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.
First Floor Software has just released an updated version of their Diff Lists for .NET, Silverlight, and Windows Phone. These updated lists make it easy to see what classes and method are available when moving code from one platform to another.
Windows 8.1 represents Microsoft's attempt to smooth the rough edges of user's transition to their vision of a touch-based future on the desktop. Windows 8 has a reputation of being consumer-focused, and 8.1 is intended in part to provide more features for business users.
Until recently, one of the problems with sharing code across .NET, Silverlight, Windows Phone, and Windows Store is the inability to make HTTP requests. Each framework supports one or more HTTP clients, but they are incompatible each other at an API level. The Portable HTTP Client package adds an adapter to paper over these differences.
The recently released update to Windows Azure includes improvements to virtual networks, virtual machines, cloud services, Linux SSH support, remote powershell in addition to a new SDK for Ruby developed in association with AppFog.
Latest Rackspace developments include .NET SDK, PowerClient – a PowerShell-based management tool – and PHP mobile back-end.
Microsoft has canceled the release of their Script Explorer. This tool was designed to make it easier to find PowerShell scripts located in either public repositories (e.g. TechNet Script Center and PoshCode) or a company’s internal collection.
Microsoft has announced the availability of Windows Azure Active Directory, new backup service with support for incremental backups including several monitoring and log improvements.
Windows Embedded 8 has been released by Microsoft and entered general availability. Intended to be used by OEMs and in specialized environments, this series of releases marks Embedded's alignment with Windows 8's code base.
Telerik has recently released RadControls for Windows 8, which enables developers to build touch optimized applications for desktop and mobile devices.
Microsoft has recently released several updates to Windows Azure with support for Android, Active Directory, Application monitoring with HTTP response codes, new five languages including expansion of Azure Store to 22 more countries.
Microsoft has announced increased Flash support on IE10 running on Windows 8 and Windows RT. This content will now be enabled to run by default and solidifies Flash's position on the Windows platform.
Windows Security is a hard problem. There are countless optional settings that can introduce security vulnerabilities, many of which are enabled by default. The documentation for these settings are scattered with current articles freely mixed with out-of-date versions. One solution to this is the Microsoft Security Compliance Manager.
Microsoft recently added an enhancement to Windows Azure Management Portal by releasing Notification Hubs which enables you to broadcast push notifications to thousands of mobile devices using a common API.