Transcending the Traditional Web

A blog about building compelling, mobile and web-enabled software solutions.

October, 2011

  • Transcending the Traditional Web

    Hey you. Yeah, you. Wanna Windows Phone?


    Now that I’ve caught your attention with the title of this post, I want to introduce you to a really great promotion we are holding at Microsoft Canada for you as a mobile app developer (by the way, when I write “app”, I actually mean “app or game”).

    One of the biggest comments that I get when talking to people interested in building an app for Windows Phone is that they don’t have a device.  Then they ask me where they can get a Windows Phone.  The easiest answer is to go to your local wireless carrier and purchase a Windows Phone (likely with a data plan) from them.  That isn’t always optimal (hey, I get it – if you’re locked into a plan it’s a tough sell to get another one with your carrier of choice).  The second choice is to purchase a Windows Phone from a distributor like, where you can purchase a device that is not attached to a data plan, but those phones are typically not subsidized by the distributor or the device manufacturer.

    Now, for those of you that publish 2 or more new, quality apps for Windows Phone, we will actually give you a Windows Phone to keep through the Mango App Challenge.  Feel free to re-read that.  Your eyes are not deceiving you.  There are terms and conditions, of course, but the gist of the offer is that if you create 2 new apps (i.e.: they don’t already exist in the Marketplace) that meet a certain quality bar and you publish them under a Canadian Marketplace account before December 15th, we’ll be delivering you a shiny new Windows Phone with the Windows Phone 7.5 OS (formerly codenamed “Mango”) already installed on it.  It’s that simple.  We’re so confident in your ability to bring some amazing apps to the Marketplace that we have 300 devices total for this offer to give out to developers.

    So, are you interested?  I thought you might be.  For those of you that know Windows Phone development already, chances are you’ve already fired up Visual Studio 2010 and have great ideas ready to be converted into code.  For those of you that have not built apps for Windows Phone, we have you covered as well.  There are tonnes of resources available to you to learn how to build apps for Windows Phone and the tooling is freely downloadable.  The only thing you need to to is pay the CAD $99 fee to register as a developer for Windows Phone (this registration is required to publish apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace).  Below are some resources to get you started (and they are great for new and seasoned developers alike!).

    How to Get Started Building Apps for Windows Phone and Enter the Mango App Challenge

    • Visit the Microsoft Canada Windows Phone Developer Resource Page:  This is a one-stop link shop for pretty much everything you need to start building for Windows Phone (in fact, the links below this one are included in this Resource page)
    • Download the free developer tools
    • Learn how to develop for Windows Phone with free training like this, this and this
    • Register as a Canadian-based publisher on the App Hub (this will allow you to publish apps to the Marketplace)
    • Build and test your 2 apps.  Then submit your apps for certification in the Marketplace.  When it passes certification, publish your apps.
    • Submit your 2 published apps to the Mango App Challenge before December 15, 2011.
    • If you meet the requirements of the Mango App Challenge and there are still phones available from this offer, then you will be notified that you have scored yourself a free Windows Phone!

    Good luck and happy coding!

  • Transcending the Traditional Web

    Techdays 2011: Windows Client and Windows Phone Track Unleashed


    By now, you may have seen that TechDays 2011 is now open for registration.  TechDays is Microsoft Canada’s premier, in-person training event that is reaching 3 cities (Toronto – October 25-26, 2011, Vancouver – November 15-16, 2011 and Montreal – November 29-30, 2011) with 2 full days of training in 8 different tracks (in alphabetical order:  Cloud Computing and Online Services; Communication and Collaboration; Developer Tools, Frameworks and Languages; Development Practices and Architecture; Security, Identity and Management; SQL Server and Data Platform; Virtualization; Windows Client and Windows Phone).

    As Track Owner of the Windows Client and Windows Phone track at TechDays 2011, I am honoured and excited to introduce the many sessions that you will see talking about Windows Phone and Windows Client.  It’s a jam-packed track that will appeal to both developers and IT Pro’s alike, with lots of content that will both enable to use these technologies today and to inspire you to build the next great thing tomorrow.

    To give you some background as to why the sessions you see below are found in the Windows Client and Windows Phone track, I want to explain the rationale behind the decision process.  First, I wanted to provide Client and Phone content that would be beneficial to everyone using or thinking of using our platform technologies, regardless of whether your job entailed development, management or operations in IT.  Second, I wanted to give sessions that attendees would find both exciting and relevant to their day-to-day jobs.  Finally, I wanted these sessions to inspire you.  IT is only a tool, a means to an end.  It’s your creativity and passion that make software wildly successful.  It is my hope that through these sessions you will see and hear something that will kindle an amazing idea that will change the world!

