Blog - Title

  • The Bardakist

    Customizing the Telligent blog post look and feel


    Some folks who I will not mention by full name (@MossyBlog) let me to look for resources that will help change the default Blog template on MSDN. After a quick search I found: which has a lot of information about how to customize the template. After few minutes, my blog now looks different (not sure if this is an improvement, I am open to further suggestions)

  • The Bardakist

    Windows Phone 8, what should I choose?


    Today was the ship party of Windows 8 in the Microsoft Campus. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon where there in addition to Nokia and HTC trying to sell their services and devices.

    Click here to play this video

    There is a Microsoft program that subsidizes the phone (with a new contract) and since I am out of contract I need to select a phone.

    I have looked at the following phones and have some Pros and Cons:

    Nokia 920

    Pro: Good camera (actually the best camera out of all the other models)

    Con: Big and bulky

    HTC 8X

    Pro: nice slim design. Good grip. The sexiest phone for sure

    Con: Lousy camera

    Nokia 820

    Meh: size not too big but design is not unique

    Meh: Camera is OK


    A camera is important to me but does it justify the bulkiness of the 920?

    What do you think? Should I wait for the Samsung ATIV?

    Let me know.

  • The Bardakist

    Learn about what's New with Information Rights Management in SharePoint and SharePoint Online in Vegas and online


    next week I will be speaking at the SharePoint conference in Las Vegas (

    I will be talking about the work my team has done to reimagine IRM services in SharePoint and SharePoint online. We did a lot of re-plumbing to ensure this unique service is available in the Office 365 cloud and also made some significant progress in improving the management of the feature, adding new capabilities (such as group protection), adding PDF to the list of file types we can protect and finally made the whole thing programmable. Read about this more at he official blog post: and let me know what you think. Obviously, you are welcome to attend my session in the conference to learn more: Deep Dive on Information Rights Management and SharePoint (Breakout Session 12: Wed 3:15pm – 4:30pm , SPC073)


  • The Bardakist

    Teaching and learning is so much better with Office 365 and Windows 8 - The learning companion sample application is available


    Some of you heard that part of what I did in Office 365 was thinking about education and how to help students and teachers. Well, my team just released a sample app that does just that.

    The Contoso Learning Companion is a sample Windows application that demonstrates how students and teachers can run their teaching and learning more effectively with the help of Office 365 services and a modern Windows 8 application that eliminates the need to visit multiple Web sites that represent different classes. The application allows developers to easily build solutions to the education market.

    Take a look at: 

    You will need an Office 365 account to get this to run (if you are a school or just want to try, it will not hurt you at all to try), you can start here:

    Until next time...



  • The Bardakist

    Windows 8 applications and SharePoint Online: Connecting the two (a programmer view)


    Since our team was working on SharePoint and SharePoint Online (an Office 365 service) for the last two years, and with the introduction of Windows 8 (with its new Windows runtime that can be accessed from native applications, JS/HTML applications and C#/XAML applications), developers can now harness the richness of the Windows 8 platform with the power of the cloud based Office 365 services and create innovative experiences. Although connecting the Office 365 service to Windows 8 applications is powerful, its not trivial to understand how to connect the two specifically since the platform authentication systems are not automatically connected.

    My colleague Omar, wanted to help you overcome this initial hurdle and posted a great blog post to help you get started:


    Many people responded and provided feedback to Omar on his blog and asked to also enable single sign on scenarios (not only using a vanilla Office 365 identity). Using single sign on federates an organization active directory with the Office 365 loud using ADFS and requires an additional roundtrip to the Office 365 STS to direct the authentication process. Omar updated the blog with a version 2 that support the federated identity scenario:


  • The Bardakist

    My new Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7


    The phone is here as well as the jury verdict. It is a good device.

    I just got the new phone this week, and here are the 10 things I like about it:

    1. Metro is a good UX paradigm, it is just a nice design
    2. Email and Facebook interfaces are somewhat better then the original desktop/Web versions.
    3. Office apps are actualy useful
    4. It is so easy to get on various types of wifi networtks
    5. Zune interface is nice and there is an FM radio
    6. Integrated search works correctly
    7. Browser can read bi-di text and is quite good. I thought I would miss some plug-ins, but I don't
    8. There are many apps to choose from, and I already installed Netflix, Weatherbug, Level and several more
    9. There is plenty of space on the device AND a place to add Micro SD memory (although I did not do it yet due to the issues around it)
    10. The lock screen provides needed information

    Overall, this is a very good device that IMHO is a good alternative to Android and iPhone. I wish MS had a better business model to generate revenue from this business.

