June, 2011

Most Recent Posts
  • US ISV Evangelism

    ISV Video: Avalara Maps Sales Taxes on Windows Azure

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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.

    clip_image001ISV 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

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Microsoft Unveils Windows 8

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    In Taipei, Taiwan, Mike Angiulo, corporate vice president of Windows Planning, Hardware and PC Ecosystem, showed hardware partners “Windows 8” to help the partners build devices that take advantage of the new user experience. 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.

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Video Shows New Windows 8 Features

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    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.

    A first look at the new "Windows 8" user interface

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Register For BUILD Conference to Re-imagine Software on Windows 8

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    imageBUILD 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.

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Download the May 2011 Update of the SQL Server 2008 R2 Developer Training Kit

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    The May 2011 Update release of the SQL Server 2008 R2 Update for Developers Training Kit is available for download at the following URL: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9710868 The May 2011 update is a maintenance release which provides support for Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Visual Studio 2010 SP1. Additionally, any demos or hands-on labs that no longer have a Visual Studio 2008 dependency were updated to Visual Studio 2010.  There is no new content in this release.
  • US ISV Evangelism

    Special $150 Rebate for SQL Azure Core in June

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    sql-azure-logo-lgReceive 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.

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Fujitsu Launches Global Cloud Platform Service On Windows Azure Appliance

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    WinAzure_rgbThe 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.

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Economics - it’s What Drives the Shift to the Cloud

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    imageEconomics 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.

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Windows Phone API Mapping Tool Now Includes Android

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    clip_image002Today 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.

     

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Combining Public and Private Clouds into Useful Hybrids

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    imageWatch 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

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Security Talk Series–Cloud Computing

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    imageCloud 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

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Debug Code without Keeping All That Code in Your Head

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    imageDebugger 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.

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Windows Azure AppFabric Access Control Services Academy Videos

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    image_thumbAccess 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

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    SketchFlow Template for Windows Phone is Now Available

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    2011-06-09 09h47_52The 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.

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Microsoft Platform Ready Website Updated to Include Office 365

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    clip_image002The MPR website has been updated to include Office 365 under the Develop Tab. Here are some of the resource available at the site:

    Microsoft Office 365 Resources

    Online Services

    • Get free access to Office 365 tools and resources by signing up for the online services beta to get a full-featured look at what it can do.
    • View a customer overview of Office 365 in this downloadable presentation (PPT).
    • See how Office 365 can power your business in this video.
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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Windows AzureCamp NYC

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    Microsoft AzureCamp NYC I hosted an AzureCamp at the Microsoft Office in NYC with 24 attendees on April 21/22. This 1.5 day event was targeted to Startups and ISVs in the New York City metro area. All stages of software solutions were welcome to join. The goal was to support the development/move of software solutions that target or extend to the cloud, to place them on the Windows Azure Market place, and to promote them through Microsoft channels. The event finished with a 5 minute pitch to a panel...
  • US ISV Evangelism

    Target Multiple GPU Architectures with New C++ Accelerated Massive Parallelism

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    VS_h_rgbS 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.

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Kinect SDK Beta Released for Windows for Academics and Enthusiasts

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    imageKinect 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.

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    ‘Web Standards Update’ Brings Intellisense to HTML5, CSS3 for Visual Studio, Visual Web Express

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    html5-displayASP.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.

    It updates the HTML5 Intellisense and validation to reflect the latest W3C specifications and fixes some bugs bugs in the current SP1 support for HTML5. Also JavaScript Intellisense it updated to reflect many of the new browser capabilities such as Geolocation and DOM storage. Finally, this update adds comprehensive CSS3 Intellisense and validation based on the latest specifications from W3C.

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Windows Azure DataMarket June Update

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    DataMarket Goes International!

    imageWe are super excited to announce the availability of DataMarket Service Update 2. Service Update 2 introduces a number of exciting new features, including:

    • Internationalization: SU2 is the first wave of our international rollout. With this release, we are enabling the purchase of datasets from Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom in local currencies. It will be our endeavor to continue to expand this list.
    • Rich Visualization: Customers don't just want raw data; they want visualizations. This release includes a new service explorer that enables customers to create visualizations and export them in various formats for offline use. This is in addition to exporting data to PowerPivot and partner tools like Tableau to provide a rich, comprehensive platform.
    • Free trials on selected premium datasets for 30 days. If you are a Content Publisher, you can still choose to opt in! To begin, MetricMash, Dun & Bradstreet, Boundary Solutions, and StrikeIron all have free offerings available today.
    • OAuth 2.0 support: Developers want an integrated and embeddable DataMarket experience. DataMarket OAuth support enables you to seamlessly integrate your application to use DataMarket data and to allow your users to purchase required data subscriptions without leaving your application.
    • Facebook Integration: Customers can now share their favorite data offers on Facebook. Check out and Like your favorite data offer.
    • New Content Providers: DataMarket continues to add new data offers from numerous publishers, including MetricMash (unemployment data), Digital Trowel (U.S. business database), and Infochimps (social ranking). Additional details can be found below in the content update section.
    • DataMarket Excel Add-in CTP 2: Excel has been one of the key ways our customers interact with the DataMarket. CTP 2 of the Excel add-in leverages OAuth2.0, allowing you to sign in with your Windows Live ID and creating an easy and intuitive experience.
    • DataMarket MapApp for Bing Maps now Available! We are very excited to announce the launch of the new DataMarket Map App in the Bing Map App Gallery ! Using the Map App customers will be able to visualize layers of geocoded datasets directly in Bing Maps like Demographics data from ESRI & Alteryx, US Crime data, Historical Weather data from Weather Bug etc.
    • Click here to try the MappApp!
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  • US ISV Evangelism

    How to Get Ready for the Windows Phone 7 Exam 70-599

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    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:

    • Designing Data Access Strategies (19%)
    • Designing and Implementing Notification Strategies (17%)
    • Working with Platform APIs, Tasks, and Choosers (21%)
    • Designing the Application Architecture (21%)
    • Designing the User Interface and User Experience (23%)
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  • US ISV Evangelism

    See HTML5 Features for Windows Phone ‘Mango’

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    imageMobile 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.

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Azure Team Introduces Windows Azure AppFabric Applications

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    WinAzure_AppFabric_h_rgbA 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.

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Partners of the Year Named

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    mpnMicrosoft 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.

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  • US ISV Evangelism

    Your Vote Counts for ‘Peoples Choice’ at Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals

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    imaginecup_logoThe 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.

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