Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Windows Phone Game Developer Workshop in Sydney 24/25 May


    Thinking about writing a game for Windows Phone? Come along and learn from some of the best in the business. Featuring three strands from casual games you can write and publish in a couple of hours up to hard-core 3D games with the unity framework, this DevCamp has something for everyone. Get your game face on.

    Register at

    The three strands will be:

    1. Developing high-performance 3D games on Windows Phone using the Unity Framework,
    2. Developing Games for Windows Phone with XAML, and
    3. Using TouchDevelop to quickly create and publish games for Windows Phone

    The sessions will probably be held at Microsoft HQ in North Ryde, and will run from 9am to 5pm each day.

    Places are limited for this free event so Register Now!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Windows Phone 8 Training Kit Updated


    The updated Windows Phone 8 Training Kit is live!

    This kit contains 20 Hands-On Labs and a set of 6 presentations that can be used to drive code camps or for general training purposes.

    These are great for getting yourself up to speed with some comprehensive training, and they’re also excellent if you’re looking to give a presentation on Windows Phone.

    Don’t forget that there are nearly 100 Training Kits on all kinds of technologies available for free from the Microsoft Download Centre

    Grab some today!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    IISExpress - Configuration file is not well-formed XML


    [UPDATE 2013-04-26]

    After consulting with my brains trust (thanks Damo), I tried one last thing. I manually copied the folders IISExpress had created in the c:\temp\IISExpress folder back into my MyDocuments\IISExpress folder, and VS seems happy. I’m calling this one closed for now.

    [UPDATE 2013-04-23]

    This is only half solved. It looks like VS still insists on launching IISExpress with a specific command line switch pointing at the old config location.

    I installed a new machine the other day and on loading a VS project that uses IISExpress, I got the following error:

    Filename: \\?\UNC\[our My Docs Server]\MyDocs1\acoat\My Documents\IISExpress\config\applicationHost.config 
    Line number: 1
    Error: Configuration file is not well-formed XML

    Turns out that IISExpress is writing config information to my My Documents folder, but because I’ve got folder redirection turned on, this is a UNC path, not a local path. It looks like an applicationHost.config file is created, but it’s 0 bytes and the IISExpress process doesn’t have permission to write to it.

    Fortunately, from IISExpress 8 onwards, there’s a registry key you can setr to point IISExpress at another home folder.

    Thanks to this post on StackOverflow, I was pointed to the IIS 8.0 Express Readme FIle, which, in the New Features section says:

    Changing the User Home Directory

    IIS 8.0 Express supports changing the user's home directory, which is mapped to the %IIS_USER_HOME% variable in configuration. By default this path is located at %UserProfile%\Documents\IISExpress, but users can change this by setting a CustomUserHome registry property in HKCU\Software\Microsoft\IISExpress, or by specifying the "/userhome" parameter when launching iisexpress.exe.

    So, I fired up RegEdit, added a new IISExpress key under HKCU\Software\Microsoft and then added a string key CustomUserHome set to "c:\Temp\IISExpress" (a folder I’d created manually) and IISExpress starts in the expected manner and creates all of its config, logs and tracelogfiles folders (and their accompanying files) there and starts successfully.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Adelaide Windows Phone 8 Training Days May 3 and 4


    Dave’s just blogged about some excellent Windows Phone 8 training in Adelaide at the beginning of May. If you’re in the area, you should go.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Joining a Lync Webcast as a Guest


    To attend one of our Lync Webcasts, you'll get a notification (either by email or on a web page) that looks like this;



    There are three ways you can join the meeting

    1. Audio alone (dial-in);
    2. Web client for screen casting and dial-in for audio; or
    3. Lync Client

    Audio alone

    Simply dial one of the numbers shown in your invitation or click the "Find a local number" link to get a list of all of the available dial-in numbers from around the world. When prompted, enter the Conference ID in your invitation (I've scrubbed out the ID above so you're not tempted to enter it, you need the ID from your invitation).

    That should be it. Depending on the settings from the meeting organiser, you may be in the "meeting lobby" until you're admitted to the meeting, or you may go straight into the meeting.

    Web Client

    If you need to see what the presenter is doing as well as hearing the presentation, you'll need to connect to the web client (or using the Lync client below).

    Click on the Join Lync Meeting link in your invitation, and one of two things will happen. If you've already got a Lync client installed, it will open and the meeting should start (see the Lync Client section below).

    If you don't have a Lync client installed, after a couple of redirects, you should be presented with the following choice:



    Click the Join the meeting using your web browser link (we'll talk about the Lync Attendee option later on)

    A new browser window will open:


    Choose Join as a guest and enter your name (as you'd like to have it appear in the meeting)


    then click the Join Meeting button.

    Depending on how the meeting organiser has set up the meeting, you may see this message:


    and then this message:


    Click OK, and you'll be in the meeting:


    There are a few things to point out here.

    First, the area marked Presso in the image above is where the presentation will happen. In the screenshot, the presenter is conducting a poll, but this is also where you'll see PowerPoint slides, the presenter's screen or whatever else is displayed.

    Next, the area marked IM allows you to type questions/comments that will be seen (and potentially responded to) by everyone else in the meeting. This is a great way to ask questions as the presenter (or someone assisting the presenter) and answer them asynchronously, without interrupting the presentation itself.

