 5 days away. I’ll fly from Lyon (France) to London and then from London to Los Angeles on Sunday. On Monday, I’ll be part of the UX workshop organized by Billy Hollis. On Tuesday morning, I’ll be ready to the keynote!

I’ll be live Tweeting during the conference, so don’t forget to follow me @jalpf.

The last rumor suggests that every BUILD attendee might get a Samsun slate running a pre-version of Windows 8… We’ll see next Tuesday!


BUILD: Starting the BUILD series !

In two weeks, I’ll have the chance to be part of the BUILD conference in Los Angeles. It will be my second trip to the US (my first one was in Seattle in February for the MVP summit) and I’m really looking forward. During the conference I’ll be blogging extensively to share with you the new information.

BUILD is the new conference about the future of Windows. We can expect many information about Windows 8 and its new development platform. At this point we know that HTML5 will be an important aspect of this new platform, but without any doubt XAML will also be part of the game. Note that I’m not saying neither “WPF” or “Silverlight” because what is coming with Windows 8 is still unknown. It looks like XAML will be accessible from both the native  (C++) and managed (.Net) world.

In order to follow the event:

Make sure to check my blog in order to have the latest information about the future of WPF, Silverlight and Windows from a .Net guy perspective !


MVP Client App Dev: one more year!

The last few weeks have been very busy for me and unfortunately I don’t have much time for blogging… I wanted to give a quick update however because I receive great news a couple of days ago in my inbox: I’ve been re-awarded MVP in the Client App !

This nomination is my second one. The past 12 months have been very interesting and exciting for me:
• I was the speaker during the Microsoft Techdays in Paris
• I went to the US the first time in order to meet other MVPs in Redmond for the Global MVP Summit
• I started new interesting projects at work involving new Microsoft technologies I was not very familiar with

About the MVP award, I’d also like to thank my co-worker Charlotte who is very often helping me by polishing articles I wrote, giving technical presentations with me, etc. I think part of this award is for her too 🙂

This post is also an occasion to bring the topic of the future of WPF and Silverlight on the table… As you probably know there have been a lot of rumors and debates lately about this. My opinion is simple:

• The message from Microsoft during the first preview of Windows 8 should have been “you’d have the ability to develop apps using HTML5” instead “these apps will be develop using HTML5” (which lead to the WPF/SL/.Net are dead discussions…)
• The future of XAML is exciting: the decision to move the XAML team from DevDiv to WinDiv is a sign that XAML will play a big role in Windows 8 (probably for both native and managed apps which is huge)
• WPF and Silverlight are both good UI technologies, we might see something new coming in Windows 8 but I think it’ll be based on concepts we’re already familiar with (such as binding, XAML…)

If you want to read more about Windows 8 you can check out those posts:

Strange times in the world of Microsoft developers (by Josh Smith)
Microsoft needs to tell Windows 8 developers now about ‘Jupiter’ and Silverlight (by Mary-Jo Foley)

Hopefully we don’t have to wait for a very long time since the BUILD conference is September should give many answers to us.

PS: most of my lack of time for writing new blog posts come from a new house we just moved in with my girlfriend… We’re now 10 minutes from the city center of Grenoble 🙂