    Below is a video that introduces the Windows Client and Windows Phone track:


    So on with the sessions in the Windows Client and Windows Phone Track:

    WIN301:  Windows Phone 7.5: An Overview and Architecture Deep Dive

    Windows Phone is a different kind of phone, architected to put the focus on end users while enabling developers to build compelling, connected experiences that enhance the phone. Peer under the covers to see how the architecture evolved to deliver powerful functionality for users and developers: enabling rapid seamless transitions between applications; delivering continuous user experiences in the background; combined Silverlight/XNA in a unified UI; sharing data between phone and applications; sensor fusion for integration of the physical and virtual worlds; and many more. Along the way, we will demonstrate how Microsoft brought together these features to deliver experiences that are responsive and battery efficient.

    WIN302:  Adding the Awesomesauce Flavour with Internet Explorer 9 Pinned Sites

    By now, you've heard about pinned sites in Internet Explorer 9. And, you've probably even used them yourself. But, did you know that this feature can help increase site visits and engagements? In this session, you'll hear stories of Pinned Site implementations by some of the most popular websites on the web today. You'll also discover how to support pinned sites with a few lines of markup. Finally, you'll learn best practices that will help you deliver an awesome experience to your visitors.

    WIN303:  Windows Intune: PC Management with Cloud Services and Windows 7

    Windows Intune, Microsoft's cloud-based offering for PC management, simplifies and helps businesses manage and help secure PCs using Windows cloud services and Windows 7. As an integrated Microsoft offering, Windows Intune brings together cloud services for PC management and protection with a Windows upgrade subscription – all without the need to set up enterprise deployment infrastructure. In this session, see how simple it is to get started with Windows Intune to deliver the essentials of management – updates, malware protection, and asset inventory – to unmanaged PCs. Learn how Microsoft cloud services help deliver the reliability and security you expect for your business.

    WIN304:  Building Windows Phone 7 Applications with the Windows Azure Platform

    In this session you will learn how to build Windows Phone 7 applications that are backed by scalable cloud components hosted in Windows Azure. This demo-focused session will cover the end-to-end experience and address how to tackle issues such as authentication, storage, and notification using the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7.
    WIN305:  Application Design for Windows Phone In the past year, we’ve worked with hundreds of developers and designers interpreting the "Metro" design system for their own purposes. We’ve seen great interpretations, and others that aren’t so great. In this session, we’ll share with you the foundations of great Metro application design for Windows Phone, and how to use them to build outstanding applications that will stand out and get noticed… for good reasons.  We will also be providing some general best practices for building great mobile experiences.
    WIN312:  Digging into an HTML5 Line of Business Starter Kit (Local Content Submitted for Toronto)

    No doubt you’ve heard a lot about HTML5 as a web developer. Now it’s time to look at what that means. In this session we’ll take a look at the construction of an HTML5 line-of-business application. It will show you what you need to consider targeting the desktop, phone and tableting web experiences while taking advantage of the tools that HTML5 delivers to you.

    WIN371:  Complete Windows 7 Deployment Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 (MDT 2012)

    If you are still spending money on your desktop deployment solutions, be prepared to be impressed! The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 (MDT 2012) can do it all. And it’s free. In this session Rhonda will show you how to set up a MDT server, create a complete image including Office 2010 and deploy that image using the new Deployment Wizard.  But wait that’s not all MDT 2012 can also migrate your XP machines to Windows 7 while maintaining users data and settings as well. See it all in this demo driven session.

    WIN372:  Windows Deployment Service (WDS) vs Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 (MDT) Choose The Right Tool Stop wasting money on your deployment tools, you can do it all with Microsoft’s free tools. But which one does what you need? Rhonda will show you the differences between WDS and MDT so you can spend your time wisely setting up the right tool from the beginning. WDS can create and deploy images but only a certain type of image. MDT can create, manage and deploy your images. While they sound similar in functionality the feature set could not be more different. This session will show you all the features of WDS and compare those to all the features of MDT. Learn which tool can link your branch deployment shares (DS) to the Corporate DS allowing branch office machines to be deployed locally. Find out also how to deploy an entire image from a USB Flash Drive that requires no network connection to the DS. And last but not least discover how to set up automatic imaging and re-imaging for troubleshooting both desktop and server OSs.
    WIN373:  Consumerization of IT: Windows Devices in the Workplace Apps have sparked a lot of market interest and buzz – for businesses. Windows Phone also brings together a captivating experience for work and play. In this session we’ll take a deep dive into key business scenarios that Windows Phone enables today.  Come to this session to learn why Microsoft has a competitive advantage over other OS platforms.  Learn how Windows Phone and Microsoft collaboration solutions like Exchange, SharePoint & Lync offer the best integration for the enterprise and offer the best connectivity experience for end users.

    If you are interested in attending, don’t delay in registering as the conference is filling up with registrations right now.  We are also providing early bird pricing for the conference (CAD $399.99 instead of the regular fee of $799.99, which is a 50% discount).  For Toronto, this early bird pricing ends on October 4, 2011 (Vancouver early bird pricing ends October 25, 2011 and Montreal early bird pricing ends November 8, 2011), so time is running short on getting a great discount on premier training and networking!

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