Review Category : Developers

Microsoft announced Project Siena (code name) technology back in December last year. This Windows Store app allowed users without any programming can create apps that harness the power of corporate data and content, and web services. Some examples of the kinds of apps people have been building are Apps for consuming information, for example, product catalogs, video-based lesson plans Apps for on-the-spot decisions, for example, adjusting insurance claims, accessorizing outfits and Apps for tasks that involve capturing pictures, audio, handwriting and other real world input. Today, they have released beta 2  version of the app in Windows Store. It now allows you to connect apps to powerful web services – from popular consumer services to enterprise SaaS to services created by IT. Change log: • Quick start: create an app by merely selecting a folder full of images • Add translate, search, speak, and social network connections to any app • Easily and securely ...

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Microsoft today officially announced DirectX 12 gaming platform at GDC. DirectX 12 will feature the next version of Direct3D, that is faster and more efficient than ever before. Direct3D 12 works across all the Microsoft devices, from phones and tablets, to laptops and desktops, and, Xbox One. Microsoft worked closely with all the leading GPU vendors like AMD, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Intel. What makes Direct3D 12 better? First and foremost, it provides a lower level of hardware abstraction than ever before, allowing games to significantly improve multithread scaling and CPU utilization.  In addition, games will benefit from reduced GPU overhead via features such as descriptor tables and concise pipeline state objects.  And that’s not all – Direct3D 12 also introduces a set of new rendering pipeline features that will dramatically improve the efficiency of algorithms such as order-independent transparency, collision detection, and geometry culling. Of course, an API is only as good as the tools ...

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Xamarin is a startup that is doing the job what Microsoft should have done with their .Net/C# platform. With Xamarin, you write your apps entirely in C#, sharing the same code on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. You can reuse your favorite .NET libraries, and still easily incorporate platform-specific libraries and frameworks when you want to. Xamarin delivers high performance compiled code with full access to all the native APIs so you can create native apps with device-specific experiences. Anything you can do in Objective-C or Java, you can do in C# with Xamarin. Today, CRN reported that Microsoft is in talks to acquire Xamarin. Microsoft is in the final stages of negotiations that could lead to either an acquisition or major investment in Xamarin, a mobile startup whose tools make it possible to code iOS and Android apps using Microsoft development tools, sources with knowledge of the discussions told ...

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Age of Ascent is a Massively Multiplayer Online game that will be released in early 2015. The first of which is a public alpha test of the PvP dogfighting component is going to be done today. The game developers are using Windows Azure for their game backend and attempting for a Guinness World Record on having the greatest number of concurrent players in the same battlezone at the same time. Age of Ascent will soon be attempting to earn a Guinness World Record. Can you tell us more about that? Yes. During the public alpha of AoA’s PvP dogfighting module we’re hoping to break the current world record for Largest Videogame PvP Battle. What does the record currently look like? Don’t other games have millions of players? The current holders are the excellent folk (and players) at CCP Games for Eve Online, with 4,070 players in a single system; a ...

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Nvidia today announced their new GeForce 800M notebook CPUs offering performance improvement of  60% over the previous generation. These chips comes with a new feature called NVIDIA Battery Boost which will allow gamers to play up to 2x longer gaming on their laptops. Here’s how it works: instead of your notebook pushing every component to its max, Battery Boost targets a user defined frame rate, such as 30 FPS. The driver level governor takes over from there, and operates all your system components, including CPU, GPU, and memory at peak efficiency, while maintaining a smooth, playable experience. Also, Nvidia is bringing GeForce ShadowPlay to notebooks which lets you capture high-quality in-game footage or broadcast your gaming exploits to Twitch.TV, all with virtually no performance impact. This GeForce 800M chip range allows OEMs to deliver gaming laptops with more thin profile than ever without sacrificing performance. ...

