Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Windows Phone 8 Development Internals book for only $10 - this week only


    Cover ShotJust spotted this over on the Microsoft Press blog. This looks like an awesome book and you can have access to bits of it now for $10. If you wait until next week, the price goes up to $20, and it keeps going up as more of the book's available (although for your $10, you keep getting more of the book for no additional charge).

    All of the details are available in the Microsoft Press post.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    More useful Windows Phone 8 Resources


    Announcing the new Windows Phone 8 Developer Platform by Kevin Gallo

    Visual Studio Blog – Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0

    .Net Framework Blog – Announcing the release of the .NET Framework for Windows Phone 8

    Windows Phone Blog – Meet Windows Phone 8

    Windows Phone Dev Center Twitter Feed

    Windows Phone Twitter Feed

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Windows Phone 8 SDK Available for Download

    The Windows Phone 8 SDK is now available for download from the Windows Phone Developer site. Grab it today to start developing for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.5. There’s also a great MSDN article - What's new in Windows Phone SDK 8.0
  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Windows Phone 8 Training and Hands-On-Labs in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney


    [13/11] Update - added Agenda below

    Last week I sent a Save the Date to the Australian Windows Phone Community List where I foreshadowed training in Windows Phone in conjunction with Nokia this month. Well, with the release of the new Windows Phone SDK yesterday, I can now announce it will be Windows Phone 8 training and Hands On Labs.

    Come and learn about developing for the new Windows Phone 8. In each city, Day 1 (Friday) is dedicated to presentations introducing you to the concepts and techniques you’ll need to create successful Windows Phone applications. Day 2 (Saturday) is a full day of hands-on labs to get you up and running. With experts from Nokia and Microsoft at hand, you’ll quickly grasp the fundamentals of creating and publishing apps for this exciting platform. Nokia also have some great prizes up for grabs.

    Dates and Locations

    City Day 1 (Presentations) Day 2 (Hands-on-labs)
    Melbourne Friday 16 November 2012 09:00-17:00
    Microsoft Office
    Level 5, 4 Freshwater Place
    Saturday 17 November 2012 09:00-17:00
    Clifton's Training
    Level 1, 440 Collins St
    Brisbane Friday 23 November 2012 09:00-17:00
    Microsoft Office
    Level 28, 400 George St        
    Saturday 24 November 2012 09:00-17:00
    Clifton's Training        
    288 Edward St        
    Sydney Friday 30 November 2012 09:00-17:00        
    Grace Hotel        
    77 York St
    Saturday 01 December 2012 09:00-17:00
    Clifton's Training        
    190-200 George St        

    To register, sign in or create an account on the Australian Windows Phone Community site, and then go to the Events Page.


    The agenda for each of the days is still being finalised, but it will all be Windows Phone 8.

    Day 1 will be presentation-style while day 2 will be hands-on.

    Agenda for Day 1

    Time Topic
    09:15 Keynote
    10:15 Break
    10:30 Windows Phone 8 Fundamentals
    11:15 Notifications
    12:00 Lunch
    13:00 Sensors
    13:45 Store
    14:15 Break
    14:30 User Experience Guidelines
    15:15 Win 8 and Windows Phone - porting and compatibility
    16:00 Break
    16:15 Mobile Services
    17:00 Finish

    Agenda for Day 2

    The format for Day 2 is a hands-on lab day. We'll start with a quick lap around the environment to get everyone up to speed with the tools and the lab content available and then  the group will choose two of the labs to go through together in group lab time.

    Time Topic
    09:00 Intro – tools and lab content
    09:45 Lab time 1
    11:00 Group lab 1
    12:15 Lab time 2
    14:00 Group lab 2
    15:15 Lab time 3

    The eight labs available are as follows:

    Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8

    • differences
    • porting steps
    • reusable components

    App-to-App Communication

    • uri scheme names
    • app file types

    Lock Screen

    Voice Commands

    • starting an app
    • advanced functionality

    Live Tiles

    • adding tiles to an app
    • understanding the three tile types


    • in-app purchasing
    • full-app purchasing


    • supporting wallet
    • coupons
    • membership registration

    Running Tracker - sample app with

    • map control
    • maps api
    • background execution

    You can choose to come to either or both of the days.


    This is a free event.


    Registration links will be available here soon.


    At this stage, presenters will be Vaughan Knight from Nokia, Nick Randolph from BuiltToRoam, Dave Glover and myself from Microsoft (I'm pretty sure Frank Arrigo will be at the Melbourne events too). Not every one of us will be at all of the events, but you get the idea.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Learn Azure and Save a Life


    Folding@Home is a Stanford University research project into Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and many forms of cancer. Essentially it’s a distributed computing project (it probably could be classified as a useful SETI) where small units of work are farmed out to available computing resources.

