Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

April, 2008

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Out of the darkness - Tech.ED New Zealand and Australia Track Owners


    image I went dark exactly two months ago and I'm finally coming up for some blogging air. Look out for lots of posts over the next little while as I clear my "Blog This" backlog.

    Yesterday at one of Greg Low's CodeCampOz pre-conf sessions I rattled off the names of the track owners for TechEd in New Zealand and Australia and asked that anyone with session proposals contact those people as we're well into the sessions and speaker recruitment phase now. Here are those names again with contact details:

    Track Owner
    Architecture Nigel Watson
    Database/BI David Lean
    Developer Tools Dave Glover
    Office System Ian Palangio
    Windows Essential Server Solutions (Aus only) Robbie Upcroft
    Security Rocky Heckman
    SOA/Connected Systems Graham Elliott
    Technology of TechEd (Aus only) Michael Kleef/Andrew Coates
    Unified Communications/Mobility Johann Kruse
    Voice of the Customer (NZ only) Mike Zeff/Mark Carroll
    Web and User Experience Darryl Burling
    Windows Client/Management Deannah Templeton/Andrew McMurray
    Windows Server Jeff Alexander

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Speaking at the Perth SharePoint User Group - 20 May


    I'll be presenting at the Perth SharePoint User Group on May 20 on

    Delivering Systems that the Users Don't Hate

    Why Office and SharePoint will change the way you work

    A fundamental change to the user experience  of Office and SharePoint has occurred. This can have a profound impact on staff productivity and the delivery of IT services. In this session Andrew will explain the evolution of Office as a comprehensive application platform. Learn how Office acts as the SharePoint front end that your people are already familiar with and see how organisations are taking advantage of this.

    Those who are following things far more closely than I'd expect (in fact, bordering on disturbingly closely) will recognise this as a repeat of the session Alistair and I are presenting at the SharePoint Forum here in Sydney next week.

    I'll be in Perth for the remainder of the afternoon on the 20th and all day on the 21st, so if you fell like catching up, or if you'd like me to come and have a chat to your management about the benefits of doing .NET development or where we're going next with the roadmap, please let me know.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Demos Happen { Here } - Win a trip to TechEd in Sydney and/or LA


    Heroes Happen {2008}

    Note: this competition is open to Australian Residents aged 18 years or over on or before 1 September 2008

    One of the cool things we're doing as part of the launch of Visual Studio 2008, Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008

    image image image

    is running the first Microsoft National { Community } Demo Competition.

    Put together a 10 minute (max) demo featuring one or more of the launch products above, make a video of you presenting it and submit the video for your chance to win some great prizes:

    State Finalists
    1 x 1gb USB Flash Drive
    1 x Microsoft Wireless Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000
    1 x Polo T-Shirt

    State Winners
    1 x Ticket to TechEd 08 in Sydney, including airfares (from the winners nearest capital city to Sydney) and accommodation
    1 x Visual Studio Professional with MSDN professional 2008 OR TechNet direct subscription
    1 x Media Centre Extender with DVD

    National Winner grand Prize
    1 x Ticket to U.S. Tech.Ed 2009, including airfares and accommodation
    1 x Visual Studio Team Suite 2008 plus MSDN Premium subscription
    1 x Media Centre PC

    Details (including the official terms and conditions) are up on the Heroes Happen { 2008 } Community site.

    So get demoing!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Record your Demos Happen { Here } demo with Community Clips


    Jensen Harris (of "The Story Of The Ribbon" fame) announced it, Allan Da Costa Pinto has pointed to it already (as, of course, has Frank - does he never sleep?). There's a great new public site for the (previously internal only) Microsoft Office Labs. This is a collection of some of the "concept cars" that the Office team has developed. One of my favourites is the Search Commands addin that allows you to search for functionality within Office applications in your own words and have those commands appear on the ribbon.