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Last week, Microsoft confirmed that they are revealing DirectX 12 at GDC on March 20, 10AM. All leading GPU makers AMD, Intel, Nvidia and Qualcomm are on board. The event page had only Windows logo at the bottom leading to speculation about whether Xbox One platform will be supported. Microsoft ended all those reports by adding Xbox One logo at the bottom as you can see in the image above. The last major version of Microsoft’s graphics platform DirectX 11 was announced about 6 years back. Since then the desktop graphics API development has stagnated. During this time, AMD has developed their own set of APIs called Mantle. OpenGL/OpenCL has come a long way since then. Last week we reported that Microsoft is making some announcement about their next generation DirectX platform at Game Developers Conference in March. Microsoft is promising better tools that will allow developers to squeeze every last drop ...

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Few hours back, we reported that Windows 8.1 Update 1 build can be downloaded from official Microsoft servers by a simple registry tweak. This update also includes the updated version of Internet Explorer 11 that will include a new feature called ‘Enterprise Mode’. This mode will enable enterprise users to use their existing web properties work in IE without any compatibility issues. This updated IE11 with Enterprise Mode is also coming to Windows 7 devices. The latest such IE11 build got leaked on the web today. You can download it from usual p2p sites. Follow the following steps to enable Enterprise mode, Enterprise mode can be enabled using two Group Policies (in a corporate environment system admins would do this for their employees). Hit Windows + R and type ‘gpedit.msc’ in the Run window. In the Group policy editor, browse to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet ...

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NetApplications released their latest data on worldwide web browser market share. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser lost 0.02 percentage points (from 58.21 percent to 58.19 percent) market share worldwide. IN January, Internet Explorer 11 passed Internet Explorer 10 to become the second most used IE version. In Feb, IE11 continued to show its strong growth with an additional 1.29%, up from 11.51% to 12.80%. Internet Explorer 8, which is the default browser in Windows 7 now holds about 21.73% of market share. Starting with IE9, Internet Explorer team at Microsoft is delivering solid releases with significant improvements in speed, reliability and more which has resulted in improved customer usage. I expect IE to gain more market share in the coming weeks. Google Chrome had over 16% and Firefox over 17% web browser market share in February. via: TNW ...

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Last year, Microsoft announced its Visual Studio Online “Monaco”, a coding environment in the cloud.  It is not the replacement for desktop IDE, instead it complements the desktop IDE and it is integrated with Visual Studio Online. Microsoft is released a preview of “Monaco”  that allowed Azure Websites developers to edit their sites directly from the web, from any modern browser, on any device. Today, GitHub launched their public beta of Atom, a new text editor for web developers which works in a browser. Also, they have open-sourced over 80 of the libraries and packages used in the editor. One key difference between Microsoft’s offering and Atom is that Monaco runs on all modern browsers while Atom can only run on specialized version of Chromium alone. Web browsers are great for browsing web pages, but writing code is a specialized activity that warrants dedicated tools. More importantly, the browser severely restricts access to ...

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After Microsoft added the Unity framework support in Windows and Windows Phone Store last year, there are more than 2000 games now available in our stores. Microsoft is happy with the way Unity Developer program for Windows is progressing and they are announcing a new special incentive offer, exclusively for Unity developers, to continue to create great games for Windows. Unity developers can get some great benefits including store registration, a Microsoft Windows 8 license, a Windows device (phone/tablets), a promotional package and technical assistance. Check the details of the offer and the Terms & Conditions. Read more about it below, How to qualify: Any Unity developer using Unity 4 to develop their games and apps can apply. Applicants are required to have experience with shipping games and apps on mobile platforms. The content that is submitted for review needs to stand out: it needs to be innovative, interesting, and different from ...

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At MS-News, we are fans of Hal who writes a great blog entitled Hal2020. For those not familiar with Mr. Berenson, he is a former Microsoft distinguished engineer and worked at the company from 1994 – 2002 and spent decades at the Digital Equipment Corporation before that. He often writes about Microsoft’s products, people and policies. Today, he wrote a blog post titled “Now I get it, the Consumer guys at Microsoft are just plain wrong!” in which he criticized Windows platform’s “shut up and ship” policy as opposed to older ways of engaging with platform developers in advance. For example, Windows Azure is now following the rapid release cadence and public previews releasing every few weeks. On the contrary, Windows and Windows Phone releases are closely guarded till its release leaving little time for developers to jump in to the new platform. Let me contrast three strategic thrusts going on at Microsoft.  ...

