Review Category : Developers

Emoji fonts became so popular after it was included in Apple’s iOS few year back. Apple implemented it using a proprietary, unpublished extension of the TrueType/OpenType specification to add PNG images to a font. These PNG images are then displayed within running text. Google also implemented similar thing, but it is not compatible with Apple’s solution. I recently came to know via Ralf Herrmann from OpenType.info about the interesting approach Microsoft has taken to implement Emojis in Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8 platforms. Earlier, Microsoft supported unicode emoji characters with its Segoe UI with no colors. But with the latest OS, Microsoft is also supporting colored emojis. Instead of using PNGs like Apple and Google, Microsoft is using layered vector glyphs. Ralf explains how it works, By default, the new Segoe UI Emoji font behaves like a regular TrueType/OpenType font. It has Unicode-encoded, uncolored “base glyphs”. But there are two additional tables in the font: ...

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Last year, Microsoft announced that all Xbox One retail units can be used as dev kits in the future so that anyone can become a Xbox developer. During ID@Xbox program launch, Microsoft said, “As part of our vision for enabling everyone with an Xbox One to be a creator, we absolutely intend to enable people to develop games using their retail kits. Right now, though, you still need a development kit! We provide two kits to everyone in the registered developer program. Additional kits, if needed, can be purchased.” Again during the console launch, then Xbox VP Marc Whitten explained to Engadget as the following, “It’s more of a timeframe thing. The vision of how the service and the console work together, how your console can be a dev kit, is a core part of the vision. It’s how we built a ton of the architecture. But moving from a ...

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As part of patch Tuesday updates, Microsoft yesterday fixed over 29 different vulnerabilities in Windows. Microsoft released the following summary that lists security bulletins released for July 2014. With the release of the security bulletins for July 2014, this bulletin summary replaces the bulletin advance notification originally issued July 3, 2014. Bulletin ID Bulletin Title and Executive Summary Maximum Severity Rating and Vulnerability Impact Restart Requirement Affected Software MS14-037 Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (2975687) This security update resolves one publicly disclosed vulnerability and twenty-three privately reported vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. The most severe of these vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer. An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the current user. Customers whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those ...

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Microsoft today announced the release of CTP 2 of Visual Studio “14”, the upcoming version of Visual Studio. In addition to the new features that were included in CTP 1, this CTP 2 includes the following new features and improvements, Save and Apply Custom IDE Layouts. You can now save and apply custom layouts for tool windows in the IDE. The Save Window Layout and Apply Window Layout commands are under the Window Menu and you can also rename, reorder, and delete layouts from Manage Window Layouts. Light Bulb Editor Adornment. Light Bulbs are an extensible editor adornment to identify and help you fix issues in your code. To use them, place the caret on a line with an issue or hover over an issue and you’ll see a light bulb that lists actions you can take to resolve the problem and even a preview of proposed solutions. Editor Touch Support. The ...

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Eric Ligman, senior sales manager at Microsoft has posted a blog post containing the list of free e-books from Microsoft. There are over 150 free e-books on various Microsoft products like Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Office 2013, Office 365, Office 2010, SharePoint 2013, Dynamics CRM, PowerShell, Exchange Server, Lync 2013, System Center, Azure, Cloud, SQL Server, and much more. Given the amount my readers enjoy these posts and these free resources, I am sharing another post this year with over 130 more FREE eBooks, Step-By-Steps, Resource Guides, etc., for your enjoyment. Plus I’m also including links to the free eBooks I shared in the past so you have all of them here in one single post, making this my single largest collection EVER (Almost 300 total)! Please enjoy these FREE eBooks and resources, and be sure to pass this along to your friends, colleagues, peers, and others who you think ...

