We want to give you a push in the back to develop great applications – join the Windows 8 App Race and win:
How to win
Your app(s) need to be published between April 1 and June 15, 2013. Complete the contest form(s) on http://aka.ms/race.
There is no limit to the number of entries you can submit but each entry must be substantially unique and different. The date and time of the first and fifth application as part of the entry submitted in a particular timeframe will determine the winners of the tablets. Note: this contest is only open for residents from Belgium and Luxembourg. Please read the full terms & conditions of this contest before entering. Questions? Contact us firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re looking forward to see your apps shine in the Store … and who knows soon on your brand new Asus tablet!
Microsoft just announced the general availability of our Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) support! With this release Azure Virtual Machines and Virtual Network move out of Preview and are now ready to use for your production apps.
With Azure Virtual Machines you can deploy and run durable VMs in the cloud, provisioned from prebuilt templates or alternatively upload your own custom-built VMs. All this in a matter of seconds! Azure Virtual Network allows you to securely bridge between your on-premises infrastructure and your infrastructure in the cloud. This gives you the flexibility to run your workloads where you want, but manage them all in the same way.
Whether you want to securely extend your on-premises network to Windows Azure or you want to create a virtual private network with persistent private IPs..
Let’s look in more detail into what we have announced today:
On top of all these great features, we’re also announcing significant pricing reductions to our Windows Azure PaaS and IaaS VM pricing. You can expect to see from 20% (Virtual Machines) to 33% (Cloud Services) price reductions! These new prices are effective as of June 1. And as of today, we’re also adding 50 hours of free memory-intensive-instance hours to our member offers and 90-day trials.
For a more detailed description of the announcement, you can check out Scott Guthrie’s blog post.
If you don’t already have a Windows Azure account, you can sign-up for a free trial and start using all of the above features today. Did you know that you already have a lot of free Azure resources as part of your MSDN, MPN or BizSpark membership?
If you want to learn more about our Windows Azure IaaS capabilities, don’t forget to listen in on our dedicated IaaS webcast on April 30. If you want to experience this great technology hands-on, join us for our Azure IT Camp on May 6.
Also don’t forget there is a virtual conference runnning next Tuesday April 23rd: http://www.windowsazureconf.net/
We organized Microsoft TechDays 2013 in Antwerp two weeks ago, where we welcomed close to 2900 IT Professionals, Developers and Students all enjoying 90+ sessions with top content led by a broad selection of international and local top speakers. A special THANK YOU goes to our partners, our MVP’s and MEET (Microsoft Extended Experts Team) members and of none the least, all our enthusiastic attendees! Check out the pictures to get an idea!
The session videos and slides are now available on www.techdays.be! (Re)live the sessions and take the next steps to truly master the technologies.
Here’s a selection of my favorite picks out of the difficult to choose from list!
Become a Windows 8 and Windows Phone App Developer at TechDays with Ben Riga
Bigger, Faster, Stronger: Optimizing ASP.NET 4 and 4.5 Applications with Mads Kristensen
Behind the scenes of (as many) C# language features with Bart De Smet
The Hands-on Labs Many of you also took the opportunity to run through one or more hands-on labs. Good news, if you did not have the time and would like to give a first try on the Windows Store, Windows Phone, or Windows Azure step by step tutorial: you can! The labs can now be downloaded and followed on your own computer. Go here for the latest version: http://bit.ly/applabbe
The TechDays Team
Questions? Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook or simply via e-mail.
As announced by our friends at the Microsoft Innovation Center, Renaud Dumont, their evangelist has put together a set of videos in the form of a training to get started on Windows 8 development.
If you speak French, check out the great work they have prepared and jumpstart your Windows 8 app development!
This MOOC (in French) is an introduction to that new Windows 8 development environment. It’s meant for people who want to get started quickly.
