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April, 2011 - Katrien's MSDN Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Windows Phone 7 “Mango”: what’s coming for app developers


    Last week at MIX11 we announced the next update coming to Windows Phone 7. Joe Belfiore, overseeing Windows Phone Program Management came on stage to address the audience eager for more on Windows Phone. While starting with an update on why some ‘Nodo’ updates are taking longer than expected, Joe then switched to bringing us the new stuff.
    As a developer, you can start getting up to date with the latest capabilities by watching or downloading the sessions covering the new APIs and capabilities given during MIX11.


    The main announcements

    • Internet Explorer 9 coming to Windows Phone – with the same code base and features as the desktop with some minor differences specific to the phone (no Activex support for example). This brings HTML5 rendering engine to the phone. It includes hardware acceleration, although taking into account smaller GPU.
    • Multi-tasking and Live Agents: real time interactions via Live Tiles, Push Notifications, Deep Linking and Background Agents.
    • Live tile enhancements such as multiple Live tiles per app, deep linking, …
    • Silverlight 4
    • Sockets
    • Ringtone API
    • Raw camera feed access to applications
    • SQL CE: in-memory local SQL database for ease of data applications
    • Additions to developer tooling: new Location tooling, Accelerometer tooling, profiler and support for Silverlight and XNA in the same project
    • Marketplace: going from 16 to 35 countries with Marketplace for consumers, 30 to 35 countries for devevlopers selling apps
    • New languages support, including Dutch (yay!)

    Our recommendations:

    1. Watch the Day 2 keynote with demos by Joe Belfiore and Scott Guthrie on the new features and developer tooling
    2. Browse through and watch the recorded Windows Phone sessions from MIX11

    Customer Feedback for Windows Phone Developer through UserVoice
    The WPDev UserVoice forum is now available to gather user feedback from developers around on the application platform (APIs, runtimes, and controls) using Silverlight and XNA.
    Make your voice heard too:


    My personal note on the keynote and new features: sitting at the keynote I heard lots of great exciting “wow… amazing…” around me. Attending the keynote in person was a fantastic experience. Developers are very excited about new possibilities the 1500+ new APIs coming with “Mango”. For myself, it’s hard to choose the absolute favorites. But if I must, I guess the new features coming to the Live tiles are a personal favorite. One of the things that I love about the use of WP7 is the start screen and what you can do with Live tiles. So having more control over them will only enhance how the start screen gets more personal and comes even more to live.
    I must admit Silverlight 4 support, Live Agents, SQL CE support and such are also very welcome.

    At the conference there was also a Windows Phone booth (of course Winking smile), they had a very nice apps wall with tiny icons of the thousands of apps: THANK YOU DEVELOPERS.

    Oh, and Angry Birds is officially coming to Windows Phone 7. Are you concerned? I know some folks will be happy.

    The new developer tools, codenamed “Mango” are coming next month in May. Get ready today!

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Register for the ISV Discovery Day Spring Edition on May 12 2011


    The spring season is back which means there are some great local events coming up where you can see our latest tools and technologies and have the opportunity to network with speakers and other ISVs.  My colleagues from the ISV team are happy to announce that on May 12th, the spring edition of the ISV Discovery Day is taking place in Brussels where they will bring you a mixture of architectural sessions and more in-depth sessions on technologies such as SQL Server, Windows Azure and Bing Maps. 

    We have invited a number of inspirational people to come and talk about topics such as

    • building compelling Business Intelligence capabilities by leveraging the power of SQL Server and Bing Maps
    • taking advantage of unlimited cloud scale and flexibility by re-architecting applications
    • optimizing applications for Touch

    >> Read more and register by going to the ISV Discovery Day Spring Edition

    Register now

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Learn more about the Microsoft Platform Ready program


    If you’re not yet familiar with the Microsoft Platform Ready (MPR) program; MPR provides free technical, marketing, and certification support for companies and individuals that are developing software applications on the Windows Platform. Whether you’re building simple add-ons, rich client applications, complex client and server solutions or planning for the future with cloud services, Microsoft Platform Ready is set out to help you bring your application to the market faster.

    My colleague Nick Trogh, ISV Developer Evangelist in our team has all the details and advantages of why you should consider joining this program.

