During a UBS Global Technology Conference held last week, Microsoft’s Julie Larson-Green, EVP Devices and Studios, discussed her company’s approach to today’s software market, providing insights especially into the mobile device operating systems space. We selected the most interesting fragments from the session’s transcript (HTML, DOCX).
The recently released Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013 Preview editions includes improved reporting for exceptions that enables C++ Windows Store App developers to easily identify and fix errors.
Private distribution of applications is possible for both WinRT and Windows Phone 8, but the experience is very different for the two platforms. Mobile devices cost 300 USD per year per company, while WinRT costs 3,000 for the first 100 computers or fraction thereof.
Windows 8.1 is set to make allow applications greater access to the People and Calendar data stores. The functionality will be exposed via contracts, the mechanism by which applications can send and consume messages from other applications and the operating system. All interactions will require user confirmation and applications will not be granted full access to the user’s contacts and appoints.
The recent release of Visual Studio 2013 preview edition ships with new diagnostics tools for measuring performance of Windows Store apps in addition to a new energy consumption tool. In his recent session at //Build, Pratap Lakshman analyzes the usage of these new tools supported by relevant demos.
The information in part 2 of Threading in the Windows Runtime deals with the internals of the threading model. This section, originally presented by Marytn Lovell at Build 2013, is intended to be trivia or possible useful in debugging, but not necessary for day to day development. For more practical information, please refer to part one of InfoQ’s key points summary.
During the Build 2013 conference Marytn Lovell revealed some of the inner workings of the WinRT threading model. While .NET developers may be surprised at its complexity, especially when multiple windows are involved, traditional COM developers are going to be relieved to learn that it is much simpler than what they are used to.
The three Pillars of Performance, Fast, Fluid, and Efficient, have been the common theme at the performance sessions this year. In the session XAML Performance Fundamentals we see ways to detect and solve problems that prevent us from achieving these pillars.
Testing is critical, but not enough. This is the theme of Harry Pierson’s session on application reliability in Windows Store apps.
A major emphasis of WinRT 8.1 is the ability to control devices over HID, Bluetooth, and USB interfaces. These devices range from toys and gadgets to Point of Sale (POS) hardware to powerful 3D printers.
Windows 8.1 brings with it a lot of much needed functionality to WinRT (i.e. Windows Store) apps that make is a viable platform for line of business and point of sale applications. These include multiple-window support, USB/Bluetooth integration, and a HTTP stack that is unified with Internet Explorer’s shared cache.
Microsoft has released a beta of a new portable library called Bcl.Compression that adds support for zip archives and compress streams (i.e. deflate and gzip) for the Portable Http Client. Unfortunately it requires a native library so Silverlight and Windows Phone 7.x developers are out of luck.
Building Windows Store apps using Prism can be a rather tedious and error prone endeavor. When using it correctly, practically all models and views have to have their base classes replaced with Prism alternatives. To make things easier on developers, David Britch has released a set of project and class templates for Prism and Prism with Unity.
Telerik has recently released RadControls for Windows 8, which enables developers to build touch optimized applications for desktop and mobile devices.
Stimulsoft has released a new report designer for WinRT that enables you to create and edit reports on any device running Windows 8.