With the videos, you’ll learn :
Now that you’re ready to start developing your own Windows Store app, you probably want to dive into code… Here are some must-have resources:
Microsoft Belgium & Luxembourg:
The reference for every Windows developer in Belgium. Have a look at the agenda to know about all the Windows 8 events planned by Microsoft and the community. http://www.microsoft.com/belux/msdn/apps/windows/default.aspx
A Hands-On kit containing all the labs you need to learn how to build Windows Store apps. It is available in JS/HTML and in C#/XAML. http://aka.ms/windows8campinabox
Join us in Brussels, Genk, Kortrijk or Mons on March 27th for the 4-locations Belgian Windows 8 first Superhackathon. Code, build, eat, drink & win. Experts will be on site to help you with the last phase of building your first Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 application.
We come to your cities (4!), we bring the experts (many!), feed you with breakfast, pizza, coffee (lots!) and Red Bull, honor you with prizes and rewards (countless!). End goal: Get to Windows Store, have fun doing it, go home with prizes (to be announced soon, we promise you: you’ll really like them!). Hint hint: for the best quality app we’ll have a conference ticket…
Go ahead and reserve your spot. Join us for the Day event or the Night event or both. See the agenda setup at the bottom of this post.
Superhackathon theme Yes, winter is cosy with the snow and all – but after months of darkness we all need light. So the theme for the superhackathon is around spring, well-being, health and happiness. To be interpreted very broadly Feel the ideas coming?
First time app? Build your first one – see how to get started here.
The template addresses App Views (Landscape, Fill, Snap and Portrait), Live Tiles, Search & Share Contract, Settings, Navigation across pages, Bottom & Top App Bar (If applicable). So get started today and finish off the app together with us!
8:30: Welcome and registration
9:00 – 9:30: Introduction and getting started
9:30 – 12:30: Coding (alone or with your group)Guidance, hands-on labs and expert advice on site
12:30 – 13:30: Lunch
13:30 – 16:00: Coding (alone or with your group)Guidance, hands-on labs and expert advice on site
16:00 – 17:00: Demo time and best app showdown for Day attendees Publish your first finished app: prize
17:00: Break and end of the Day part
17:30: Welcome and registration (or continue working for those going for the full day)
18:00 – 18:30: Introduction and getting started
18:30 – 19:30: Coding (alone or with your group)Guidance, hands-on labs and expert advice on site
19:30 – 20:30: Dinner
20:30 – 23:00: Coding (alone or with your group)Guidance, hands-on labs and expert advice on site
23:00 – 24:00: Demo time and best app showdown Publish your first finished app: prize
Earlier this week, Microsoft launched Modern.IE: a new web base tool that helps you test, identify, and correct browser compatibility. Whether you are on Windows or not, Modern.IE will help you optimize your site for cross-browser compatibility and provide lots of guidance and tools to help you implement it.
To discover what Modern.IE is all about, check out the video below and then dive into the site to start benefiting from the tools.
The page scan tool detects common coding practices that may cause compatibility problems, giving you clear indication of where the issues are occurring and providing you with guidance on how to solve the issues to deliver a better experience to your users.
Testing on multiple versions of Internet Explorer is hard. With the virtual test tools, Modern.IE delivers two solutions to help you:
A great overview written by Rey Bango and Dave Methvin on coding practices and patterns for building modern standards-based sites while still supporting older versions of Internet Explorer.
Highly recommended: Modern.IE.
Do you have a first-to-market idea with a fresh approach on design elegance, and superior quality and performance? Are you a developers and/or entrepreneur with the ambition to launch the next big thing in mobile?
The Aalto University (Finland), Nokia and Microsoft have started a joint venture to accelerate mobile application development. With a working budget of 18 million euros they foster mobile application development on Windows Phone and any other Nokia platform. All Belgian – Luxembourg entrepreneurs, start-ups and companies can apply for the AppCampus Award.
Successful AppCampus-applicants will receive awards varying from 20.000, 50.000, to 70.000 euros, depending on the complexity of the app. In addition, from within the AppCampus initiative, you will get access to world-class training, coaching and marketing support. Windows Phone Store and Nokia Store offer global monetization opportunities to program participants via distribution to consumers around the world.
