Jerry Nixon

Microsoft Developer Evangelist

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  • Blog Post: Make it snow with XAML

    XAML is a very flexible technology platform. This time of year, some of the nicest things you can do is release apps that contain the character of the season. Since I am in Colorado, a lot of that character surrounds the weather. Snow is an easy ambiance to add to any XAML app. In this article we’ll...
  • Blog Post: Decorate your tree with XAML.

    Next week is Christmas. I know most of you are scrambling to find the perfect gift for that special someone. Here’s an idea: a custom app built just for her. What could she love more than vector-based graphics on a touch screen? How she’ll remember this year and bring it up again and again, reminding...
  • Blog Post: The two ways to handle orientation in your Windows 8.1 app

    Ah, elegance. Handling orientation basically means adjusting your app to account for real estate changes when the user pivots their device from Landscape to Portrait, or when the user adjusts your app’s width. In Windows 8.0, there were four possible orientations: FullView (1366x768), FillView (1024x768...
  • Blog Post: Over $100 million available to purchase Windows apps this holiday

    Like most retailers, the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store see a spike in shopping activity around the holidays. Last year holiday sales of paid apps grew 40% over baseline, and we expect an even more robust Holiday 2013 due to an even larger base of Windows and Windows Phone users with more ways...
  • Blog Post: Students can make real cash this holiday season on Windows 8.

    Introducing the Windows 8 Holiday App Challenge! Build an App Build your Windows 8 App and publish it to the Windows Store. Submit the app link HERE to be eligible to win a $50 gift card. Promote the App Promote your app and get 100 downloads. Find tips and tricks on how to promote your app at (COMING...
  • Blog Post: Everything I know ‘bout Behaviors in Blend for Visual Studio 2013

    When Visual Studio 2012 was released, it supported a new way of building apps – Windows Store apps using the Windows Runtime. These apps could be built in XAML, of course. But, unlike previous Microsoft developer tooling, Expression Blend was not shipped separately; it was moved out of the Expression...
  • Blog Post: Walkthrough: Is your Windows 8 app too square and boxy? Here are some options.

    There are some really great features in XAML that some developers either 1) do not know they are there or 2) never leverage. Well, in this article, I want to talk about techniques you can leverage to move your Windows app away from the tempting, yet commonplace, square and rectangular design. As it turns...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8.1 design principles hand developers back their sanity

    When the computer mouse was new, it was simple to use but unfamiliar to users. As a result, user manuals could not say “click the red X”. Instead, they had to say, “move the mouse on your desk to control the pointer on your screen”. The idea of the mouse was new – the conversation had to start several...
  • Blog Post: IPhone 5S features I want to see on my Windows Phone, today!

    Fingerprint authentication . I had it way back with Windows Mobile and loved it. But I don’t have it with Windows Phone. I certainly have a little biometric envy. Multi-colored flash . I have a xenon flash, which spanks any LED flash. Good lighting is important. Still, the IPhone’s multi-color LED flash...
  • Blog Post: How Apple’s new IPhone 5S bald-faced copied Microsoft Windows Phone

    There is no shame in copying excellence. In fact, I would say that a core tenet of excellence is its ability to inspire excellence in others. Microsoft had the first smartphone, that doesn’t diminish Apple. Microsoft had the first smart watch, that doesn’t diminish Google. Microsoft had the first DVR...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8.1 says, “Forget all that Design Stuff from Windows 8.0”

    WHAT DESIGNERS HAD BETTER KNOW ABOUT WINDOWS 8.1 Let’s be perfectly clear, the Windows Design Guidelines in Windows 8.1 are, at a high-level, identical to those in Windows 8.0. However, in their practical and tactical guidance they are so different, that idyllic Windows 8.1 apps would potentially fail...
  • Blog Post: This is the most important control you may ever use

    There are two version of PianoTime for Windows 8 – a successful title from a Colorado publisher. The free version sponsored by ads, and the $3.48 ad free version. Do people purchase their way out of ads? Yes, they do. Do most people. No, they don’t. So, is it worth it? Freemium Freemium is a booming...
  • Blog Post: 5 things you must do BEFORE you publish your app.

