Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Windows Phone 8 Update 3 Announced plus Windows Phone Preview for Developers


    We just announced that Windows Phone 8 Update 3 is coming. The full feature list is in the post, but in summary:

    • Support for bigger, higher-resolution screens
    • More powerful hardware
    • Driving mode
    • Internet Sharing improvements
    • Lots more, including the thing that’s going to bring cries of joy in my house, screen location lock!

    At the bottom of the Windows Phone 8 Update announcement, there’s a very exciting announcement for Windows Phone developers, we’ve also announced a Preview Program for developers.

    In summary, if you have a developer-unlocked phone you will be able to install the update early. You need to visit the Windows Phone Preview for Developers page. This page goes through everything you need to know about the preview program. Once you accept the terms and conditions, you can download the Windows Phone Preview for Developers app, which installs from the Windows Phone Store directly onto your phone and allows you to opt your phone in to receive updates. Then you can head over to your phone’s Phone update setting app and get your update on.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Free Nokia Design/Developer Workshops in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne


    Nokia are running Design/Developer camps in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne.

    The Sydney event is on this Friday/Saturday 18/19 October.

    Perth is 25/26 October and Melbourne 1/2 November. These look like great sessions, delivered by experts Shane Morris and Nick Randolph, in conjunction with Nokia’s Vaughan Knight. Full agenda and details are on the sign up page.

    From the sign up page:

    We are holding a free 2 day event for developers and designers to level up their skills with help from industry experts Shane Morris and Nick Randolph.  The event will cater to new comers and veterans alike, covering both designing and developing for Windows Phone.  With fantastic new devices such as the Nokia Lumia 1020, and growing market share globally, it's time to level up your modern design skills.

    Sign up here:




  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    FranklySpeaking’s Back


    Coatsy and KordsyMichael Kordahi and I started the FranklySpeaking podcast back in November 2009. We recorded about 75 episodes up to the middle of 2011 and then went quiet with the exception of 2 or 3 false starts (there was other shiny stuff to play with). A couple of months ago we restarted and we’re having a great time.

    The new (hosted on Windows Azure Web Sites) site is at, and there are links from there to subscribe with your favourite podcast client.

    By the way, we’ve also shared the audio files from the entire back catalogue on our SkyDrive.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    My Ignite Sydney Talk


    I had a great time doing a talk at Ignite Sydney this year. My title was “Statistics - Learn it or Lose”

    Andrew Coates: Statistics–learn it or lose.

    Some other great talks from the night (not all safe for work):

    “You’re probably not an outlier”

    Which I liked so much that I had a T-shirt made of it.

    T-Shirt - You're probably not an outlier

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Windows Phone Game Developer Workshop in Sydney 24/25 May


    Thinking about writing a game for Windows Phone? Come along and learn from some of the best in the business. Featuring three strands from casual games you can write and publish in a couple of hours up to hard-core 3D games with the unity framework, this DevCamp has something for everyone. Get your game face on.

    Register at

    The three strands will be:

    1. Developing high-performance 3D games on Windows Phone using the Unity Framework,
    2. Developing Games for Windows Phone with XAML, and
    3. Using TouchDevelop to quickly create and publish games for Windows Phone

    The sessions will probably be held at Microsoft HQ in North Ryde, and will run from 9am to 5pm each day.

    Places are limited for this free event so Register Now!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Windows Phone 8 Training Kit Updated


    The updated Windows Phone 8 Training Kit is live!

    This kit contains 20 Hands-On Labs and a set of 6 presentations that can be used to drive code camps or for general training purposes.

    These are great for getting yourself up to speed with some comprehensive training, and they’re also excellent if you’re looking to give a presentation on Windows Phone.

    Don’t forget that there are nearly 100 Training Kits on all kinds of technologies available for free from the Microsoft Download Centre

    Grab some today!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    IISExpress - Configuration file is not well-formed XML


    [UPDATE 2013-04-26]

    After consulting with my brains trust (thanks Damo), I tried one last thing. I manually copied the folders IISExpress had created in the c:\temp\IISExpress folder back into my MyDocuments\IISExpress folder, and VS seems happy. I’m calling this one closed for now.

    [UPDATE 2013-04-23]

    This is only half solved. It looks like VS still insists on launching IISExpress with a specific command line switch pointing at the old config location.