    Happy Holidays


  • The Bardakist

    Switching Gears in November


    November brought a lot of change to my life: After 5 years in the Silverlight team (and a short stint dealing with cloud hosting that you will hear about in early 2011)  I joined the Office engineering team, helping the team to deliver some great experiences in the next release of Office. Also, in November, I became a father for the 3rd time with a little girl that joined her bigger brother and even bigger sister. I am excited about these changes because it will allow me to experience new things, meet new people (literally in the case of my new daughter) and provide an opportunity for me to make a positive impact on people's lives and on our world (isn't that why we are all here?).  You can expect me to switch gears also with my writing to focus on things that I encounter. I have not forgot my roots with developers, and I will try to continue to be of value to my readers. I promise.



  • The Bardakist

    Microsoft Silverlight PivotViewer is available, Data Visualization will never look the same


    last week Microsoft launched the Silverlight PivotViewer control that makes it easier to interact with massive amounts of data in ways that are powerful, informative and fun. The PivotViewer is a sibling of the Microsoft Pivot WPF application that enables users to explore structured data sets on the desktop. WIth the Viewer you can enable this amazing data visualization experience on your Web site and allow it to feed from dynamic data sets (as the example blow shows) . Implementing using a static data set uses a CXML file (XML file that has all the metadata) while implementign using a dynamic data set requires to implement a simple middle layer that creates this XML data dynamically from a data source.

    Free download of Silverlight PivotViewer can be found here: and you can discuss it with our team on:

  • The Bardakist

    Create a virtual watch, get a real one


    Ball Watch USA and Microsoft are teaming up to give you a reason to try the new Expression Studio 4 to build one of the Ball watches in Silverlight 4 like this.  You can win one of the watches! Ball Watch Company has a line of beautiful railroad-inspired watches aimed at the adventurers that many of us aspire to be – their motto is “Since 1891, accuracy under adverse conditions.”

    Read more here:

  • The Bardakist

    The new Silverlight 4 powered Bing Webmaster Tools shown at SMX


    Earlier this week, the Bing team showed a complete revamp of Bing’s Webmaster tools at SMX Advanced Conference in Seattle. The Bing Webmaster team chose to focus on three key areas of interest to webmasters: Crawl, Index, and Traffic. Each area will offer detailed data going back as far as six months with dynamic charting capabilities, enabling webmasters to focus on the timeline trends that are most meaningful to them. The Tools are web-based, and basic functionality is available through most web browsers. However, to achieve the full potential of the Tools, a Silverlight 4 powered version is available. Silverlight enabled the Bing development team to provide a smooth, visual experience, enabling webmasters to better analyze important trends through connected visual data about their websites. Read more here:

  • The Bardakist

    The Bing maps application store is getting closer with the new SDK from Bing Maps (and you can be there too)


    As of yesterday, developers can download the Bing Map App SDK and start building, testing and submitting applications to Bing Maps to be featured in the gallery.

    To access the Bing Map App SDK, login to Microsoft Connect at (you’ll need a Live ID, so make sure you have one). Download the SDK which comes with a Bing Map App template and start cranking away on your project in Visual Studio (note: the Bing Maps site was upgraded to Silverlight 4 - read more about the changes to Bing Maps). Once you’ve created your application, you can test it on the site itself. That’s right! The developer sandbox is the actual site. You simply need to go to, click the map apps button and you’ll unlock our secret map app test tool.

    Along with the SDK the Bing team also published new map apps from external developers – Weather by Weatherbug and EveryScape by Everscape.

    And you can also win prizes by writing your map applications (by participating in the King of Bing Maps Challenge).

    Check our more details in the Bing Maps blog: 

  • The Bardakist

    Expression 4 is released


    Yesterday, at Internet Week New York we launched Expression Studio 4. This new version is shipping just 10 months after Expression Studio 3 and includes support for Silverlight 4, the .NET Framework 4, and interoperability with Visual Studio 2010 and TFS 2010.


    In this version we movined to a new SKU structure that aligns with the the new Visual Studio and MSDN SKUs. There are now three levels of Expression Studio: Expression Studio Web Pro, Expression Studio Premium, and Expression Studio Ultimate.


    Expression Studio 4 Ultimate is available to download here: 


    Important Note: If you are developing in Silverlight for Windows Phone 7, please do not install the released version of Expression Studio 4. You must continue to use the Blend 4 Beta and Add-in Preview for Windows Phone. This Beta will be refreshed with each Phone SDK pre-release and will be unified with released Blend 4 in a service pack which will release when the Windows Phone SDK releases.



