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Turns out that sales taxes are more difficult to calculate than it might seem. More than 15,000 taxable regions inside the US form a mosaic for sales tax calculation. Fire districts, state districts, special taxation districts, and state rules on items all play a part. Avalara put together a new product to show the lines between taxation districts on Windows Azure.
ISV Architect Evangelist Bruce Kyle talks with Jared Vogt, Avalara's CTO, about how they developed the services, how they needed to think about moving an application from their data centers into Windows Azure. When they wanted to show on a map how a tax is calculated, they turned to Windows Azure and Bing Maps. Jared provides a demo too of GeoSalesTax.com.
Link to ISV Video: Avalara Maps Sales Taxes on Windows Azure
Microsoft Corp. showed hardware partners the next version of Windows, internally code-named “Windows 8,” to help the partners build devices that take advantage of the new user experience. As part of this technical preview, Mike Angiulo, corporate vice president of Windows Planning, Hardware and PC Ecosystem at Microsoft, demonstrated how “Windows 8” is optimized for newer touch-centric hardware, including tablets, while still delivering the flexibility, connectivity and power that people have come to expect from Windows today.
The technical demonstration also highlighted the new operating system’s ability to work across both x86 and ARM-based architectures, with a variety of early prototypes shown running the new operating system. Microsoft and silicon chip makers AMD, Intel Corporation, NVIDIA Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc. initially announced plans in January to work together on the next version of Windows.
This week, Microsoft demonstrated the next generation of Windows, internally code-named “Windows 8,” for the first time. Windows 8 is a reimagining of Windows, from the chip to the interface. A Windows 8-based PC is really a new kind of device, one that scales from touch-only small screens through to large screens, with or without a keyboard and mouse.
The demo showed some of the ways we’ve reimagined the interface for a new generation of touch-centric hardware. Fast, fluid and dynamic, the experience has been transformed while keeping the power, flexibility and connectivity of Windows intact.
BUILD is a new event that shows modern hardware and software developers how to take advantage of the future of Windows. Learn how to work with the all new touch-centric user experience to create fast, fluid, and dynamic applications that leverage the power and flexibility of the core of Windows, used by more than a billion people around the world.
Register for BUILD before August 1 for the early bird discount.
Receive a $150 rebate when you sign up for one 10 GB Database in SQL Azure. This works out to $74.95 per month and is a one-time promotional offer that represents 25% off of our normal consumption rates. It requires a 6 month commitment beginning in June.
Offer valid until June 30.
The first official production release of the Windows Azure platform appliance by Fujitsu running in Fujitsu’s datacenter in Japan coming in August.
The Fujitsu Ltd. and Microsoft Corp. partnership allows Fujitsu to work alongside Microsoft providing services to enable, deliver and manage solutions built on Windows Azure.
With Fujitsu Global Cloud Platform service, FGCP/A5, customers will be able to quickly build elastically scalable applications using familiar Windows Azure platform technologies, streamline their information communications technology (ICT) operations management to accelerate business expansion, and enhance their competitive edge in the global market.
Economics is often called the inexact science, but it provides the driving force behind the transition to the cloud. It is similar to previous technology change such as the move from centralized to client/server to virtualization. Customers and have deployed virtualization within their environments to address key economic/budgetary issues of under-utilization and power consumption. My local power utility was providing tax rebates for virtualization projects in the past. Business units and developers have subscribed to SaaS and IaaS solutions to increase business agility and flexibility. IT departments are under pressure to deliver services similar to cloud providers – not just once, but to have repeatable processes.
Today Microsoft is releasing a comprehensive package for Android developers to easily learn Windows Phone and port their app to Microsoft’s phone platform.
The package consists of:
The Windows Phone API mapping tool is targeted at helping developers find their way around the Windows Phone platform. It’s not a magic wand, but it does provide a “pocket dictionary” type experience.
Watch David Chou’s TechEd session about the widely discussed “hybrid” approach – solutions spanning from on-premise into the cloud. This session offers a discussion of how usage of multiple cloud solutions enables large enterprises to be successful in adopting cloud computing, as well as a review of challenges that go with it.
Please visit Microsoft Tech Ed Registration site and create a free account
Cloud Computing and Security are very big issues whether one is considering public or private cloud solutions. Here are some great resources for Developers and Decision Makers.