AppCampus is 100% free of charge. It does not obtain intellectual property rights, nor is it interested in any commission from the investment.
AppCampus is a global initiative. Anyone from anywhere in the world can apply as long as you have a corporate identity. (For students we have the Imagine Cup and Imagine Cup grants program)
The only requirement is that successful applications are expected to be available exclusively on Windows Marketplace, or Nokia Store for a limited time. More information here.
No time to lose – apply now on www.appcampus.fi
A small month ago on November 23rd we welcomed over 200 attendees to our first Windows App Day in Antwerp, focusing on developer and User Experience/web content for building apps. What types of apps you ask? A lot of it was centered around Windows 8 Store apps but also Windows Azure and mobile services as well as Windows Phone 8 Platform.
We kicked off by an opening session with Luc Van de Velde, director of our Developer Platform team; followed by the presentation of several cases. I would like to thank our partners for being on stage with us:
A big thanks to my colleagues too for joining me on delivering a team keynote. We all had lots of fun presenting it.
Looking at the session evaluations and by talking to many of the attendees, we know folks especially appreciated some of the less typical sessions, that is: the UX guidance for Windows Store apps. For example, Bart Claeys’ session on migrating an iOS app to Windows Store was hugely popular.
The good news: you’ll find the sessions slides below, and available at the MSDN Belux SlideShare.
Even more: most video recordings of the sessions are now also online on Channel9. Do note that some of the coding sessions’ recording quality is not what we would consider optimal. We still chose to publish them as it might be interesting for folks that want to review something they missed in a session.
Build your apps and win a tablet. At the same event we also launched a new contest in which you could win a device for the development of some cool apps. Check out the details here: http://aka.ms/5apps.
Every year, TechDays Belgium is THE go-to event for Belgian developers and IT-Professionals, and we are happy to announce the first set of confirmed speakers and sessions. The agenda is forming and you can have a first glimpse as of today. In 2013, the event takes place on 5, 6 and 7 March. On the first day we are organizing two pre-conferences to dive into Modern application lifecycle management with Visual Studio 2012; and a track on the development of SharePoint 2013 apps.
Join top international and local speakers who can't wait to share their excitement with you about Windows 8, Visual Studio 2012, Windows Azure, Windows Phone 8, HTML5 ... and much more!
We're very happy to announce the following top speakers for developer sessions:
Bart De Smet
Other confirmed speakers for developer sessions: Brian Keller, Andrew Peters, Brad Sullivan, Dan Holme, Jim Wang, Kevin DeRudder, Lieven Iliano, Maarten Balliauw, Pieter Gheysens and Yves Goeleven. The preliminary agenda is available online. TechDays 2013 is a 3 day event, taking place at Kinepolis Antwerp. On the first day (March 5) we'll be hosting a pre-conference with 4 different tracks (2 for developers and 2 for IT professionals). The main conference will be on March 6 and 7. Don’t miss the opportunity to join thousands of technology professionals to network with peers and experts, while diving deep into Microsoft technologies at one of biggest IT events in Belgium & Luxembourg. Register now to get a 15% discount on your ticket (valid until January 1, 2013).
Are you ready to talk Apps? Are you ready to design Apps? Are you ready to develop Apps? Then Windows App Day, on November 23 in Antwerp is something you cannot miss. When we say Apps we mean Windows 8 Apps, Windows Phone Apps and Windows Azure Apps and last but not least, Web Apps, from design to development. During our first Windows App Day we’re packing the agenda with national and international speakers to talk about App Development, User Experience and Design.
The speakers? All actively working on apps, design & the web and ready to share learnings and best practices. We’re bringing over folks like Dave Crawford and Tom Eddings from the Windows 8 and Windows Phone Centre of Excellence team, Microsoft (UK); Nathan Gonzalez from Clarity and Maksym Hryniv, the maker of Contre Jour; Leslie Cottenjé from PurePlexity, one of our Belgian Windows 8 UX experts and, Belgian turned international speaker Bart Claeys now working at Ratio Interactive in Seattle. On the developer side we’re going deep into the new Windows Phone 8 SDK with Maarten Struys, the power of Windows Azure Mobile Services with Kristof Rennen, custom controls with Diederik Krols. To finish off developer track we go into a real-world case with Kevin Dockx. As you can see, more than enough content to provide a day worth outside of the office.