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One of the cool things that Microsoft announced at BUILD is that they are joining the Internet of Things trend. Windows on Devices was announced which will enable developers to write apps for all kind of electronic items. Developers can build a smart coffee mug, talking bear, robots, etc, based on this platform. Intel’s Galileo platform will act as developmental hardware. Now, Microsoft is giving away Intel Galileo board to developers who sign up for the program. What will you create? Development hardware like the Intel Galileo board allows you to read temperature sensors, power robot servos, check for intruders, blink a bunch of LED lights, or even make a little music. Whether you are an experienced Windows developer looking to jump into the Internet of Things or you are new to Windows development and want to build the next big thing—we’re excited to see what you can do. Early and often ...

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Microsoft announced few of the upcoming features in Xbox Music API at Build conference earlier this year. Those features are now available to all the developers. The new Xbox Music APIs make it easy for any app publisher to connect an app or website to be powered by music.  The Xbox Music API provides access to RESTful web services for building beautiful experiences using rich artist and album metadata across Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, iOS, and Android. Developers will be able to do the following, - Get the details of an album, an artist or a track if you know its ID. - Search for any album, artist or track details based on a string of keywords, e.g. “Madonna hang out”. - Get the top and newest albums of an artist. - Get a deep link that redirects nicely to the Xbox Music applications, whether on the Web, Windows Phone, ...

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Microsoft today announced the release of Visual Studio Update 3 RC, which you can now download. Update 3 brings in new features as well as reliability fixes and bug fixes. It has added support for multi-device development with Apache Cordova, improvements to our diagnostics experience, and general improvements to the user experience including a new setting that enables you to turn off the ALL CAPS menus. You can read the full detailed release notes here. CodeLens support for Git – In Update 3, we’ve added CodeLens support for projects using Git, in addition to those using Team Foundation Version Control.  CodeLens for Git works against the local Git repo and, as such, works whether you are using an onprem TFS server, VS Online, another Git service (like GitHub) or are offline completely.  Next up on the CodeLens slate (not in Update 3 though), is support for CodeLens with TFVC on VS Online.  Read more ...

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Today morning, we reported that Microsoft is joining AllSeen Alliance to participate in the industry discussions around Internet of Things platform. Actually, Microsoft is also joining  Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC). Microsoft believes that Internet of Things (IoT) represents an undeniable opportunity across a range of industries, and they want to make sure they deliver the right set of platforms and services to realize the IoT opportunity. · Microsoft has joined the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and its founding members AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel in a collaboration that extends across industry, academia and government. The IIC’s goal is to reduce customers’ required time and complexity for building intelligent systems through open interoperability standards and common architectures to connect smart devices, machines, people, processes and data. · Microsoft has joined the AllSeen Alliance, which was established in December 2013 to address a major challenge facing IoT, enabling smart, connected devices and objects to work ...

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Back in April, Microsoft announced that they are open sourcing F# associated tools there by enabling community contributions to the F# language, compiler, library more generally, including F# on Linux, Mac, Android, iOS and other platforms. Today, Microsoft enabled open source contributions to the Visual F# IDE Tools that ship as part of Visual Studio. Microsoft expects to ship these as part of the upcoming Visual Studio “14″ release. S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft said that Microsoft will work across the F# language, core library, core tooling and Visual F# IDE tools to evolve the developer experience and provide strong integration with other tools and functionality in the .NET developer ecosystem. F# is a mature, open source, cross-platform, functional-first programming language which empowers users and organizations to tackle complex computing problems with simple, maintainable and robust code. F# is used in a wide range of application areas and is ...

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  In the recent past, we have heard various rumors about Microsoft developing its own smart watch. WSJ reported that Microsoft has requested 1.5-inch displays from component makers as per an executive at a component supplier. Another report claimed that Microsoft’s smartwatch prototypes which are now being part of Surface team is making variety of removable wrist bands in blue, red, yellow, black, white, and grey colors for smartwatches. Also these prototypes were reported to be made of Oxynitride Aluminum, an expensive “translucent aluminum” that is said to be three times harder than glass. This reported smartwatch will work not only with Windows Phone devices, but with other Android and iOS devices as well. Today, Tom’s Hardware reported some new information about Microsoft’s Smartwatch(they claim it to be smart band). The device is cross-platform compatible. The display of the device will be on the inside of the wrist as opposed to ...

