Video Tour of Four Microsoft Cloud Datacenters

C9::GoingNative

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C9::GoingNative is a monthly show on Channel 9 focused on native development with an emphasis on C++.

Each episode will have a segment including an interview with a native dev in his/her native habitat (office) where we’ll talk about what they do and how they use native code and associated toolchains, as well as get their insights and wisdom—geek out. There will be a small news component or segment, but the show will primarily focus on technical tips and conversations with active C/C++ coders, demonstrations of new core language features, libraries, compilers, toolchains, etc.

You can also follow thjeir Twitter account, @C9GoingNative, and share this good news in your relevant social circles. Please send your feedback and suggestions to their public email account.

Clean Project – Cleans Visual Studio Solutions For Uploading or Email

VS 2010bHow many times have you wanted to send a project to a friend or upload it to a web site like MSDN Code Gallery only to find that your zip file has lots of stuff that you don’t need to send in it making the file larger than it needs to be.

  • bin folder
  • obj folder
  • TestResults folder
  • Resharper folders

And then if you forget about removing Source Control bindings whoever gets your project will be prompted about that.  Ron Jacobs decided to share with us his code for cleaning a project.

Get Clean Project – Cleans Visual Studio Solutions For Uploading or Email from MSDN.

Mango for Developers is Here

Today, developers enrolled via the Windows Phone App Hub or DreamSpark members can get “Mango” on their Windows Phones, now, according to a Next At Microsoft blog post from Steve Clayton.

mango

Picture taken from: http://blogs.technet.com/b/next/archive/2011/06/29/mango-is-really-quite-peachy.aspx

More details are available from a Windows Phone Developer blog post by Brandon Watson, including instructions on the necessity to pay careful attention to the instructions, and to “follow them to the letter”. Good advice!

As Brandon wrote:

We know that one of the most impactful things we can do for developers is to help them get their hands on the actual product. For Mango, that starts today with an early access program for developers. We’re still working out some final kinks in the distribution and support infrastructure for delivering Mango to all of our registered developers around the world, but are inviting the most eager developers to come get Mango today, for their retail devices, as part of our early access program! We expect the full distribution infrastructure to be fully operational in the next couple of weeks. For now, consider yourself a beta tester for the distribution process. Registered developers will get invites to the Microsoft Connect site, which will give them access to Mango. This build of Mango should also be viewed as beta quality, so there are still consumer features missing, but you can now start building apps and testing them against retail devices. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Download the Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta 2 – You will need to update your developer tools to update your phone and to deploy your apps, so run…get them now.
  • Read the instructions before updating – These are very important steps which you need to follow to the letter. We’re committed to supporting our developer community with such an early access program, so if you have questions, start with the forums, which we are monitoring.

This is especially well timed for the tens of thousands of student developers who have registered through DreamSpark or related programs. Just as our Spring Cleaning program encouraged developers to finish up their projects over the past few months, delivering thousands of new apps, summer break is the perfect time for student developers to relax and have some fun with Mango. With the free Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta 2 and free access to Mango, now is the perfect time to see what you can do with Windows Phone. To make it even more interesting for students looking for a great summer project, we’ve set aside 50 Mango phones for those students who are building the next big thing on Windows Phone. Want one? Here’s what to do:

  1. Make sure you’re registered for DreamSpark
  2. Download and install Expression Studio Ultimate and the new Mango Windows Phone Developer Tools (available free as a member of DreamSpark)
  3. Get the free Sketchflow Template for Windows Phone and create a Sketchflow mock-up of your app
  4. Post the Sketchflow mock-up somewhere online and tweet out the link using the hash tag #WPAppItUp
  5. We will review all prototypes and will contact the developers who submit the best ones and send them a special Mango developer device

There’s lots to like in Beta2 of the developer tools, and some new goodies as well. You can find the release notes here, but I also wanted to talk about the new Advertising SDK June 2011 Update that was released for Windows Phone 7 earlier this week. The June update makes it even easier for developers to earn money and build ad-enabled mobile apps with streamlined Ad Control APIs and other new features.

Lastly, we got a lot of questions in email and on twitter as to why reviewers got Mango first. In short, it was to allow us to get you Mango today. Bringing a product to market requires a healthy balance between marketing features and empowering the ecosystem. Striking that balance is all about sequence. Microsoft believes in developers like no other company, but not even we want developer tear downs serving as the foundation for how consumers ultimately understand Mango. To get Mango to you today, we had to first set some context so that the market would have a good understanding of the product and not define us only by those features that developers uncovered. Think of it this way: if you could choose which path to go down, would you rather have a tightly selected group of influential people write your first reviews of your amazing app, or leave it to the customers with the fastest fingers?

