13 September 2012

Get TeamCompanion for Free (if you act fast)!

imageWith the launch of Visual Studio 2012, Ekobit sim-ships TeamCompanion 4.7.  If you are not familiar with TeamCompanion, it integrates many of the Team Foundation client features within Microsoft Outlook.  For example, with TeamCompanion, you can easily create Work Items with an e-mail (or vice- versa).  You can also create new Outlook Tasks from Work Items.  There are many other features, such as scheduled Work Item queries, available within TeamCompanion that can simply make life easier for those of us who spend their days working with TFS (click here for further details).

If you act fast – i.e. between now and Friday, September 14th at midnight PDT (UTC-7:00) – you can get a free TeamCompanion license!  There are three ways in which to do this:

  1. Follow TeamCompanion on Twitter and retweet the announcement tweet as soon as possible.
  2. Like TeamCompanion on Facebook and then share the post announcing the contest.
  3. Join the TeamCompanion circle of friends on Google+

Read this blog post for more information regarding the giveaway.

09 September 2012

Introduction to Windows 8 Development–Go Metro!

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at this year’s Heartland Developers Conference (HDC).  I gave an introductory talk on developing “Metro” applications for Windows 8.  The goal of the talk was to cover some of the basic features that every developer writing Windows 8 apps would have to face when first getting started.  Some of these features include:

  • Obtaining Windows 8
  • Obtaining the developers tools – e.g. Visual Studio 2012
  • Understanding the Windows Runtime framework
  • Specific application features such as:
    • Roaming data (e.g. app settings) to the cloud
    • Contracts and extensions
    • Using the File Picker
    • Implementing application settings (via the charms bar)
    • Create app bars
    • Understanding the application lifecycle
  • Windows Store
    • Registration
    • Packaging
    • Publishing

The talk went very well and I was pleased with the turnout of my session as well as the conference overall.  As always, HDC has turned out to be a great developer resource.  I look forward to returning next year.

The slides for my session have been uploaded here.  I have also published the corresponding demos (Windows 8, C#/XAML) on SkyDrive, here.  There are some great resource links in the last few slides so be sure to check them out.

04 September 2012

How Many Windows 8 Apps are in the Windows Store?

Although there are roughly one bazillion (yes, I made that number up :-) “desktop” apps currently available that will run on Windows 8, the number of Metro “Windows Store” apps still measures in the hundreds (not hundreds of thousands, just hundreds).  If you’re curious about how many Windows Store apps are available in your marketplace, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Windows Store app.

  2. Open the Charms Bar and tap Search (or press Logo+Q).
  3. Enter * (an asterisk) as the search term and press Enter (ensure Store is the selected search source).

  4. As of the time of writing this, there are 937 Windows Store apps available (in my marketplace).


NOTE: There may be a simpler, quicker way to determine the app count for Windows Store apps, I just haven’t come across it yet.  If you know of an easier way, please share it with us in the comments below.