    Finally, clicking the highlighted tab marked Phone pops up the options for getting audio to go along with the meeting:


    Option 1 gets the conference to call you - simply enter your phone number and click Call Me.

    Option 2 is the same process as the one outlined in the Audio Alone section above.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Building a Windows Phone Transport App for NSW


    Dave Glover’s just posted a call to Be Part of the Windows Phone Developer/Designer Virtual Team "NSW Transport App Hot House".

    Transport NSW are making a set of data feeds available around real-time bus and train status (vehicle locations, station maintenance, accessibility etc.) and are running a comp to find developers and designers to consume and expose it in interesting and useful ways.

    Dave’s putting a team together to do a Windows Phone version.

    Check it out.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Windows Phone 8 Development Internals book for only $10 - this week only


    Cover ShotJust spotted this over on the Microsoft Press blog. This looks like an awesome book and you can have access to bits of it now for $10. If you wait until next week, the price goes up to $20, and it keeps going up as more of the book's available (although for your $10, you keep getting more of the book for no additional charge).

    All of the details are available in the Microsoft Press post.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    More useful Windows Phone 8 Resources


    Announcing the new Windows Phone 8 Developer Platform by Kevin Gallo

    Visual Studio Blog – Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0

    .Net Framework Blog – Announcing the release of the .NET Framework for Windows Phone 8

    Windows Phone Blog – Meet Windows Phone 8

    Windows Phone Dev Center Twitter Feed

    Windows Phone Twitter Feed

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Windows Phone 8 SDK Available for Download

    The Windows Phone 8 SDK is now available for download from the Windows Phone Developer site. Grab it today to start developing for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.5. There’s also a great MSDN article - What's new in Windows Phone SDK 8.0
  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Windows Phone 8 Training and Hands-On-Labs in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney


    [13/11] Update - added Agenda below

    Last week I sent a Save the Date to the Australian Windows Phone Community List where I foreshadowed training in Windows Phone in conjunction with Nokia this month. Well, with the release of the new Windows Phone SDK yesterday, I can now announce it will be Windows Phone 8 training and Hands On Labs.

    Come and learn about developing for the new Windows Phone 8. In each city, Day 1 (Friday) is dedicated to presentations introducing you to the concepts and techniques you’ll need to create successful Windows Phone applications. Day 2 (Saturday) is a full day of hands-on labs to get you up and running. With experts from Nokia and Microsoft at hand, you’ll quickly grasp the fundamentals of creating and publishing apps for this exciting platform. Nokia also have some great prizes up for grabs.

    Dates and Locations

    City Day 1 (Presentations) Day 2 (Hands-on-labs)
    Melbourne Friday 16 November 2012 09:00-17:00
    Microsoft Office
    Level 5, 4 Freshwater Place
    Saturday 17 November 2012 09:00-17:00
    Clifton's Training
    Level 1, 440 Collins St
    Brisbane Friday 23 November 2012 09:00-17:00
    Microsoft Office
    Level 28, 400 George St        
    Saturday 24 November 2012 09:00-17:00
    Clifton's Training        
    288 Edward St        
    Sydney Friday 30 November 2012 09:00-17:00        
    Grace Hotel        
    77 York St
    Saturday 01 December 2012 09:00-17:00
    Clifton's Training        
    190-200 George St        

    To register, sign in or create an account on the Australian Windows Phone Community site, and then go to the Events Page.


    The agenda for each of the days is still being finalised, but it will all be Windows Phone 8.

    Day 1 will be presentation-style while day 2 will be hands-on.

    Agenda for Day 1

    Time Topic
    09:15 Keynote
    10:15 Break
    10:30 Windows Phone 8 Fundamentals
    11:15 Notifications
    12:00 Lunch
    13:00 Sensors
    13:45 Store
    14:15 Break
    14:30 User Experience Guidelines
    15:15 Win 8 and Windows Phone - porting and compatibility
    16:00 Break
    16:15 Mobile Services
    17:00 Finish

    Agenda for Day 2

    The format for Day 2 is a hands-on lab day. We'll start with a quick lap around the environment to get everyone up to speed with the tools and the lab content available and then  the group will choose two of the labs to go through together in group lab time.

    Time Topic
    09:00 Intro – tools and lab content
    09:45 Lab time 1
    11:00 Group lab 1
    12:15 Lab time 2
    14:00 Group lab 2
    15:15 Lab time 3

    The eight labs available are as follows:

    Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8

    • differences
    • porting steps
    • reusable components

    App-to-App Communication

    • uri scheme names
    • app file types

    Lock Screen

    Voice Commands

    • starting an app
    • advanced functionality

    Live Tiles

    • adding tiles to an app
    • understanding the three tile types


    • in-app purchasing
    • full-app purchasing


    • supporting wallet
    • coupons
    • membership registration

    Running Tracker - sample app with

    • map control
    • maps api
    • background execution

    You can choose to come to either or both of the days.


    This is a free event.


    Registration links will be available here soon.


    At this stage, presenters will be Vaughan Knight from Nokia, Nick Randolph from BuiltToRoam, Dave Glover and myself from Microsoft (I'm pretty sure Frank Arrigo will be at the Melbourne events too). Not every one of us will be at all of the events, but you get the idea.

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