    >> Read the full story on Nick’s blog.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Free Classroom Training: Touch Development For The Slate PC on May 9th


    Windows Slate PCIn this 1-day, free of charge (for MSFT partners), classroom training you will learn hands-on (pun not intended Smile) how you can build touch-optimized applications for touch-enabled devices such as the Slate PC. We will provide you insight in the different capabilities of the platform and show you how and when to use each one of them.

    As building a great touch experience requires more than coding skills, we will also focus on user experience (UX) design principles and typical touch screen design problems.  Learn first-hand from the pioneers in usability, Human Interface Group, how you can sharpen your designer skills and take your application to the next level.


    TouchTouch refers to the way Windows lets you interact directly with a computer using a finger. Compared to using a mouse, keyboard, or pen, touch is often much more natural, engaging, and convenient.

    While touch is traditionally associated with Tablet PCs, it is becoming common on ordinary computers. The Windows Tablet and Touch Technology is a standard component of Windows Vista and Windows 7, so any compatible computer has the ability to take advantage of touch if it has the appropriate hardware. As a result, computer manufacturers are now including touchscreens in ordinary laptops and even in desktop monitors.  As touch spreads from Tablet PCs to other types of computers, software program developers and designers will find it increasingly important to support touch as well.

    Remember, all Windows programs should have a great touch experience!

    May 9th, from 9:00 – 17:00

    Microsoft Innovation Center (
    1, Boulevard Initialis
    7000 Mons

    >> See the training invite here

    >> Register here for the training

    Microsoft Partner Network Training

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    HTML5 Web Camp Belgium recordings and slides available



    Last week on April 6 we organized the first HTML5 Web Camp in Belgium. With registrations running out in less than 24 hours quite some of you will be happy everything is recorded and now available for online viewing or download. We were delighted to have your peers from agencies and partners presenting on real world cases. We would like to extend a big thank you to all our speakers from Netlog, These Days, Ferranti and LBi Belgium.
    The session recordings are a great opportunity to learn about IE9, HTML5, Canvas, Geolocation API, JavaScript, jQuery, CSS3 and WebSockets.

    Side note: In the meantime, we have just finished MIX11 event where Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview was announced. This is the first developer preview of IE10 where we expect feedback from the community on new standards implementations. In a few words, IE10 includes support for CSS Grid alignment, CSS Flexbox, CSS gradients and CSS multi-columns.
    Download and try the standalone IE10 Platform preview 1 and check out the developer guide.

    Sessions and resources from the HTML5 Web Camp:

    Welcome and introduction
    In this welcome introduction I talked about Internet Explorer 9 launch, Belgian partners and how to enable site pinning with the jQuery.ie9ify plugin. We also recommend you check out {dev:unplugged} competition running until May 8th:
    Take a look at the contest submissions so far:
    Related resources:

    Location-aware shouting
    Speaker: Frank Desmettre, Netlog

    HTML5 offers several solutions for augmenting the experience of users on the web. One of these solutions is providing an accurate location of a user. Most of today's smartphones already support the technique of requesting your location through GPS but now an HTLM5 compatible browser can also pinpoint your location based on the IP of your device and nearby wireless access points.

    At Netlog we've been using the Geolocation API to add location information to user messages (shouts) both on the web version and the mobile site. This location is used to place them on a map that can be easily navigated using HTML5. This way we enable users to find out what's going on around them or on a location of their choice.

    Related resources:

    How Object-Oriented JavaScript can help your HTML5 site
    Speakers: Pieter Helsen and Bram Verdyck, These Days

    We all know that we now have a new Canvas element and some other very cool HTML5 tags, but how do you get to implementing these correctly? The site for example, is a mere 200 lines of HTML. How is this possible? Say Hello to OO JavaScript.
    By using the Frameratefest site These Days will explain how this concept has helped develop the site. We'll dive into code!

    Related resources:

    WebSockts on Fire
    Speaker: Jef Claes, Ferranti

    While the WebSockets API specification is not stable yet, various browser vendors have already implemented a prototype in their latest browser versions. Microsoft released their WebSockets prototype in December 2010. While there is no native implementation of WebSockets in IE9 just yet, for now they are providing a solution which works cross-browser, relying on a Silverlight client. Server-side a Windows Communication Foundation server is made available, which implements the latest version of the WebSockets protocol.