  • The Bardakist

    Microsoft Silverlight for Symbian beta is available


    As discussed at PDC last year, Microsoft is working with Nokia to make Silverlight available for Nokia’s phones.

    Starting this week you can download the Silverlight for Symbian beta version runtime and tools from the Microsoft Silverlight for Symbian - Beta site.

    This release is another milestone in our efforts bringing Silverlight to the leader in worldwide market share for smartphones, the Symbian platform.

    With this beta release, developers can start targeting a broader range of devices using the same skillset and tools; specifically, this beta release performance profile is focused on media scenarios.

    Also, since the Silverlight for Symbian bits are a subset of the desktop version of Silverlight, you can browse to mobile Silverlight implementation and the application will render correctly also on your desktop (which is useful for debugging).

    Since this is still a beta release you may still run into performance issues or bugs. Please share your feedback with our team, we will listen.

    The following resources will help you get started developing Silverlight applications for Symbian S60 devices:

  • The Bardakist

    The Microsoft Silverlight Analytics Framework at Mix 2010


    We all want our applications and Web sites to be effective. 

    How does one know that the application is effective? How does one gather information about how the application is being used and interacted with?

    Understanding this requires instrumentation (that is often done after the fact) and usually is a cumbersome process.

    Well, at MIX you will hear how Silverlight empowers you to do this in a much easier way (It might actually blow you away).

    My colleague Michael S. Scherotter  is going to introduce and talk about the Silverlight Analytics Framework at MIX.

    The Silverlight Analytics Framework is about to release next week (March 15 2010) on CodePlex as free open-source framework.  The Framework is available for both in browser and out of browser Silverlight applications, is integrated nicely with the design experience in Blend and is supporting many analytic services it can report into.

    The session on the framework will be on Monday 3/15/2010 at 2:00 PM at our Mix Conference in Las Vegas – it will be recorded and put up on the Mix site soon after so if you can’t make it, you can still learn about it. 

    From my experience, after you try this, you will never want to look back. Michael and team did some amazing work on this.







  • The Bardakist

    Silverlight official supports guidelines published


    Many businesses are relying on Microsoft Silverlight and until few month ago, Microsoft did not have a clear support policy for Silverlight, well now we have it. 

    Silverlight is unique compared to other products in the sense it is serviced through new version releases (so new releases not only add functionality but also fix issues in previous versions). This allows Silverlight applications to continue to run correctly regardless of the runtime version.

     The official languages is provided here: "Microsoft will continue to support all versions of Silverlight by shipping updates to the latest version of both Silverlight runtime and Silverlight SDK. Updates and new versions of the Silverlight runtime are backward compatible with web applications built in previous versions of Silverlight and will include the latest security enhancements, performance improvements, and product fixes. Previous versions that are still under support will be updated in the event the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) determines vulnerability has been found in Silverlight."

    You can read the full details here:


  • The Bardakist

    Happy Halloween from the Silverlight team (and Archetype)


    One of our favorite Vendors, Archetype ( ) created this great Silverlight based Haloween greeting card.

    You can carve your own pumpkin and send to your friends.

    Try it, it is great (and is hosted on Azure):

  • The Bardakist

    It is fun on the Surface


    Microsoft Surface 

    just wanted to update you that the redesign of is now complete, offering a better experience for customers and partners. What you’ll find:

    • Improved layout and navigation with lots of Silverlight based content
    • Showcase of top deployments and partner activity
    • Easier steps to purchasing a Surface unit (I want one too)
    • Fast path to QuickStart and becoming a partner

    The surface team is not done yet and you can expect to see more content coming along.

    An important thing to know is that this whole site was built in two weeks. Great job by the Surface team.

    Read more about Surface in their blog:


  • The Bardakist

    Our friends at contentmaster launched a new Silverlight sample site at


    Andy Yeckel and Umesh Patel own this. Try it out.

    It has samples ( and Tutorials (

    Sample code never hurts.


  • The Bardakist

    Why don't you try a nice Silverlight game on Facebook?