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Last week we reported about new Microsoft Research project called Bing Code Search: C# code snippets on-demand for visual studio developers. Bing Code Search for Visual Studio 2013 helps developers find and reuse code samples on the web more easily by bringing the code search experience directly into Visual Studio. With this extension, a developer can search sites such as MSDN, StackOverflow, CSharp411 and Dotnetperls and find, copy and use C# code samples directly inside the IDE. Visual Studio team today officially announced the availability of the plugin for Visual Studio IDE, Behind the scenes, that query is securely beamed up to Bing along with contextual pieces that help us hone in on the fuller meaning of that query. We use meta-data like the project type, semantic context (using the new C#/VB compiler services aka ‘Roslyn’!), and a few other sprinkles of Microsoft Research magic. Those pieces along with the query ...

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Red Stripe deals for this week is now live in Windows Store. It includes 3 games and 3 utility apps under discounted prices. Apps: Plex ($2.49, regularly $4.99) organizes and streams videos, music, home movies, Recipe Keeper ($1.99, regularly $3.99), makes it easy to quickly enter and organize all your favorite recipes. Billminder ($1.99, regularly $2.99) gives you an efficient way to control expenses, with minimal fuss. Games: “Riptide GP2” ($1.49, regularly $2.99) delivers intense, dynamic hydro-jet racing with gorgeous graphics and dozens of heart-racing tricks. “Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden” ($1.49, regularly $6.99) sends you deep underwater to a mysterious world to find your missing fiancée through 40 unique locations with 14 hidden-object scenes. “Fishdom 3: Special Edition” ($2.49, regularly $4.99) also takes you into the water with a tankful of colorful finned friends that you feed, play with and challenge through 150 levels (an additional 50 bonus levels is ...

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Microsoft Research today revealed their new project called Bing Code Search: C# code snippets on-demand for visual studio developers. Bing Code Search for Visual Studio 2013 helps developers find and reuse code samples on the web more easily by bringing the code search experience directly into Visual Studio. With this extension, a developer can search sites such as MSDN, StackOverflow, CSharp411 and Dotnetperls and find, copy and use C# code samples directly inside the IDE. You can try it yourself online at http://codesnippet.research.microsoft.com/. Write your question as a special comment starting with three slashes ///. Your question may mention variables. Press the Tab key on the same line to get answers; press Enter to insert selected snippet This is a great tool for developers to speed up their coding process. What do you think? via: @h0x0d                  ...

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Microsoft today announced the 2nd year of YouthSpark Challenge for Change contest for young people. Starting today and running through March 5th, people ages 18-25 can submit their next general big ideas by clicking here. Of course, you will be winning lots of prizes. Each entrant will receive a $10 donation gift card to support the project of their choice on YouthSpark on GlobalGiving. 20 finalists will each receive a Microsoft Surface 2 with Office 365 University. 5 grand prize winners will win:   A life-changing, volunteer travel experience in the Amazon to learn about creating change $2,500 cash  to help turn their ideas into a reality A Microsoft technology bundle including a Windows Phone and an Xbox One* The opportunity to serve as a Microsoft YouthSpark ambassador and take advantage of YouthSpark training and resources The Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change is a chance for you to share how you spark change in ...

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Microsoft launched modern.IE website for web developers last year in an effort to make the job for web developers easier when it comes to testing in different browsers. It was a nightmare to test in different Internet Explorer versions since you can’t have more than one version installed on a Windows machine. Also, developers on Mac and Linux platforms were not able to test on IE. To solve this issue, Microsoft launched modern.IE, One of the best ways to easily test across multiple versions of Internet Explorer is through virtualization technology. Since launching last year, over 750,000 developers have used the virtualization tools on modern.ie, saving an average of 1 hour and 20 minutes by using pre-configured VMs and 2 hours and 48 minutes using Browserstack, when compared to building a VM from scratch. Collectively, those developers have saved over one million hours, freeing them to focus on building innovative ...

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