    However, for me, the killer app is Community Clips. This will allow you to record screencasts and then (optionally) upload them to a portal. Of course, you could also save them locally, run them through Expression Encoder and then upload them to your Silverlight Streaming account using the Silverlight Streaming Plug-in if, for example, you were entering the Demos Happen { Here } competition. Download the Community Clips client here.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Off to TechEd Developers in Orlando


    Tech·Ed Register Now

    As part of our quest to source the best speakers and content possible for TechEd in New Zealand and Australia at the beginning of September this year, I'm off to the TechEd Developers conference in Orlando Florida at the beginning of June (and yes, before you ask, we have someone going to the TechEd IT Professionals conference the following week). Drop me a line if you're going to be there and would like to meet up. Better yet, use the TechEd Connect tool.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Help us find this year's most Innovative Teachers


    clip_image002Eight teachers who use technology in innovative ways to support learning will win a trip to KL next year to compete in the APAC awards. The winner will also receive a laptop computer for themselves and four HP laptops and a printer for their school. The awards celebrate the great work being done by teachers around Australia and highlight how Microsoft technology can be used to improve learning. Help us find the most innovative teachers in Australia - the education team have some great posters for staffrooms. Encourage a great teacher to enter the competition at

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Visual C++ 2008 Feature Pack Released


    During my Windows Development session at the Heroes Happen { 2008 } launch shows around the country, I said that there was feature pack coming "soon" that would enhance VC++ 2008. Well, "soon" has arrived. I got a note in my inbox that I'll quote in full:

    Hello all,

    The final release of the Visual C++ 2008 Feature Pack is now available for download.  This release provides several exciting features for C++ developers, such as a major update to MFC and an implementation of TR1.  These features are fully covered under Microsoft’s standard support policies. 

    The Feature Pack is available free of charge to any Visual Studio 2008 Standard or above customer. The download can be found at

    Using the included MFC components, developers can create applications with the “look & feel” of Microsoft’s most popular products – Microsoft Office, Visual Studio and Internet Explorer.  Some of the interesting MFC components in the Feature Pack include:

    • Office 2007 Ribbon Bar:  Ribbon, Pearl, Quick Access Toolbar, Status Bar, etc.
    • Office 2003 and XP look:  Office-style toolbars and menus, Outlook-style shortcut bar, print preview, live font picker, color picker, etc.
    • Visual Studio look:  sophisticated docking functionality, auto hide windows, property grids, MDI tabs, tab groups, etc.
    • Internet Explorer look:  Rebars and task panes
    • Vista theme support
    • “On the fly” menus and toolbar customization:  users can customize the running application through live drag and drop of menu items and toolbar buttons
    • Shell management classes:  use these classes to enumerate folders, drives and items, browse for folders and more

    More information on our new MFC support can be found at the sites below:

    TR1 (“Technical Report 1”) is a set of proposed additions to the C++0x standard.  Our implementation of TR1 contains a number of important features such as smart pointers, regular expression parsing, containers (tuple, array, unordered set, etc) and sophisticated random number generators.

    More information on TR1 can be found at the sites below:


    Visual C++ Development Team

    So happy C++-ing.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Times Reader SDK Released


    Yeah, I know I'm about 3 months late with this, but I'm coming out of the tunnel (between here and here). Frank blogged it (of course) as did Tim Sneath (and probably 100s of others).

    I've been using the New York Times reader as a great example of a smart client, of the power of WPF and an example of integration with the platform for some time and have been promising for ages that we'll release an SDK allowing you to take advantage of the things we discovered while helping NYT to build it. Well, we finally have. Grab the SDK from and knock yourself out. As Tim says,

    ... potential to go beyond a news reading scenario and handle other kinds of data synchronization and display needs. For example, you could use this as the basis of a client for financial data analysis, where the application downloaded stock prices and other financial information and presented it in a rich client experience.

    The potential for this kind of app is huge. Remember, connectivity is not a boolean property.

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