    Our dear friends in Plexipixel  have created a nice Silverlight based game on Facebook. It is called Roshamboom! (  

    Roshamboom! is inspired by David C. Lovelace’s extreme rock-paper-scissors concept called RPS-101.  The RPS-101 ( game got a ton of web chatter when it was released back in 2007 because it took David over a year to concept the game and produce the 5000+ outcomes.  The Plexipixel folks thought it would make an ideal (and silly) turn-based game for Facebook.  Plus, it allowed them to practice some Silverlight skills.  You can read more about the game here: 


    Try it and let me (and the Plexipixel folks) know what you think.



  • The Bardakist

    Want to drive more users to use your Silverlight powered web app? This one is for you.


    The Silverlight Installation Experience White Paper and Sample code is now published on Microsoft’s Download Center.


    This paper provides an insight into the mechanism of authoring and designing a proper installation experience for Silverlight applications on Web pages.  


    The design incorporates feedback we got from focus groups and from our experience with many Web sites that have a sub-optimal installation experience for Silverlight.


    The paper provides templates for Silverlight Web applications and Web media applications.


    The templates are designed to:

    ·         Be easy to localize

    ·         Work on any browser and address incompatible Web browser configurations

    ·         Be light weight

    ·         Work with different form factors

    ·         Being able to be customized using text only

    ·         Leverage and be compatible with the code provided in the shipping Silverlight.js

    ·         Support multiple controls



     Please use this code in your Silverlight applications and improve the chances of your users who do not have Silverlight install, to go to your Web page, install Silverlight and use your application.


    Have a nice weekend.



  • The Bardakist

    Silverlight Advertizing Creation Kit is now available


    The Silverlight Advertising Creation Kit (SACK) is now available for download


    The SACK is targeting designers and ad creation agencies and discusses several aspects of creating ads using Silverlight.  Step-by-step instructions are provided throughout so no previous knowledge of Visual Studio, Blend or Silverlight is required.  Sample projects are also included for each of the sections.  The following topics are addressed:

                        Creating Polite Ads

                        Tracking Actions (Event Handling)

                        Ad synchronization

                        clickTAG Support

                        Expanding Ads

                        Optimization Techniques


    This document supplements the Silverlight Ad Publishing and Serving Guide, which specifies how to serve ads to a client page.  The Silverlight Ad Publishing and Serving Guide is available for download here.


    This is the great work of Dan Penn who is leading this space in our product team.



  • The Bardakist

    Silverlight 3 beta is here with some oomph


    This week at MIX we revealed a beta version of Silverlight 3. This version addresses many asks we heard from you from your Silverlight 2 experience.

    There are tons of new things (in a package simiar in size):


    • Smooth streamign suppot (working with IIS media services)
    • More HD with H.264
    • GPU acceleration for video rendering and resizing (full screen HD is enabled by that)
    • Raw AV pipeline (you can write your own codec in managed code, if you are writing one, please let me know about it)
    • PlayReady DRM for VC-1 media


    • Perspective 3D transform
    • Bitmap caching (improving speed)
    • Bitmap APIs
    • Pixel Shaders(GPU based)
    • Dynamic Styling and Theming
    • Improved text rendering (you will see more of that in the RTW release)

    Application Development

    • Over 60 controls
    • Search SEO support
    • Data form controls
    • DLL Caching
    • Binary XML
    • Better data binding
    • Better Accessibility

    Out of browser

    • Run your SL app on the desktop on Mac and Windows
    • Start menu and desktop icons
    • Sandboxed envinronment
    • Connectivity detection
    • Widnows 7 integration (touch)
    • No admin smooth installation and update

    You can access the bits on  

    This is a great release and we have more good stuff in the pipe. Stay tuned.



  • The Bardakist

    Emergence of social networks for kids with Silverlight


    In my last business trip I had the pleasure to meet the leaders of a small company that is betting big on Silverlight. 

    Shidonni is a collaborative that is targeting kids between the ages of 4-8 (way lower than other social networking sites) and is encouraging the concept of creation (kids can create their own interactive creatures), sharing (they can share them with their friends), interaction (playing games with their characters) and learning. Targeting kids of smaller age is interesting and possibly marks a trend. When I was 4 I was not interested in social network 9I did not know what they were), but my little kids certainly are more exposed to the digital world and this seems like an interesting approach for introducing kids to this virtual world in a safe manner.

    shidonni site 

    Let your kid try it and let them know the reaction.


  • The Bardakist

    Happy New 2009


    The year had just began and it is time to share some electronic greeting cards the design agencies we work with created, please share with your freinds and family.


    Ascentium  Razorfish 


  • The Bardakist

    View a sneak peak into the X-Files trailer with Silverlight


    Here it is:

Page 1 of 3 (55 items) 123