    This kind of problem is one that’s ideally suited to Windows Azure (and other cloud platforms), so if you’d like to learn about the new Windows Azure Portal and potentially contribute to some life-saving research here’s all you need to do:

    1. Sign up for a 90-day trial at (you’ll need a credit card to prove who you are, but we won’t charge it unless you specifically give us permission to)
    2. Download the package from - extract the two files somewhere on your machine
    3. Create a storage account in the new portal called something unique
    4. Quick-Create a cloud service account in the new portal
    5. Add a new production deployment, call it something useful (for later reference) and upload the cspkg and cscfg files you extracted in (2) above
    6. Go to storage in the portal and click on your new storage account. Click the manage keys button in the app bar at the bottom and copy one of the keys to the clipboard
    7. Go to cloud services in the portal and click on your new cloud service. Click on the configure tab
    8. Scroll down to the athomewebrole settings. Update the dataconnectionstring setting, replace {name} with your storage account name (from (3)) and {key} with the key you copied in (6). Save.
    9. Wait a couple of minutes (probably about 120 sec)
    10. Go to cloud services in the portal and click on your cloud service’s url
    11. You should see something like this:
    12. Click start folding and you’re away.
    13. After about 10 minutes check back at your folding url and you should see some progress:

    Look at you - saving the world.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Windows Azure Platform Training Kit Updated



    The June 2012 update of the Windows Azure Platform Training Kit is now available for download.

    From the download page:

    The June 2012 update of the Windows Azure Training Kit includes over 42 hands-on labs and 18 presentations. Some of the updates in this version include:

    • 12 new hands-on labs for Windows Azure Virtual Machines
    • 11 new hands-on labs for Windows Azure Web Sites
    • 2 new hands-on labs demonstrating Windows Azure with Windows 8 Metro-style applications
    • Several new hands-on labs for Node.js and PHP using Mac OS X
    • Updated content for the latest Windows Azure SDKs, tools, and new Windows Azure Management Portal
    • New and updated presentations designed to support individual sessions to a full 3 day training workshops

    Grab it now!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Windows Azure - When do I use What?



    At this week’s Azure Dev Camp in Sydney, I showed a slide with suggestions as to when you’d use Windows Azure Web Sites, when you’d use Windows Azure Cloud Services, and when you’d use Windows Azure Virtual Machines. I pinched the slide from Yochay Kiriaty and Craig Kitterman’s TechEd US Session “Windows Azure Websites: Under The Hood (AZR305)”, which is well worth a watch by the way.

    I’ve had a few questions and a couple of requests to post the slide, so here it is (reformatted for the blog format)

    Windows Azure Web Sites are ideal for

    • Modern web apps
      Perfect if your app consists of client side markup and scripting, server side scripting and a database. Powerful capability to scale out and up as needed.
    • Continuous development
      Deploy directly from your source code repository, using Git or Team Foundation Service.
    • Popular open source apps
      Launch a professional looking site with a few clicks using apps like WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, DotNetNuke and Umbraco

    Windows Azure Cloud Services (Web Role) are ideal for

    • Multi-tier applications
      Cloud-based applications that separate application logic into multiple tiers (i.e. caching middle tier, asynchronous background processes like order processing) using both Web and Worker Roles  
    • Apps that require advanced administration
      Cloud-based applications that require admin access, remote desktop access or elevated permissions
    • Apps that require advanced networking
      Cloud-based applications that require network isolation for use with Windows Azure Connect or Windows Azure Virtual Network

    Windows Azure Virtual Machines are ideal for

    • Enterprise server applications
      Run your existing enterprise applications in the cloud, such as SQL Server, SharePoint Server or Active Directory.
    • Porting existing line of business apps
      Choose an image from the library or upload your own VHD.
    • Windows or Linux operating system
      Support for Windows Server, along with community and commercial versions of Linux. Connect virtual machines with cloud services to take full advantage of PaaS services.
  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    DDD Melbourne Announced for 28 July plus Call for Speakers


    DDD Melbourne 2012 has been announced and the call for speakers has opened. If you’re a developer in Melbourne (or are happy to travel for an excellent event), check it out.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Cool Azure InfoGraphic


    The Azure marketing folk here in Australia have produced this cool infographic talking about how the cloud is changing the job market and how to take advantage of the opportunities the cloud provides with Windows Azure.

    Check out the graphic below, and sign up for a trial of Windows Azure. Of course, if you want to have a project to work towards as well, you could try the Windows Azure Challenges (and, if you’re an Australian resident, go in the running to win one of four Nokia 710 Windows Phones).

    Windows Azure Jobs and Revenue Growth 

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Excellent Windows Azure Intro Videos


    I just stumbled across some excellent introductory videos which Steve Marx did while he was at Microsoft. They provide a short explanation behind some of the Azure concepts including:

    What is Windows Azure?

    What is SQL Azure?

    What are the Access Control and Service Bus?

    What is the Windows Azure Platform?

    Check them out.

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