So what now? First, go get the tools. Second, update your retail phones to Mango. Third, go rub it in your friends’ faces that you have Mango and they don’t. Fourth, start building your Mango apps using some of the cool new functionality like fast app resume, updated Live Tiles, Motion Sensor, Live Agents, sockets, background audio or raw camera access. There will be a tools update in the coming months which will have the go-live license you need to publish Mango apps to the Marketplace, but don’t wait. With the tools and the ability to test on Mango enabled phones, you should all be in really good shape when Mango is released later this year.

For the early access program, here are the countries which are explicitly supported – meaning that should your device become unusable as a result of updating, we will be able to process it for fixing once the full distribution infrastructure is fully operational in the next couple of weeks:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States

Inbound Data Now Free on Windows Azure

windows_azure_smallThe Windows Azure team has announced change in pricing for the Windows Azure platform that will provide significant cost savings for customers whose cloud applications experience substantial inbound traffic, and customers interested in migrating large quantities of existing data to the cloud.

For billing periods that begin on or after July 1, 2011, all inbound data transfers for both peak and off-peak times will be free.

The announcement was made on the team blog at Announcing Free Ingress for all Windows Azure Customers starting July 1st, 2011.

Service Pack 1 for Office 2010, SharePoint 2010 Ships

SharePoint2010LogoSP1 contains all Cumulative Updates and Public Updates for 2010 that have already shipped. SP1 also contains new fixes for areas of each product. And there are some new features.

For a complete list of changes for each product contained in SP1, see this Excel Workbook – this is a very handy reference for those building test / evaluation plans for Office Client SP1. The workbook containing the changes for SharePoint Server 2010 is located under this link.Office2010

Summary of What Is in the Update

The updates in Office 2010 SP1 improve stability, performance, and security. Here’s a sampling:

  • Better IE9 browser experience
  • Improved Web Apps functionality and SharePoint database performance
  • Updates to all 40 SKU languages for Office, including Galician, Basque, Catalan, Serbian Cyrillic
  • Updates to Access 2010, FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint, Office Web Apps, Project 2010, Search Server 2010, and Visio 2010

For SharePoint, SP1 contains stability, performance, and security enhancements that are a direct result of customer feedback. SP1 includes new functionality designed to enhance both the administrative and end-user experience:

  • · Support for SQL Server Code Name “Denali”
  • · Shallow copy functionality
  • · Site-level recycle bin
  • · Improvements to storage management (StorMan.aspx)
  • · Cascading filters for Performance Point services
  • · Additional browser support
Update Availability

Today SP1 is available from Windows Update and the Download center. See Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 1 Availability for links to each Office product.

If you have installed all Office Automatic Updates, you will also see SP1 available as a manual download from Microsoft Update. After a 90 day grace period, SP1 will be offered as an automatic update through Microsoft Update. Customers using the Office Click-to-Run technology will have SP1 streamed to them beginning in July.

For SharePoint customers planning to deploy Service Pack 1, it is also recommended to install the June 2011 Cumulative Update for SharePoint when it becomes available in the coming weeks.

More Information About SharePoint Update

See Service Pack 1 for SharePoint Foundation 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010 whitepaper.

How to installing updates for SharePoint 2010 at the Updates for SharePoint 2010 Products Resource Center

For more information about the new functionality in Service Pack 1 see the Service Pack for SharePoint 2010 Coming Soon… blog post on the SharePoint Team Blog.

Source: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/usisvde/archive/2011/06/29/service-pack-1-for-office-2010-sharepoint-2010-ships.aspx

Office 365 Launches Globally

Office365On June 28, 2011, Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer, Microsoft announced the availability of Office 365, Microsoft’s next generation productivity service. Office 365 is the culmination of more than 20 years of experience delivering world class productivity solutions to people and businesses of all sizes. It brings together Office, SharePoint, Exchange, and Lync in an always-up-to-date cloud service. Customers may try it and buy it at www.office365.com.

