XAML and C#, or HTML and WinJS for Windows Store, Universal and cross platform apps?

Microsoft designed the Windows Runtime (WinRT, the engine behind the controversial touch-friendly “Metro” user interface in Windows 8) to support three development platforms. These are C++ with XAML (for most GUI apps) or DirectX (for fast games); or C# and XAML; or HTML and JavaScript using the WinJS library for access to Windows-specific functions.

Microsoft’s

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Getting animated: basics in Windows Store apps

I am not a designer and prefer to avoid things like animation as too difficult. On the other hand, I am writing an electronic card game and it looks bad if the cards move without any animation. There is also an issue in that animation is built into the standard controls, so if you do

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Microsoft completes Nokia acquisition: what now for Windows Phone?

Microsoft has completed its acquisition of Nokia today, a milestone in the turbulent story both of Nokia and of Windows Phone, which Nokia adopted in the hope of establishing a “third ecosystem” to challenge Apple iOS and Google Android.

Rumour has it that the Nokia acquisition was controversial within Microsoft and a large factor in

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Microsoft financials: strong quarter especially in cloud services. We have a very different way to think about Windows says Nadella

Microsoft has released its financial results for the first quarter of 2014. The year on year segment figures look like this:

Quarter ending March 31st 2014 vs quarter ending March 31st 2013, $millions

Segment Revenue Change Gross margin Change Devices and Consumer Licensing 4382 +30 3906 -23 Devices and Consumer Hardware 1973 +571 258 -135

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A little bit of magic from Adobe PhoneGap: instant app preview on a device

Adobe has released an update to its PhoneGap tools (build mobile apps using HTML and Javascript) which enabled instant preview on a device. You don’t need to compile and deploy; it is enough simply to save your changes using a text editor, and the running app preview on the connected device will refresh.

I tried

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Windows problems: new users cannot log in, SQL Server 2014 install fails

Two issues I have seen recently:

1. A Windows 7 laptop which belonged to a developer and was being passed on to a new user. However, although you could create the new user, you could not log in as that user. The error was “User Profile Service service failed the logon. User profile cannot be

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Notes on styling a Windows Store app ListView to vary item appearance according to the data

Problem: You have a ListView containing data. You want to vary the appearance of items in the ListView according to the value of the data.

I spent some time on this in relation to a panel for a game I am writing. For example, you have a ListView containing numbers. How can you have negative

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Hands on: SQL Server 2014 with data files in Azure Blob Storage

One intriguing new feature in Micrsosoft’s SQL Server 2014 is the ability to create or attach databases whose files are in Azure blog storage. This sounds like something that would not work at all well: why would you want a database engine to mount files located hundreds or thousands of miles away? However, the feature

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Puppet and Chef come to Windows Azure

Good to see these options when creating an Azure VM:

Puppet is for automating IT operations.

Chef is for modeling IT infrastructure and application deployment as code.

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Fixing failed wifi on Surface Pro

I experienced an odd problem on a Surface Pro (first edition). This happened shortly after upgrading to Windows 8.1 Update though not immediately after.

Symptom: I could connect to wifi but although I had five bars of signal strength, according to the notification area icon, I had no connection; and ipconfig reported “Media disconnected” for

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