    In this session, Jef covers the WebSockets fundamentals, demonstrate a proof of concept that could be used in various fire department web applications and deep-dive into the code of this proof of concept.

    Related resources:

    Creating cross-browser designs with CSS3 and jQuery in a SCRUM methodology

    Speaker: Tim Vermaelen, LBi

    As today's web applications are growing in complexity, making them cross-browser is still key to success. Since history of web design we've seen all kinds of techniques that tackle browser issues. Still, they are very time consuming and expensive. This presentation will give you a quick look on what's possible these days with CSS3 and jQuery and how you can save time creating cross-browser web applications. Throw away half of your HTML code, half of your background images and start using more flexible techniques. This session is going to be based on a case of a big Belgian company, to be shown during the session.

    A few pics of the event to finish off.

    The much coveted IE9 USB-powered fish tank.


  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Register for webcast with Scott Hanselman LIVE from TechDays 2011 in Belgium on 26 April


    Join us in this LIVE webcast from TechDays Belgium in Antwerp on 26 April 2011. If you are not one of the lucky ones attending TechDays this year then attending the webcast is the next best thing. Scott Hanselman will run through the opening keynote and then open up the floor for Q&A. All of this accessible through the webcast.

    Timing: 26 April 2011; 14:00 – 15:00

    Important: please send us your questions by 20 April 2011 so we can bundle as many questions as possible. To submit your questions to Scott Hanselman, send an e-mail to with the subject "Scott Hanselman TechDays Live Q&A".

    About Scott Hanselman:

    Scott Hanselman

    Scott works out of his home office for Microsoft as a Principal Program Manager, aiming to spread good information about developing software, usually on the Microsoft stack. Before this he was the Chief Architect at Corillian Corporation, now a part of Checkfree, for 6+ years. He was also involved in a few Microsoft Developer things for many years like the MVP and RD programs and he'll speak about computers (and other passions) whenever someone will listen. Before Corillian and Microsoft, Scott worked as a Principal Consultant at a local Microsoft Solution Provider called STEP Technology, speaking, writing, consulting, and very much not getting rich during Web 1.0.

    * If you attend this webcast you will get a free 'I have IT in my DNA' T-shirt! *

    IT in my DNA T-shirt

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Windows Azure News from MIX11


    We announced several updates to the Windows Azure platform today at MIX11 in Las Vegas. These new capabilities will help developers deploy applications faster, accelerate their application performance and enable access to applications through popular identity providers including Microsoft, Facebook and Google.

    New Services and Functionality

    A myriad of new Windows Azure services and functionality were unveiled today. These include:

    • An update to the Windows Azure SDK that includes a Web Deployment Tool to simplify the migration, management and deployment of IIS Web servers, Web applications and Web sites. This new tool integrates with Visual Studio 2010 and the Web Platform Installer. This update will ship later today.
    • Updates to the Windows Azure AppFabric Access Control service, which provides a single-sign-on experience to Windows Azure applications by integrating with enterprise directories and Web identities.
    • Release of the Windows Azure AppFabric Caching service in the next 30 days, which will accelerate the performance of Windows Azure and SQL Azure applications.
    • A community technology preview (CTP) of Windows Azure Traffic Manager, a new service that allows Windows Azure customers to more easily balance application performance across multiple geographies.
    • A preview of the Windows Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) for Internet Information Services (IIS) Smooth Streaming capabilities, which allows developers to upload IIS Smooth Streaming-encoded video to a Windows Azure Storage account and deliver that video to Silverlight, iOS and Android Honeycomb clients.

