Last week the Microsoft Windows Store blog announced an expansion of the Windows Store coming soon. By the next milestone of Windows 8, the preview release of Windows Store will include new markets and new languages.
Currently Windows Store includes five markets in Consumer Preview: France, Germany, India, Japan and the United States and China, as well as a “Rest of World” setting that all other regions get to see. By the next milestone Microsoft is adding 33 new developer submission locales, expanding the possible reach even more.
And there is good news for Belgian developers: in addition to being able to publish to the new markets, developers will also be able to target a Belgian market specifically.
>> To learn more, please read the official announcement post: Windows Store expanding to new markets.
>> To learn more, please read the official announcement post: Windows Store expanding to new markets.
For developers and companies in Belgium and Luxembourg I’d like to take reiterate our support in getting your apps ready. We have training events (online webcasts as well as hands-on sessions), App Clinics to discuss apps face to face and validation of the app through Excellence labs which is your ticket to a Windows Store token later in the process.
Don’t hesitate to join us at either step of the way:
Windows 8: Windows Reimagined
With Windows 8 currently at the Consumer Preview stage for tech and devs alike, the next version of Internet Explorer is available in preview. Internet Explorer 10 brings 33 new HTML5 & CSS3 site-ready web standards and a noticeable change: One Browser: Two Experiences.
To learn more about the browsing experiences in IE10 on Windows 8, please read the IE Team Blog post: Web browsing in Windows 8 Consumer Preview with IE10.
In this post I’m gathering some recommended steps you can take to make sure your website is implementing cross-browser standards code, and optimized for rendering and using on both the desktop and the Metro style IE10 browser versions. We’ll look at the top recommendations for an optimal experience for your users, and I’ll add the links to the best resources to help you accomplish this.
More resources are available, here’s are my picks:
Just like in the Windows 7 (and 8) desktop, users can pin websites to the start screen in Windows 8. There are also new features available in the Metro experience, allowing users to receive information about updates (badges) without having to open the site.
For more information about the experience and the technical details on how to implement this, please see http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2012/04/03/pinned-sites-in-windows-8.aspx
Watch the above video for a good overview of new site pinning in IE10.
Have you looked into the new developer opportunity with Windows 8 Metro Applications? Combining the broad reach of Windows, best-in-class developer tools, a reimagined user experience, support for new chipsets, and a built-in Store with industry-leading business terms - Windows 8 is the largest developer opportunity, ever.
But now what? In Belgium we have announced a series of developer camps, webcasts and MIC calls for projects. These activities will allow you to dive technically into the platform to support you in building apps. However, you probably need more.
What about testing on more than one device? What about discussing the best UX and experience to integrate with Metro? And most importantly, what about getting that access to the Windows Store and publish an app? If you are based in Belgium or Luxembourg don’t hesitate to take advantage of this option.
The answers are the App Clinics. Join us for a meeting with the Microsoft Evangelists and consultants to discuss the app, the ideas, the application flow, architecture, technical questions and more. It’s an open discussion and allows you to be ready for the next step: passing an App Excellence Lab with a Microsoft engineer, the last step before getting access to the Windows Store as a developer.
Are you actively working on a Windows 8 Metro app? Have an idea but are not sure what the next step is? Join us at an App Clinic and we’ll help you move to the next stage.
App Clinic dates (currently all dates are on Tuesdays): 24th April 2012, 8th May 2012, 31th May 2012, 5th June 2012 and 19th June 2012.
Join us on May 3rd for a special edition of Microsoft Web Camp to learn the latest on web development on the Microsoft Platform. Place to be is the exquisite Event Lounge in Brussels.
After the first Belgian Web Camp with Scott Hanselman keynoting in January 2011, as well as some local hands-on Web Camps the past few months by Kris van der Mast we now welcome another full day event with all new content.
This European edition has speakers flying in from the Microsoft main offices: Brady Gaster (of Channel9 Web Camps TV fame) and Matthew Osborn currently working on NuGet. Expect a lot of code and great fun!
Learn how to develop beautiful, interactive and scalable web sites using Microsoft’s web tools and platform including IE, ASP.NET, MVC, WebMatrix, Windows Azure and Visual Studio. Learn from experts and get the resources for publishing to the web. Quick preview of your camp content:
Check out the full program & register as places are limited.
We hope to see you on our campground !