MSDN Video: Case Study Interview with Quest Software
MSDN Video: Quest Software's Azure Services
MSDN Video: Security in Provisioning and Billing Solutions for Windows Azure Platform
Debugger Canvas from DevLabs is a new user experience for stepping through code in the debugger in Visual Studio Ultimate. It displays the code of each of the methods you step into on a canvas with call lines between them, helping you keep track of the bigger picture as well as the details.
Debugger Canvas pulls together all the code along a call path into a single display for browsing and even editing. Instead of having to keep all the code in your head while you look at one file tab at a time, now you can see the entire path on the canvas, enabling you to more easily track the flow of control and data through your application.
Access Control provides an easy way to provide identity and access control to web applications and services, while integrating with standards-based identity providers, including enterprise directories such as Active Directory®, and web identities such as Windows Live ID, Google, Yahoo! and Facebook.
The service enables authorization decisions to be pulled out of the application and into a set of declarative rules that can transform incoming security claims into claims that applications understand. These rules are defined using a simple and familiar programming model, resulting in cleaner code. It can also be used to manage users’ permissions, saving the effort and complexity of developing these capabilities.
Here’s a brief description of potential usage scenarios, benefits and features. I’ve added eight links to a collection of short videos about ACS – each video is approximately two minutes. These are “demystifying” videos about ACS including supporting slides available for download. Thanks to fellow Microsoft employee, Alik Levin for providing these links
The SketchFlow Template for Windows Phone 7 adds a new SketchFlow template for Expression Blend* users that makes creating a prototype of a Windows Phone app quick and easy. You can download it from here (CodePlex)
With this new template you can quickly mockup a Windows Phone app using all the SketchFlow features you already know and love, sketchy controls, sample data, Behaviors and the Visual State Manager. The prototype you create runs in the SketchFlow player enabling you to easily test, get feedback and quickly iterate on your ideas even if your client and stakeholders are remote to your location. For the SketchFlow phone template we have added a number of unique phone features to speed up the prototyping process such as pivot and panorama, date and time pickers, map controls, the application bar as well full screen mockups of features such as the camera, Bing search, the app list and home screen.
The MPR website has been updated to include Office 365 under the Develop Tab. Here are some of the resource available at the site:
S Somasegar, Developer Division Senior Vice President, announced C++ Accelerated Massive Parallelism (C++ AMP) that helps you target graphics hardware from all the major hardware vendors. The idea is to provide a way you can build out your software on massively parallel to include both GPU and APUs.
Soma also announced Microsoft’s intent to make C++ AMP an open specification.
Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) from Microsoft Research has been released for noncommerical application development.
The Kinect for Windows SDK can be downloaded today at no cost for development of noncommercial applications at http://research.microsoft.com/kinectsdk.
ASP.NET developers have been asking for HTML5 & CSS3 support all the time and today we are super excited to announce the public availability of Visual Studio Web Standards Update which brings a ton of HTML5 & CSS3 support to Visual Studio 2010 SP1.
VS Web Standards Update is a free extension available for anyone who is using Visual Studio 2010 SP1 or Visual Web Developer Express 2010 SP1.
We are super excited to announce the availability of DataMarket Service Update 2. Service Update 2 introduces a number of exciting new features, including:
Windows Phone 7 exam which will be available starting July 14. Peter Kuhn of the Silverlight Show has posted a series about how you can get ready for the exam.
The official outline of the measured Phone 7 skills breaks down the topics into the following parts:
Mobile Test Drive site has launched. It provides Windows Phone developers with the functionality you can expect on the IE 9 experience you’ll find in the ‘Mango’ release.
The site laid out to be easily read similar to Internet Explorer Test Drive, but uses on the mobile form factor.
A Windows Azure AppFabric Application is any n-tier .NET application that spans the web, middle, and data tiers, composes with external services, and is inherently written to the cloud architecture for scale and availability.
Build AppFabric Applications using AppFabric Developer Tools, run them in the AppFabric Container service, and manage them using the AppFabric Application Manager.
Microsoft Corp. announced the winners and finalists of the 2011 Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards. The annual awards honor Microsoft partners for delivering innovative solutions during the past year that directly address customer challenges. Award winners and finalists, chosen from nominations from around the world, will be recognized at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2011, the company’s premier annual event for industry partners, July 10–14 in Los Angeles.
The Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals will be held July 8-13 in New York City. This year, more than 400 international students, made up of 124 student teams from 73 countries, will gather to compete for top honors. Everyone can get involved in the excitement by voting for the Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide People’s Choice.