Jerry Nixon on Windows

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Developer's guide to Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 and all the Connect() 2015 announcements

A developer’s guide to Microsoft Connect() and Visual Studio 2015 update 1

They dunked Visual Studio 2015 in a bucket of awesome-sauce and pulled out Update 1
It’s Microsoft season! In July, we released our best Windows ever – fast, secure, and super-personal, Windows 10 has than 110M consumer and 14M enterprise installations in as much time. November is the first major update in this new Windows-as-a-service world; it coincides Visual Studio 2015 update, and in this article, we’ll try to make sense of the flurry of announcements and updates.

What’s new for everybody but developers?

We might as well get this out of the way. It’s good to be aware.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Software lessons from a hybrid

About a month ago, I was in the camp of rolling my eyes at hybrids on the road. To me their motivation was to save the planet. Well, it’s a big planet and a few hybrids aren’t going to supplant the egregious impact of a single volcano’s eruption. But then I started calculating my monthly spend on gasoline. My oversized sport utility vehicle and my turbo-charged crossover were fun, but expensive.

It’s easy math; a hybrid with a pathetic 13-gallon tank can drive farther than both of my other cars combined. Even though nothing is really created equal, hybrids have advanced enough generations for most to be similar enough that the brand you buy is mostly preference and price. I do some serious driving, so I decided to treat this adventure like a science experiment.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Let’s code! Build a custom progress ring in Windows XAML

imageThere are several controls that ship for free in the Visual Studio XAML toolbox. One of them is the ProgressRing, a neat, animated ring of dots that goes round and round and round. BirdsDevelopers use the ProgressRing to indicate to the user that something is working, loading, or just doing something where the user should wait.

But what if you wanted to do more without splitting the atom? Could you build your own, custom progress in that super-charges the branding of your Windows app?

Friday, May 1, 2015

An Introduction to Building Windows Apps for Windows 10 Devices

Holy Moses, I’ve been published in MSDN Magazine!

You have lived to see it: a single Windows OS that can run across every type of Windows device. It has a single device platform to enable true universal hardware drivers and a single application platform to enable true universal Windows apps. Years in the making, this is a significant engineering accomplishment.


At the OS level, this means a single, maintainable and agile code base. For developers, it provides a unified, reliable API surface across every Windows device, from Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as Raspberry Pi to phone, Xbox, tablet, Surface Hub, laptop, PC and more (like Microsoft HoloLens). As shown in Figure 1, it’s a write-once-run-everywhere promise delivered in Windows 10 with the universal application platform (UAP).

Read the whole article here.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Updated patterns & practices guidance for the Azure Developer

The patterns & practices team has been working on developing Azure architecture guidance. We’re happy to announce that first round of guidance is now available to public at The purpose of this project is to provide architectural guidance to enable developers to build and deploy world-class systems using Azure.



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Implementing an Awesome Hamburger Button with XAML’s new SplitView control in Windows 10

Warning! This is a Windows 10 Preview (pre-RTM) article. Though the concepts remain 100% valid, the overall implementation is different. This is my only article describing the control, and I think you will benefit from the discussion herein. However, if you would like a complete implementation, I have written one in the Minimal project for Template 10. The code for Template 10 is completely free for you to view, steal, and use. :)

SplitViewWindows 10 introduces the universal app platform for Windows apps. Windows XAML apps, specifically, enjoy several new members to their Visual Studio toolbox including the SplitView. This control is like the Grid in that it has no visible interface until something is put inside it. The purpose of the SplitView is to help developers build popular navigation experiences.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Microsoft honors Star Trek with Visual Studio 2015 USS Enterprise Edition

And then there were three. The Visual Studio team has announced the convergence of their Premium and Ultimate editions into a single Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN edition. Is this a nod to the most famous starship in the galaxy? I think it is. But mums the word when it comes to what’s on the mind of our engineering and marketing gurus.

In my mind, it’s Visual Studio [USS] Enterprise Edition with MSDN. Period.

“Enterprise grade solution with advanced capabilities for teams working on projects of any size or complexity, including advanced testing and DevOps”

The Visual Studio team is reaching new frontiers in pricing as well. The astounding entry fee of $10k+ for Visual Studio Ultimate has been pruned back to make our excellence in tooling and integration even more available to our enterprise community of developers. The new pricing for Visual Studio Enterprise edition with MSDN is: $5,999 (new) and $2,569 (renewal). Those numbers are based on the current, Microsoft Store online pricing. More

Today is April Fools day, but Visual Studio really does have a new name! It’s just that the new name doesn’t officially include USS. But, I’ll always be whispering it!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Why you must build a HoloLens app

These are becoming the golden years. Microsoft has accomplished several amazing things at one time. First, Windows Core allows a driver tested against x86, x64, and ARM to run on every possible Windows device. Then there is UAP, the Universal App Platform, a contractual subset of Windows APIs enabling Windows Apps and a universal experience across every possible device.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Windows Core is Windows 10 is Windows Core is Windows 10

If you want to understand Windows 10, you need to understand some of the underpinnings that make it possible. It’s more than the next version of Windows. There are engineering accomplishments that have been underway for years; they culminate in a new kind of Windows and a significantly advanced approach to enabling apps across devices.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Creating a WrapPanel

Recently I saw a friend, Glenn Versweyveld, write a blog about showing a “tags” (eg blog tags) within an app. The blog documents how to create a horizontal list of tags that are not formed into columns and rows. The list would let the items flow naturally. He used something I never would have thought of to accomplish this. He used a RichTextBlock. This was a rather cool idea that again, I would have never thought of.