    You have your idea. You are developing your app. It’s coming along great. You can see the finish line. But do you need to do more than just develop your app? Here are 10 things you should do before you publish. 1. Include platforms Don’t mistakenly forget there are several app stores in the marketplace...
  • Blog Post: Walkthrough: Create a whiteboard app in 10 minutes

    Recently, I updated my Timer App to version 2. And, one feature I added was a whiteboard. Letting your user draw a picture is cool. It’s also quite useful if they need to express a thousand words quickly. Anyway, I wrote it and thought, “this is easy!”. So, I thought I would share the...
  • Blog Post: When Windows 8 copies Windows Phone, we are all winners

    Windows 8 is the reimagining of Windows. Sure. But, let’s not forget, Windows 8 didn’t invent the new design language, Windows Phone did. To be fair Windows Media Center introduced the first low-chrome Microsoft UI for the 10 foot experience. Zune, then, adopted that clean approach and adjusted it for...
  • Blog Post: Here are some of the new things in Windows 8.1

    Windows 8.1 is imminent. What’s the word on the consumer features new to the update? Here’s the top of the list. Search Get results form your PC (like files, songs, and settings) and from the web with Bing. For some searches, you can tap or click right from the results to open maps, play songs, or call...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8 apps need 28 logo varietals; enter Expression Design

    One of the best parts of Expression Design transitioning to a free download is that it is now free. Design is awesome to create complex vector art and export it as XAML. Design can also create various sizes of the same design so your Store app can be successful. Note: You can download Design here . A...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8: XAML Manipulation using Attached Properties

    In this previous article I discussed methods using XAML Manipulation Events with gestures to transform your UI, making it interactive. I talked about the different approaches you can use to leverage fingers and mouse. In this article, I want to show a simple implementation that encapsulates some Manipulation...
  • Blog Post: 5 awesome reasons your Start Menu is better in Windows 8.1

    Windows 8.1 is coming. The release date is close. It’s free. Why upgrade? Not only are upgrades sensible from a performance and security perspective, but you get new features. One recipient of some feature love is the Start Menu. If you have already installed the Windows 8.1 preview , then you have experienced...
  • Blog Post: These should be standard in every XAML developer’s toolbox.

    There are lots of controls that ship with Windows 8. But, let’s be honest, there are lots of controls that don’t ship with Windows 8, too. After a little review, I can’t help but consider the third party controls available, how nice they are, how supported they are, and now, how cheap they are. Telerik...
  • Blog Post: Walkthrough: Real world Manipulation techniques

    Manipulation events are a wonderful companion to capturing mouse (pointer) movements and interpreting those actions into gestures. Manipulation modes map almost directly to the capabilities of the CompositeTransform , including: Translate , Rotation , and Scale . What is a transform? Transforms in XAML...
  • Blog Post: Resources for Migrating to 8.1

    Windows 8.1 is the free and awesome update to Windows 8.0 and will be available in just a few months. Your 8.0 applications need some special TLC. Need some help finding resources? Here: 8.1 Product Guide for Developers Developer portal article with high level descriptions of the new 8.1 features and...
  • Blog Post: Walkthrough: Two-way binding inside a XAML User Control

    User controls are a great way couple logic and XAML in an encapsulated way. You can reuse a user control over and over and the logic is isolated from the general flow of your program. This article is not about creating a user control. This article is about binding to a user control. Not a custom control...
  • Blog Post: Walkthrough: Windows 8 Extended Splash Screen

    So we have two real problems: If your app does not present a UI to the user in a given time, Windows 8 will assume your app is frozen and will terminate it. If your app does not present a UI to the user in a given time, the user will assume your app is frozen and will terminate it. And, fortunately,...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8 and Windows Phone Exclusive: Halo Spartan Assault

    What’s this? A new Halo game? Yes! And what’s this? Exclusive to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8? Yes! We’re starting to see what we’ve been expecting for some time – Microsoft titles being released as exclusives to the Microsoft platform. This, Smart Glass, and the sheer buttery beauty of Windows Phone...
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