Jerry Nixon on Windows

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.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Microsoft January 21 Event Highlights

Microsoft had a series of major announcements on January 21. Most of them around Windows 10. Did you miss it? Let me summarize for you.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

12 things you should teach your daughters about Microsoft Word

My daughters are getting into typing their homework, so I am making sure they understand OneDrive, OneNote, and Word. These are like Visual Studio for the student. OneDrive is their source control. OneNote manages their assets. And Word guides them away from simple, stupid errors without writing their papers for them.

I’ve been giving them some small tutorials, and thought I would take a little of the lesson and put it here. This is, as far as I am concerned, the basics of what you should teach your daughters (or sons) about Microsoft Word. Lots of these features are part of the web version of Word that comes in OneDrive – only a few of them are parts of Google Docs (yuck) some of their classes use. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Resources for making apps accessible


Accessibility Resources for Developers (Portal with many links)

Accessibility for Windows Runtime apps using C#/VB/C++ and XAML

Accessibility for Windows Runtime apps using JavaScript and HTML

Make your Windows 8.1 app accessible. Reach more customers!

Testing for accessibility in Windows Store apps

Using Narrator on the Desktop

Using Narrator on the Phone

Microsoft Accessibility Standard (MAS)

Channel 9 Videos

Introduction to Accessibility

Designing with Narrator in mind

How to Build an Accessible Windows 8.1 App

Lessons Learned from Building Alarms and Calculator for Windows 8.1

Tips and Tricks for Designing a Great Accessibility Experience for Your App

Friday, December 5, 2014

Let’s code! Data binding to a Radio Button in XAML

In XAML, RadioButton is like CheckBox (they both inherit from ToggleButton) with 2 differences: 1) they look different, and 2) when grouped together, checking one RadioButton will uncheck the others. But how should a developer implement the RadioButton? It is a little confusing, especially when data binding. I will demonstrate three approaches. 

Aside: I will also point you to this article which discusses the problems of a three-state CheckBox and how binding to a nullable type in WinRT-XAML can create a lot of developer consternation. I realize that article is about CheckBox and this article is about RadioButton, but it’s tangentially relevant.

DevRadio: Application Insights

How do your users actually use your application or website? Jerry Nixon welcomes Rahul Bagaria to the show as they help answer that question by introducing us to Application Insights, a new service offered in Microsoft Azure with ties to Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio Online.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Reading and Writing Base64 in the Windows Runtime

Sometimes it’s super-valuable to take an image and convert it to text – let’s call this encoding. This text is base64 and it’s a well-established standard for such things. It can be inserted into JSON, XAML, and even used in CSS. Conversely, it’s important to convert that text back into an image – let’s call this decoding. And, developers can do it all in the Windows Runtime.

Let’s begin by recognizing that how binary information is translated into and out of text isn’t important. It’s all settled by the standards nerds – we’re just leveraging their hard work.