    Windows Azure Platform Offer Changes

    We also announced several offer changes today, including:

    • The extension of the expiration date and increases to the amount of free storage, storage transactions and data transfers in the Windows Azure Introductory Special offer. This promotional offer now includes 750 hours of extra-small instances and 25 hours of small instances of the Windows Azure service, 20GB of storage, 50K of storage transactions, and 40GB of data transfers provided each month at no charge until September 30, 2011. More information can be found here.
      • An existing customer who signed up for the original Windows Azure Introductory Special offer will get a free upgrade as of today. An existing customer who signed up for a different offer (other than the Windows Azure Introductory Special) would need to sign up for the updated Windows Azure Introductory Special Offer separately.
    • MSDN Ultimate and Premium subscribers will benefit from increased compute, storage and bandwidth benefits for Windows Azure. More information can be found here.
    • The Cloud Essentials Pack for Microsoft partners now includes 750 hours of extra-small instances and 25 hours of small instances of the Windows Azure service, 20GB of storage and 50GB of data transfers provided each month at no charge. In addition, the Cloud Essentials Pack also contains other Microsoft cloud services including SQL Azure, Windows Azure AppFabric, Microsoft Office 365, Windows Intune and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. More information can be found here.

    You can start building your application on it in 3 simple and easy to do steps:

    1. Download the Tools:

    Get Visual Studio Express and the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio to start building and debugging applications for the Windows Azure Platform If you have already Visual Studio installed you can download the tools directly from Also download the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7.

    2. Setup an Account:

    Set up an account and obtain a free subscription for accessing the online portals for Windows Azure, SQL Azure and Windows Azure AppFabric. You can learn more about the accounts or you can sign up directly and get the trial

    3. Create your First application and Deploy it on the Windows Azure Platform:

    First learn how to create a simple ASP.NET application in Visual Studio for Windows Azure on your local machine Once successfully created, learn how to deploy this application on the Windows Azure Platform

    When all steps are executed successfully you should have running your first mobile application on the Windows Azure Platform!

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Official TechDays 2011 Belux Windows Phone app now available


    The official TechDays 2011 WP7 App developed by RealDolmen is now available on the Marketplace.
    The app will give you the ability to browse to the current and upcoming sessions. Once the session is started you can give live feedback and follow upon what others think about the sessions.

    If you want to get insights into how this Windows Phone application was built, including the back-end and alternative web front-end: don’t miss the session by Kevin Dockx and Maarten Balliauw on Tuesday 26th of April:

    Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, Windows Azure, jQuery, OData and RIA Services. Shaken, not stirred.
    Have you ever been jealous of James Bond and his gadgets? Don’t be: as a .NET developer you have plenty of cool gadgets at hand. If you are interested in how our .NET gadgets can be mixed together, let Kevin and Maarten guide you along the path of building a live event feedback application that leverages Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, Windows Azure, jQuery, OData and RIA Services.

    Take a look at some of the app’s functionalities in these screenshots: 

    You can favorite a session and see what your upcoming favorite sessions are.

    Let us know what you think about the sessions, the food, the location, the event. Your feedback counts!

    Download the App

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Watch the MIX 2011 keynotes live – April 12 and 13


    On April 12 and April 13, Scott Guthrie will be joined by Dean Hachamovitch and Joe Belfiore to keynote for MIX 2011.
    For Belgium, book your agenda for 18:00 on both days.

    On day 1, Dean Hachamovitch (Internet Explorer) returns to MIX. Day 2 brings Joe Belfiore (Windows Phone) to the stage. I can highly recommend watching both keynotes, there’s stuff you’ll not want to miss!

    Photo of keynote speakers Dean Hachamovitch, Joe Belfiroe and Scott Guthrie

    MIX sessions available online 24 hours after recording.
    All sessions at MIX 2011 are recorded (except Boot camps), and will be posted online just 24 hours after taking place. So if you’re not attending in person make sure to foresee some time in the agenda to watch the content online. There’s an incredible amount of sessions by top speakers on subjects related to the Web, Phone, Cloud and UX.

    Mark your agenda and follow the keynotes live stream on
    If you want to follow the conversation live on Twitter, we’re using #mix11.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Congratulations to new and renewed MVPs for Belgium & Luxembourg


    Each quarter Microsoft awards passionate technical community leaders  with the Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award recognizing they are top-tier technology influencers and outstanding community contributors.  Microsoft began the MVP Awards many years ago as a way to recognize members of the general public who devoted their time and technical expertise to helping users in various online technical forums. Over time, the program evolved, and awards are given to members of technical communities worldwide for their contributions to communities including third-party Web sites, user groups, blogs and wikis. MVP Awards are given directly by Microsoft Corp.

    You can find the full list of all 38 new and existing MVP’s for Belgium & Luxembourg on Luc’s blog.

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April, 2011