The Midweek Download: May 2nd Edition–Windows Phone Marketplace News, Kinect Wins a Design Award, a New Blog for Windows 8 App Developers plus Visual Studio Achievements & More

By | May 2, 2012

In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on changes and improvements in the Windows Phone Marketplace, Kinect and Kinect SDK winning the Design of the Year award and a new blog for Windows 8 app developers.

Changes and improvements in the Windows Phone Marketplace. In this Monday post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Todd Brix lays out in substantial detail the latest steps we’re taking in our ongoing effort to keep the quality bar high in our rapidly growing Marketplace. Todd focuses on four areas – avoiding trademark trouble, keeping the quality bar high, cleaning up key words and refining our approach to content policy enforcement. And don’t miss an earlier post from Todd on two changes to Marketplace and an update on nine new markets.

Kinect and Kinect SDK win Design of the Year award. Last week saw the Design of the Year 2012 award announced and the Olympic Torch won top honors. In the digital category our very own Kinect and Kinect SDK won and in graphics our friends at Nokia won for their Nokia Pure Font. Check out this April 27 post on Next at Microsoft for the rest of the story. And don’t miss Next at Microsoft Editor Steve Clayton’s report on how Metro style has found its way into Microsoft Dynamics.

Visual Studio brings gamification to Windows Azure development. In listening to the developer community, the Channel 9 team at Microsoft has heard the positive feedback about Visual Studio Achievements loud and clear: you want more. More than 80,000 downloads of the extension demonstrated that developers see achievement badges as a fun way to socially share the accomplishments they earn in what can sometimes be the lonely act of writing code. New badges are now available. Read more about it in this April 26 post on The Official Microsoft Blog.

New blog for Windows 8 app developers. As you may have heard, we now have a new Windows 8 app developer blog to help you build Metro style apps on our new Windows 8 platform. In the new blog, we share our learning and converse with you as you enter the new world of Windows Metro style app development. The blog complements the Windows Dev Center and community forums, and you’ll see a lot of pointers to content and samples to help you get going. We talk about our experiences building the platform and building apps, pitfalls to avoid, tips and tricks, why we made certain choices in the platform, and anything else we can pass along to help you create amazing apps. Head on over to the Developing for Windows Blog for more detail.

Kirill Tatarinov weighs in on the future of business. As president of the Microsoft Business Solutions Division, Kirill Tatarinov oversees the company’s efforts to define and deliver business applications. In this Tuesday feature story on the Microsoft News Center, he lays out his vision for the future of business solutions.

Working with the Toshiba Portégé Z830. This is for all you gearheads out there. The Portégé Z830 is one of the lightest 13” PC on the market, weighing in at just under 2.5 pounds, and incredibly thin at just 16 mm (a literal hair over 0.6”). The Portégé Z830 is an Ultrabook built for business with features that include a spill-resistant LED backlit keyboard, Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip, Gigabit Ethernet port and VGA port. Don’t miss Lee Sabow’s review of the Z830 on the Windows For Your Business Blog. That’s the Z830 below. And if that’s not enough for you, check out this slide show of Lenovo laptops and PCs on the Microsoft News Center.


Building cross-browser plugin-free experiences. We’ve talked about how the transition to a plug-in free Web is happening today. Lots of Web browsing happens on devices that simply don’t support plug-ins. Websites that use plug-ins need to understand what their customers experience when browsing plug-in free. In case you missed it, check out Rey Bango’s blog post where he lays out clear guidance for developers on building cross-browser plugin-free experiences and addressing issues like cross-browser CSS, media playback, and touch.

Here’s to the first release from MS Open Tech: Redis on Windows. The past few weeks have been very busy in our offices as we announced the creation of Microsoft Open Technologies Inc. Now that the dust has settled it’s time for us to resume our regular cadence in releasing code, and we are happy to share with you the very first deliverable from our new company: a new and significant iteration of our work on Redis on Windows, the open-source, networked, in-memory, key-value data store. Read this April 26 post on the Interoperability @ Microsoft Blog for the whole story.

That’s it for this edition of The Midweek Download. Thanks for reading!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog

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