Join us and get inspired!
When: Friday 23 November 2012, 9AM to 6PM Where: ALM Meeting Point Filip Williotstraat 9 2600 Antwerp (Berchem) Entrance fee: free, but registration is required
Find out more here.
Hint: we’ll be announcing an interesting Windows App contest so you might want to get working on some apps before and after this event! More to come very soon, or join us for the full announcement on the 23rd.
Free up your Saturday, be part of a worldwide coding event to build your (first) Windows 8 app! On November 10 2012, we are joining the worldwide hackathon with a local event at HUBrussel. Registration is free, open to all. Just bring your laptop loaded with Windows 8, bring ideas or questions and join us for a day.
Eat. Drink. Code. Join us at HUBrussel on November 10th.
Belgium is part of the app revolution! By registering, you’ll be joining thousands of developers worldwide as we build apps for the next generation of Windows. Microsoft app experts, MEET-members, developers and trainers will be available on-site to assist your learning and coding. Learn about building Windows Store apps today – download the info, tools and resources you need now.
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 10th 2012
08:08 – 00:00 HUBrussel
Warmoesberg 26 1000 Brussels Belgium
WIN an ASUS Vivo Tab!
At WOWZAPP, we will launch a Windows 8 apps contest, where you can WIN a brand new ASUS Vivo Tab! The contest rules will be explained during the hackathon.
Be smart. Be fast. Love coding. Win a tablet!
What to expect
What to bring?
Are you a developer?
Are you a (UX) Designer?
Photoshop or your familiar wireframing tool / Check out the Windows 8 UX Guidelines You might want to download Windows Store Apps Design Assets
See you on November 10th!
Leveraging my colleague Nick’s post on Windows Azure Mobile Services here. WAMS has received an upgrade, now supporting iOS next to Windows 8, and including new authentication support, sending e-mails, SMS en more. If you are from Belgium or Luxembourg, and are thinking about leveraging WAMS for your Windows 8 or iOS apps please let us know. We’d like to hear about your experiences.
With the introduction of apps and application stores, the process of building, selling and distributing software has been truly democratized. But what if your application becomes a top hit and is being downloaded and used by millions of users? How do you make sure that your backend services scales dynamically with this unpredictable demand?
Windows Azure Mobile Services makes it incredibly easy to connect a scalable cloud backend to your client and mobile applications. It allows you to easily store structured data in the cloud that can span both devices and users, integrate it with user authentication, as well as send out updates to clients via push notifications.
A couple of weeks ago we announced Windows Azure Mobile Services with support for Windows 8 apps. This week we delivered initial support for connecting iOS based devices (including iPhones and iPads) to Windows Azure Mobile Services. We’ll also be adding support to enable these same scenarios for Windows Phone, and Android devices soon.
In addition, we have also released the following great improvements to Windows Azure Mobile Services:
Read this getting started tutorial to walkthrough how you can build (in less than 5 minutes) a simple iOS “Todo List” app that stores data in Windows Azure. Then follow the below tutorials to explore how to use the iOS client libraries to store data and authenticate users.
If you don’t already have a Windows Azure account, you can sign-up for a free trial and start using Mobile Services today. Visit the Windows Azure Mobile Developer Center to learn more about how to build apps with Mobile Services.
For more information about building applications on Windows and an overview of our local activities, visit the Apps on Windows landing page.
If you have an app published on the Windows Store, chances are you want to let the world know. Which visuals should you use? How about a Windows Store app badge. What’s the guidance and wording?