Introducing Windows Azure AppFabric Applications

Full post in the AppFabric team blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/appfabric/archive/2011/06/20/announcing-the-windows-azure-appfabric-june-ctp.aspx

Windows Azure AppFabric team announced the release of the Windows Azure AppFabric June CTP which includes capabilities that make it easy for developers to build, deploy, manage and monitor multi-tier applications across web, business logic and database tiers as a single logical entity on the Windows Azure Platform.

This CTP release consists:

  • AppFabric Developer Tools – Enhancements to Visual Studio that enable to visually design and build end-to-end applications on the Windows Azure platform.
  • AppFabric Application Manager – Powerful, yet easy way to host and manage n-tier applications that span web, middle and data-tier through the entire application lifecycle including deployment, configuration, monitoring and troubleshooting. The Application Manager includes a comprehensive application management portal that is powered by a REST API for monitoring the health of your n-tier application and performing management operations on the running applications.
  • Composition Model – A set of .NET Framework extensions for composing applications on the Windows Azure platform. This builds on the familiar Azure Service Model concepts and adds new capabilities for describing and integrating the components of an application. The AppFabric Developer Tools leverage the composition model to create an application manifest that is used by the AppFabric Application Manager at deployment time to understand the application structure and metadata.
  • Support for running Custom Code, WCF, WF – Formal support for executing Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) on Windows Azure and the composition of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and WF services, as well as custom code, into a composite application. In addition, it provides enhanced development, deployment, management and monitoring support for WCF and WF services.

You can read more details in this blog post: Introducing Windows Azure AppFabric Applications and the Channel 9 announcement video.

To learn more please use the following resources:

AppFabric.tv – Announcing the Windows Azure AppFabric June CTP

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

VS 2010S 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.

We expect that it will be part of the next Visual C++ compiler and fully integrated in the next release of Visual Studio experience.

The announcement was made at AMD Fusion Developer Summit. More information is available on his blog post, Targeting Heterogeneity with C++ AMP and PPL.

from Soma’s post:

Previously, I blogged about key trends in software development starting with concurrency/parallelism, and indeed today multi-core systems are everywhere. You can target multi-core systems from many mainstream programming languages, and with Visual Studio 2010 we delivered market leading tooling for parallel development and debugging. You can see my post on our concurrency enhancements to C++ for VS2010 and here for a walkthrough of our parallel debugging tools.

In the last few years, we have been seeing an additional trend of heterogeneous hardware where, for example, developers take advantage of the GPU for computational purposes for their data parallel algorithms. This has been successful in narrow verticals using niche programing models. Microsoft wants to bring to the mainstream the ability to write code that takes advantage of heterogeneous hardware like GPUs. So like we’ve done with multi-core before, we are bringing this ability to the next version of Visual Studio.

I’m excited to announce that we are introducing a new technology that helps C++ developers use the GPU for parallel programming. Today at the AMD Fusion Developer Summit, we announced C++ Accelerated Massive Parallelism (C++ AMP). Additionally, I’m happy to say that we intend to make the C++ AMP specification an open specification.

By building on the Windows DirectX platform, our implementation of C++ AMP allows you to target hardware from all the major hardware vendors. We expect that it will be part of the next Visual C++ compiler and fully integrated in the next release of Visual Studio experience.

In addition, there is more work that we are doing on parallel computing. We also announced new enhancements to the next version of Parallel Patterns Library (PPL) and the C++ Concurrency Runtime. You can find easy-to-use C++ templates and runtime support to express algorithms for your domain expertise which scale on any provided hardware with PPL, Agent and the C++ Concurrency Runtime. With C++ AMP and PPL, we aim to make the next version of Visual Studio the most productive environment for targeting heterogeneous hardware available.

We will be making the session recording from Herb Sutter’s keynote session and Daniel Moth’s break-out session from the AMD Fusion conference available shortly. Please check the Visual C++ Team Blog or Channel 9 for those videos.

HTML5 Features for Windows Phone ‘Mango’

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 same core rendering engines on both the desktop and mobile versions of IE and adhere to the concept of “same markup” when we produce our samples.

Check out the first 15 samples available on the Mobile Test Drive will be:

  • Audio Player (from MIX11)
  • Geolocation
  • Border Radius
  • DOM Local Storage
  • Scalable Vector Graphics
  • CSS3 Media Queries
  • DOMContentLoaded
  • FishIE Tank
  • Speed Reading (from MIX11)
  • Animated Text
  • HamsterDance Revolution
  • Business Charts
  • IE Logo
  • Video Panorama
  • Browser Control Theming
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