Microsoft recently announced the launch of the Kinect for Windows v2 public preview and also released SDK for it. Since the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 public preview will run only on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 64-bit systems, Mac OS users won’t be able to develop Kinect based apps. However, Microsoft offers two different approaches for Mac OS users to use Kinect for Windows development. Install Windows to the Mac’s hard drive, or Install Windows to an external USB 3.0 drive. Due to the requirements for full USB 3.0 bandwidth and GPU Shader Model 5 (DirectX 11), virtualization products such as VMWare Fusion, Parallels Desktop, or Oracle VirtualBox are not supported. The first option can be done through Apple’s Bootcamp option which is available on all Mac devices. The second one is done through the new Windows To Go feature in Windows 8.1. Read the detailed step by step instructions ...

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Developers can learn what’s new in the new world of apps for Office. In the above video, you can know about top 5 new features including amazing content apps for PowerPoint, Excel APIs for formatting, content apps for Access, mail APIs for body and attachments and compose mail apps. Last week we caught up with Jeremy Thake to talk about the apps for Office model itself and what is new, different and better versus the more traditional extensibility options in Office, SharePoint and Exchange. This week we examine things that have recently been added as new capabilities to the apps for Office model itself. The great thing about the cloud and its agile development is that the extensibility platform itself can continually evolve. So we highlight the top 5 recent additions and enhancements to the apps for Office model. Recently, Microsoft has released Office 365 Preview APIs as well, Microsoft’s ...

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Speaking at Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference, Satya Nadella revealed Microsoft’s plans to take on Amazon Web Services in the world of startups. We all know that Microsoft Azure is now competing well against AWS in both PAAS and IAAS. But, Microsoft Azure’s growth is mainly because of Enterprises who are already a Microsoft customer. Hundreds of startups still rely on Amazon for building their product, the problem here is that they don’t even consider Microsoft Azure due to perception issues. Satya exactly spoke about it at the conference. He spoke that Microsoft faces two challenges in reaching out to startups, one is a perception issue and the other is selection bias. He said that a startup even if they use Amazon Web Services, can also use Azure’s Active Directory, there’s also single-sign-on—another identity management service—for Microsoft’s Office 365, startups can use Microsoft’s cloud-based machine learning services to perform advanced predictive analytics while using another ...

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Project Siena is a new product that enables your business experts, analysts, and imagineers to create transformative business apps. With Siena, they can now build custom apps with rich visuals, filled with custom intelligence and functionality, with no programming skills required. Today, they announced the availability of the Beta3 release of Project Siena which makes it even easier for business experts, business analysts and other app imagineers to create powerful custom mobile apps that are connected to enterprise services, major SaaS, and popular web and social services. Since we released Project Siena to the public, we have seen an immense level of excitement and usage from our enterprise customers and solution partners. We have seen business people create powerful, custom mobile-first apps, often in hours, without any programming needed at all. We have also seen mobile apps that transform business processes by extending back-end services and SaaS with signal-rich and media-rich experiences ...

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Earlier this week, we reported that Microsoft is giving away Intel Galileo board to developers who sign up for the program. Today, Microsoft detailed the roll out of the program on their official blog. Microsoft has updated their website Windowsondevices.com withSDK document and examples.  Through this program we are introducing a new Windows Developer for IoT Portal, with documentation and examples to support the developer kits we are starting to ship in small batches. These developer kits include a Galileo board and preview Windows image that supports the standard Arduino Wiring API set and a subset of Win32 API. This Windows image does not yet support Galileo boards outside of our program. If you have already signed-up for the program and didn’t receive any shipping information, you have to wait for your chance. We are rolling out this new program gradually to make sure that everything is working well and we’re ...

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Microsoft is now helping developers in making decisions to succeed in Windows Store app development. To compete with tens of thousands of apps in the Windows Store, developers can make use of the real data to make good decisions to help their app succeed. When developers decide to develop for a platform, the first question that arises is which app should they build. Developers can use a service such as AppFeds to get some overall data and get some insights. Games is by far the most popular category followed by apps in in the Entertainment, Education, Books and Reference, and Music and Videos categories of equal numbers. AppFeds provided the following thoughts on current Windows Store apps, If you’re looking for areas with fewer competitors—where it might be easier to find opportunities—you might focus on the smallest categories such as Finance, Security, Photos, Government, and Health and Fitness. If you’re planning to ...

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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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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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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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Microsoft today announced that they have acquired SyntaxTree, the developers of the UnityVS plugin for Visual Studio. UnityVS enables Unity developers to take advantage of the productivity of Visual Studio to author, browse and debug the code for their Unity applications. Already today, dozens of the biggest names in game development rely on Visual Studio and the UnityVS plugin. With the acquisition, Microsoft will integrate Unity development inside Visual Studio and also making the plug-in available for free to developers from today. In today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world, Visual Studio provides a great development environment for game developers targeting the breadth of mobile devices, and connecting to the rich services platforms in Azure. I am excited about our opportunity to continue to push game development with Visual Studio forward with the help of the SyntaxTree team. Source: VS blog ...

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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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Microsoft today announced that they have partnered with prime[31],  a popular Unity plug-in provider to bring all their Windows and Windows Phone Unity plug-ins for free for a year. prime[31] plug-ins makes it easier for developers to implement in app-purchases, use Live Tiles, monetize via ads, and connect to Azure storage. Download them from the link below. Functionality provided Windows Store 8.0 and 8.1     Windows Phone 8.0 * Handling trial and in-app purchases Store plug-in Store plug-in To get Live tiles, toast notifications Metro Essentials plug-in Metro Essentials plug-in To give you access to the Microsoft Ad SDK Microsoft ads plug-in Microsoft ads plug-in For easy access to Azure storage Microsoft Azure plug-in Microsoft Azure plug-in *Note that Windows Phone 8.1 support and corresponding free plug-ins will be coming soon. To take advantage of this offer and get your free plug-ins, visit the prime[31] website; free plug-ins will be marked ...

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Microsoft is releasing an updated Xbox One SDK for developers this month which will give developers access to more GPU bandwidth, so more performance for their games. Also there are new tools and flexibility to make games better. Xbox chief Phil Spencer tweeted this information yesterday. During the launch of Xbox One, Microsoft said that they are reserving about 10% of the GPU for Kinect and other system process. But this update for SDK is making it possible for developers to access additional GPU resources previously reserved for Kinect and system functions. Microsoft commented the following regarding the new SDK release, The additional resources allow access to up to 10 percent additional GPU performance. We’re committed to giving developers new tools and flexibility to make their Xbox One games even better by giving them the option to use the GPU reserve in whatever way is best for them and their ...

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Microsoft yesterday released the first community technology preview of the next version of Visual Studio, codenamed Visual Studio “14”.  Microsoft has released this build to collect feedback from customers, so they have advised users to install in a test environment with no earlier versions of Visual Studio installed. It includes Roslyn” .NET compiler platform, ASP.NET vNext and Apache Cordova tooling and many other improvements. In Visual Studio “14″, the C# and VB compilers and IDE support are fully built on the .NET Compiler Platform (“Roslyn”). In the Visual Studio “14″ preview C# refactoring support has been completely revamped including two new core refactorings: Inline Temporary Variable and Introduce Explaining Variable. Additionally, refactoring support for Visual Basic has been added for the first time. Visual Studio “14″ also supports APIs that come from NuGet with their own analyzers, squiggling issues in your code as you type and offering you automatic fixes, ...

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