Since a few days you can find this guidance on the Windows DevCenter: Windows Store logos and usage specifications
The documentation contains the following:
Linked to the usage of the logo and materials, you might also find the following resources useful:
Windows 8 launches globally on October 26th, as we move closer and closer, we’re supporting many Belgian developers go through the process of certifying their apps. To help other developers we might not be in touch with, I’m sharing an aggregation of tips and resources we use. It’s worthwhile browsing through this post before you submit so that you increase the chance of passing certification from the first time.
Before going into the details, keep the following resources handy when certifying apps on Windows Store.
From our experience, this is what I ask developers before they submit:
In the description page of the Store portal, after you submit your package, you will be able to enter the details for the Windows Store app listing. For a complete overview of the content needed to complete this page, please see the Dev Center Checklist for submitting an app. This is a great resource to send to your business team as they will provide visuals, description, features and category information in each language the app supports.
Failing to fill in the Support contact URL or e-mail address will have your app rejected. Double-check the content you are entering here.
We also recommend you add the same privacy URL as an entry in the app settings pane.
Review the guidance: Pick a suitable Windows Store age rating and Give your app an age rating.
Linked to the Age rating, make sure the screenshots you upload for your app listing (metadata) are viewable by 12+ if your app requires higher age rating.
Windows Store allows for global distribution. This is a huge potential you should take advantage of, and which will be even more successful if you offer the app in several languages.
When uploading the app package to the Store, detection of the supported languages is done through the AppManifest resources. Make sure you entered your default language correctly (default might go to en-US depending on your version of Visual Studio). Open the AppManifest file in the XML editor.
Case 1: single language (US English)
For English, you can either leave the default setting (x-generate) if you are using an English version of Visual Studio or adapt manually:
<Resources> <Resource Language="en-us"/> </Resources>
Case 2: single language (only Dutch for both Belgium and Netherlands)
<Resources> <Resource Language="nl" /> </Resources>
Case 3: several languages (English, French and Dutch as example)
The first language in the list is the default language. We are using the country code to make it more specific. You can choose to omit it.
<Resources> <Resource Language="en-us" /> <Resource Language="fr-be" /> <Resource Language="nl-be" /> < /Resources>
See full details: 4. Windows Store apps put the customer in control on the Resolving certification errors documentation.
Depending on the content you use, information you share, a disclaimer and about sections in the Settings pane are also recommended.
I wish you a lot of success with your app. Don’t forget our local events and support options through App Clinics.
In this post you’ll find our top tips for going through Windows Store developer registration, based on the learning’s we’ve had these past few months as we work with Belgian developers to get ready for Windows 8 launch.
Store Portal Dashboard: https://appdev.microsoft.com/StorePortals/ Logging in and accessing the Store Portal, learn about Strong Authorization and account security: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/jj553414.aspx
The registration process is a seven-step flow in which the following elements are important:
Before your apps can go through certification your account needs to be validated. Depending on the account type, there are several steps to be completed.
Both Company and Individual verification is done through a withdrawal on your credit card, which is then reverted directly. The transaction number or amount is used to verify your account. Go to the Dashboard > Subscription page to go through verification.
Here’s a good overview of where to find the account status.
Under the “Profile” link, check the status of your account:
1 – Developer identity validation – Must be set to “Authorized” before any apps can be certified. (Only Company). Vetting is done by an external party “Symantec/GeoTrust” that will send an e-mail to the Approver e-mail you entered in the process of registration. Make sure Spam folder is checked and followed up. You can find more information on the types of proof needed for Belgian accounts through Symantec knowledge base: https://knowledge.verisign.com/support/ssl-certificates-support/index?page=content&actp=CROSSLINK&id=SO17796
2 – Payout account: the status of your bank account information being complete. Must be complete if you are certifying paid apps, or in-app purchase. (Company and Indidual)
3 – Tax profile must be set to “Valid” if you are certifying paid apps, or in-app purchase. (Company and Indidual) Important to note is that the Tax Profile section should be filled in by a company representative, for example the CEO or Financial director.
If you run into an issue with your developer registration, there are several support options available including community forums and the official support team ready to help you (through chat or e-mail).