Microsoft introduces a new 2D graphics API for the Windows Runtime

Microsoft has announced Win2D, a Windows Runtime API that wraps Direct2D (part of DirectX), for accelerated graphics in Windows Store apps.

The new API is described here and you can download the current binary here. It is in its early stages, but already supports basic drawing, bitmap loading, some image effects, and a vector and

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Alcatel OneTouch on plans for Windows Phone OS tablets

At IFA in Berlin, I spoke to Dan Dery, VP and CMO at Alcatel OneTouch, who told me of the company’s plans for Windows Phone OS tablets. Alcatel OneTouch is part of TCL Corporation, a Chinese global electronics company, though for historical reasons (a 2004 joint venture between TCL and the French company Alcatel-Lucent) it

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Another go at Windows 8 from Microsoft’s hardware partners but strategy puzzles remain

I am at the IFA consumer electronics event in Berlin, and have been struck by the number of new Windows 8 tablets on display. Some are hybrid laptop/tablet affairs, but there are also small tablets at keen prices (less than $199) which look superficially similar to Android tablets.

Under the covers though, they

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Microsoft’s broken Windows Store: an unconvincing official response and the wider questions

Microsoft’s Todd Brix has posted about misleading apps in Windows Store:

Every app store finds its own balance between app quality and choice, which in turn opens the door to people trying to game the system with misleading titles or descriptions. Our approach has long been to create and enforce strong but transparent policies to

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Hands on with Surface Pro 3

I am about to hand back my Surface Pro 3 after a week or so of use – how is it?

I reviewed the Surface on The Register, where I tried to bring out the changed focus of the device, compared to the first two iterations. Surface RT (the first to be released) was

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Xamarin announces large round of funding, plans international expansion

It is a case of “right time, right place” for Xamarin, as it scoops up Windows developers who need either to transition to iOS and Android, or to add mobile support to existing applications. You can also port applications to the Mac with its cross-platform development framework based on C#; no bad thing as Mac

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Bing Developer Assistant adds code samples to Visual Studio IntelliSense, with mixed results

Microsoft has updated its Bing Developer Assistant Beta, a Visual Studio 2013 add-in which hooks into IntelliSense so that you get code samples as well as brief documentation. For example, in an Entity Framework project, if you select dbContext.SaveChanges, you get a code sample which uses that method.

There is no guarantee of course

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Developing an app on Microsoft Azure: a few quick reflections

I have recently completed (if applications are ever completed) an application which runs on Microsoft’s Azure platform. I used lots of Microsoft technology:

Visual Studio 2013 Visual Studio Online with Team Foundation version control ASP.NET MVC 4.0 Entity Framework 4.0 Azure SQL Azure Active Directory Azure Web Sites Azure Blob Storage Microsoft .NET 4.5 with

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Should you use Entity Framework for .NET applications?

I have been working on a project which I thought would be simpler than it turned out to be – nothing new there, most software projects are like that.

The project involves upload and download of large files from Azure storage. There is a database as part of the application, nothing too demanding, but requiring

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Microsoft Financials show cloud growth, Nokia loss

Microsoft has announced its financial results for the quarter ending June 30th 2013. How is it doing?

Quarterly revenue is up to $23.38 billion from $20.49 billion year on year, though $1.98 billion of that is phone hardware – Nokia, in other words. Operating income is up to $6.48 billion from $6.07. Net income is

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