A good ten days ago on Friday 23rd of March 2012 we kicked off the Belgian developer events around Windows 8 Metro Applications. And from my standpoint: it was an event to count!
We started with a keynote by Giorgio Sardo presenting before a packed room. Giorgio introduced Windows 8 Platform, with some very cool demos along the way.
After the keynote and a session on HTML5, Lieven Iliano took over with sessions on Windows Runtime for .NET Developers and Process Lifetime, Local Data and Roaming in Metro Style Apps.
Our third speaker was Gill Cleeren covering Windows 8 Metro Style UI: controls, data views and Windows 8 Search and Share Contracts.
To close off, I had the pleasure to talk about Tiles & Push Notifications in Metro apps. As I showed the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows 8 which simplifies the development of your back-end, you can now watch the new video on Cloud Cover Show Episode 73 - Nick Harris on Push Notifications for Windows and give it a try.
For your convenience we have uploaded the slides from the different presentations:
You’d think most of the attendees want to head home after a full day of sessions. Not the case here. After sessions it’s time to get hands dirty and start coding your first apps. That’s just what about 100 of the attendees thought and they moved from attendees into coders after the beat of 6 o’clock. First hackathon is a fact, or should we say app-a-thon: De Nacht van Windows 8/La Nuit de Windows 8 (for non-Dutch of French-speaking: The Night of Windows 8). Believe us, in Dutch and French it even rhymes.
From a personal standpoint, this was a fantastic atmosphere and event leading to more than 10 apps fighting for the top prizes of the night, including a Windows Phone and helicopter flights. We saw teams working on apps for fun, developer tools, community, comics and more. You can have a look at NuGet Explorer from the MyGet team. I was truly amazed at the amount of work some teams got done in just an evening. Congras to all participants, and a big thank you for making this such a fantastic code night!
We are currently planning some more hackathon events, please do let us know your feedback on this!
And special branded M&Ms to give us power to code :)
A special call-out to our Microsoft Extended Experts Team: a group of experts we recognize in Belgium and Luxembourg for their great work in the community. A mix of MVPs, User Group leads and overly active bloggers. The MEET group was one of the active participants in the hackathon and they have several Windows 8 related activities planned including several sessions, Community Day and an app contest by VISUG.
I already mentioned the Metro Map previously, a full map of activities coming in the next few months around Windows 8 Platform. The Metro Map is now web based too, make sure to take a look at the forthcoming events and register because seats are limited.
In the meantime we also kicked-off the two Calls for Project Windows 8 Apps at the MIC Brussels and MIC Mons. At this stage the introduction session is already done but you still have a possibility to sign up for the training and full project call schedule.
But still, what’s next? How do you go from an idea into moving it into an app? How do you get your tokens to the Windows Store? All of this goes through our App Clinics, then App Excellence labs and in the last stage accessing Store tokens.
App Clinics Twice a month you can meet with Microsoft Evangelists and experts to discuss your app, Metro UI, get access to devices for testing your app and more. Dates and sign-up info will be announced very soon.
The first Belgian Windows 8 developer event did not go by unnoticed: a full day of sessions and a first code night with the Windows 8 Hackathon generating the first apps. But now is the time to get further: more technical sessions, hands-on labs and support from the local team to help you go from idea to app in the Store.
I’m summarizing the main activities you can already register for, as we are moving to get even more content online. A good overview can already be found on our Metro Map, showing you the way in the coming months.
A Microsoft Innovation Center Call for Projects is a streamlined process to call for ideas, give you training and support going from technical to Metro Design guidelines and UX. In addition, by participating in a Call for Projects you have a privileged access to App Clinics (testing on devices, discussion of the app) which leads to a selection of apps to go through App Excellence Labs later in June. The Excellence Labs are currently the only ticket for getting Windows Store tokens.
While the first info session has already been done end of March, there is still an opportunity to register. Make sure you register for each of the sessions separately in order to secure your full project call attendance.
But wait, there’s more! You’ll find some Summer Hackathons and more sessions on our online Metro Map. See you soon at one of our events or App Clinics.
Don’t miss on the developer opportunity. Combining the broad reach of Windows, best-in-class developer tools, a reimagined user experience, support for new chipsets, and a built-in Store with industry-leading business terms — Windows 8 is the largest developer opportunity, ever.