    I installed a new machine the other day and on loading a VS project that uses IISExpress, I got the following error:

    Filename: \\?\UNC\[our My Docs Server]\MyDocs1\acoat\My Documents\IISExpress\config\applicationHost.config 
    Line number: 1
    Error: Configuration file is not well-formed XML

    Turns out that IISExpress is writing config information to my My Documents folder, but because I’ve got folder redirection turned on, this is a UNC path, not a local path. It looks like an applicationHost.config file is created, but it’s 0 bytes and the IISExpress process doesn’t have permission to write to it.

    Fortunately, from IISExpress 8 onwards, there’s a registry key you can setr to point IISExpress at another home folder.

    Thanks to this post on StackOverflow, I was pointed to the IIS 8.0 Express Readme FIle, which, in the New Features section says:

    Changing the User Home Directory

    IIS 8.0 Express supports changing the user's home directory, which is mapped to the %IIS_USER_HOME% variable in configuration. By default this path is located at %UserProfile%\Documents\IISExpress, but users can change this by setting a CustomUserHome registry property in HKCU\Software\Microsoft\IISExpress, or by specifying the "/userhome" parameter when launching iisexpress.exe.

    So, I fired up RegEdit, added a new IISExpress key under HKCU\Software\Microsoft and then added a string key CustomUserHome set to "c:\Temp\IISExpress" (a folder I’d created manually) and IISExpress starts in the expected manner and creates all of its config, logs and tracelogfiles folders (and their accompanying files) there and starts successfully.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Adelaide Windows Phone 8 Training Days May 3 and 4


    Dave’s just blogged about some excellent Windows Phone 8 training in Adelaide at the beginning of May. If you’re in the area, you should go.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Joining a Lync Webcast as a Guest


    To attend one of our Lync Webcasts, you'll get a notification (either by email or on a web page) that looks like this;



    There are three ways you can join the meeting

    1. Audio alone (dial-in);
    2. Web client for screen casting and dial-in for audio; or
    3. Lync Client

    Audio alone

    Simply dial one of the numbers shown in your invitation or click the "Find a local number" link to get a list of all of the available dial-in numbers from around the world. When prompted, enter the Conference ID in your invitation (I've scrubbed out the ID above so you're not tempted to enter it, you need the ID from your invitation).

    That should be it. Depending on the settings from the meeting organiser, you may be in the "meeting lobby" until you're admitted to the meeting, or you may go straight into the meeting.

    Web Client

    If you need to see what the presenter is doing as well as hearing the presentation, you'll need to connect to the web client (or using the Lync client below).

    Click on the Join Lync Meeting link in your invitation, and one of two things will happen. If you've already got a Lync client installed, it will open and the meeting should start (see the Lync Client section below).

    If you don't have a Lync client installed, after a couple of redirects, you should be presented with the following choice:



    Click the Join the meeting using your web browser link (we'll talk about the Lync Attendee option later on)

    A new browser window will open:


    Choose Join as a guest and enter your name (as you'd like to have it appear in the meeting)


    then click the Join Meeting button.

    Depending on how the meeting organiser has set up the meeting, you may see this message:


    and then this message:


    Click OK, and you'll be in the meeting:


    There are a few things to point out here.

    First, the area marked Presso in the image above is where the presentation will happen. In the screenshot, the presenter is conducting a poll, but this is also where you'll see PowerPoint slides, the presenter's screen or whatever else is displayed.

    Next, the area marked IM allows you to type questions/comments that will be seen (and potentially responded to) by everyone else in the meeting. This is a great way to ask questions as the presenter (or someone assisting the presenter) and answer them asynchronously, without interrupting the presentation itself.

    Finally, clicking the highlighted tab marked Phone pops up the options for getting audio to go along with the meeting:


    Option 1 gets the conference to call you - simply enter your phone number and click Call Me.

    Option 2 is the same process as the one outlined in the Audio Alone section above.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Building a Windows Phone Transport App for NSW


    Dave Glover’s just posted a call to Be Part of the Windows Phone Developer/Designer Virtual Team "NSW Transport App Hot House".

    Transport NSW are making a set of data feeds available around real-time bus and train status (vehicle locations, station maintenance, accessibility etc.) and are running a comp to find developers and designers to consume and expose it in interesting and useful ways.

    Dave’s putting a team together to do a Windows Phone version.

    Check it out.

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