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Microsoft today announced a great news for Office developers. They are open sourcing the Open XML SDK on GitHub. Microsoft is looking forward to work with community to make improvements to the SDK’s functionality and scalability. Microsoft also highlighted that they will explore new platforms and technologies to support developer platforms such as Mono, an open source implementation of .NET Framework.  It’s been over seven years since we released the initial preview of the Open XML SDK, and over that time it’s been one of the key tools developers have used for building solutions that consume, create, and modify Office documents. The Open XML SDK is a key piece of our overall developer platform. The trends around mobile apps connected to the cloud have expanded the role that Office documents can play in solutions. Many of our Fortune 100 customers have built solutions leveraging the SDK, especially in the banking and ...

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Microsoft Windows Store platform team has now started new user voice site named ‘Missing Platform APIs’. As the name suggests, Windows Store developers can post their ideas on APIs or vote of ideas by other developers. For example, Windows Phone platform does not provide any API to make a great voice call recorder app and similar. You can post any APIs that are missing on both Windows and Windows Phone platforms. As we continue to evolve and grow Windows, we want your feedback on the APIs you need to be successful. The most useful feedback will be in the form of requests for specific APIs or specific 3rd-party libraries, along with a general description of the scenario they help solve. These could be existing Windows APIs not currently permitted in Store Apps (Win32, COM, or .NET) or they could be APIs from other operating systems with no equivalents on Windows. In addition ...

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Back in April, Microsoft announced the availability of Bing Knowledge Widget. The JavaScript-based widget for webmasters that detects and visualizes entities on the webpage and displays rich information about the entity.  A visitor to your site need simply hover over the objects you’ve selected in the backend to see the widget come to life along the right-hand side of the screen, showcasing content related to each entity, directly from Bing’s knowledge repository. But then, webmasters have to add the embed code to thousands of pages to enhance their websites with the rich entity information from the Bing Knowledge system. Now, you can manage them from a single place in the cloud. Today, we are taking the next step and are making it even easier for webmasters to put Bing Knowledge to work on their sites by integrating the functionality to do so into Bing Webmaster Tools. Now, you can easily manage multiple Bing Knowledge Widgets ...

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Popular indie game Sixty Second Shooter Prime is now available for download from Xbox Store. This game now features improved graphics, audio and an “Infinity Second Shooter” mode which allows gamers to enjoy the game without any time constraints. Game Description: Sixty Second Shooter Prime is a twin stick shooter with a sixty second time limit. You’ll be surprised how fun that is. You have one minute – and one life! – with which to deal as much destruction as possible. The enemy hordes are relentless, so only the sharpest wits and the fastest reflexes will prevail. Will you press your luck and fly to the deep levels where the truly treacherous foes await? The clock is always ticking in this fast-paced dual-stick shooter. But thankfully, our intrepid scientists at Happion Laboratories have developed all-new weapons to help you in those sixty seconds of hell. Use missiles to build a large ...

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At Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) held yesterday, Microsoft announced that Tamara “TJ” DiCaprio with the 2014 C.K. Prahalad Award. The award, presented at the Corporate Eco Forum’s fifth annual C.K. Prahalad Awards ceremony, recognized winners for demonstrating “globally significant private sector action that exemplifies the fundamental connection between sustainability, innovation and long-term business success in a globalizing world.” The two other recipients of the award included Robert Carter, executive vice president of information services and chief information officer at FedEx, and The Global Water Challenge. The award, given Tuesday, recognizes those who demonstrate “globally significant private sector action that exemplifies the fundamental connection between sustainability, innovation and long-term business success in a globalizing world.” Read more at Microsoft Green blog. ...

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