Posted by: Murray Gordon | November 29, 2010

Microsoft develops shape-shifting touchscreen

This week the Microsoft Research team filed a patent application covering a novel way to construct a "tactile" touchscreen – a display that uses technical tricks to convince users they are actually touching the ridges, bumps and textures of a displayed image.

Whereas previous screens produced only an illusion of texture, Microsoft proposes producing a real texture, using pixel-sized shape-memory plastic cells that can be ordered to protrude from the surface on command.

This is very exciting technology. I hope it is the next innovation around our surface technology. It will be less about slates and phones and more about large interactive surfaces.

Check out the article at http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19776-microsoft-develops-shapeshifting-touchscreen.html

Thanks for checking out this post!

Cheers,
MurraySignature

Murray Gordon
ISV Architect Evangelist
Microsoft Corporation
 
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pdc10-aAt the Professional Developers Conference (PDC), Microsoft is announcing a host of new enhancements and services that make it easier to move to platform as a service, to enhance current applications and workloads, and to transform applications to take full advantage of the underlying platform.

These include Virtual Machine Role for Windows Azure, SQL Azure Reporting, Windows Azure Marketplace, Team Foundation System on Azure, AppFabric Caching, more control over IIS and elevation of privileges, improved support for Java apps, numerous improvements in the development experience, and a new offering for Microsoft Partners.

Here are the details of the PDC announcements:

Virtual Machine Role

Making it easier to move existing applications and run them more efficiently, Microsoft is providing a bridge to Platform as a Service (PaaS) from Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

  • Windows Azure Virtual Machine Role eases the migration of existing Windows Server applications to Windows Azure by eliminating the need to make costly application changes and enables customers to quickly access their existing business data from the cloud. Today at PDC 2010, Microsoft announced Virtual Machine Role support for Windows Server 2008 R2 in Windows Azure. A public beta will be available by the end of 2010.
  • Server Application Virtualization enables customers to deploy virtualized application images onto the Windows Azure worker role (single role, single instance) rather than the VM Role. Through this approach, customers can more easily migrate their traditional applications to Windows Azure without the need to rewrite them or to package them within a VM. Once the application is deployed with server application virtualization on Windows Azure, customers can benefit from the automated service management capabilities of Windows Azure including automatic configuration and ongoing operating system management. Server Application Virtualization for Windows Azure will be available as a community technology preview (CTP) before the end of 2010, and the final release will be available to customers in the second half of 2011.
  • Constructing VM role images in the cloud. Microsoft is enabling developers and IT professionals to build VM images for VM role directly in the cloud. This will be offered as an alternative to the current approach of building images on-premises and uploading them over the Internet. This update will be available in 2011.
  • Support for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 in the VM Role. Microsoft supports Windows Server 2008 R2 in the Guest OS. In 2011, Microsoft will add support for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 SP2.

Reporting, Data Sync, Data Manager

Enhance applications and workloads with rich new services and features.

  • SQL Azure Reporting allows developers to embed reports into their Windows Azure applications, including rich data visualization and export to popular formats, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and PDF, enabling the users of these applications to gain greater insight and act on their line-of-business data stored in SQL Azure databases. A CTP will be available to customers by the end of 2010. The final release of SQL Azure Reporting will be generally available in the first half of 2011.
  • SQL Azure Data Sync is another important building block service to help developers rapidly build cloud applications on the Windows Azure platform using Microsoft’s cloud database. It allows developers to build apps with geo-replicated SQL Azure data and synchronize on-premises with cloud and mobile applications. A CTP will be available by the end of 2010. A final release of SQL Azure Data Sync is set to be released in the first half of 2011.
  • Database Manager for SQL Azure is a new lightweight, Web-based database management and querying capability for SQL Azure. This capability was formerly referred to as “Project Houston,” and allows customers to have a streamlined experience within the Web browser without having to download any tools. Database Manager for SQL Azure will be generally available by the end of 2010.
  • Windows Azure AppFabric helps developers rapidly build cloud applications on the Windows Azure platform.
    • AppFabric Caching, which helps developers accelerate the performance of their applications.
    • AppFabric Service Bus enhancements will help developers build reliable, enterprise quality delivery of data or messages, to and from applications to third parties or mobile devices.

CTPs will be available at PDC, and both of these important building-block technologies will be generally available the first half of 2011.

Windows Azure Marketplace

Windows Azure Marketplace is a single online marketplace for developers and IT professionals to share, find, buy and sell building block components, training, services, and finished services or applications needed to build complete and compelling Windows Azure platform applications. Developers and ISVs will find that the Marketplace is an ideal way to monetize and publicize their offerings to cloud customers, and customers will find that the Marketplace offers an array of technologies they can purchase and use in one stop.

DataMarket is best thought of as an “aisle” in the Windows Azure Marketplace that provides developers and information workers with access to premium third-party data, Web services, and self-service business intelligence and analytics, which they can use to build rich applications. Today there are more than 35 data providers offering data on DataMarket, with over 100 more coming soon.

At PDC 2010, DataMarket (formerly code-named “Dallas”) was released to Web, and a Windows Azure Marketplace beta will be released by the end of the year.

Team Foundation Services on Windows Azure

TFS on Windows Azure. Microsoft demoed Team Foundation Server on Windows Azure, which shows that steps have been made toward cloud-hosted Application Lifecycle Management. It also demonstrates that Windows Azure is capable of running complex, enterprise workloads such as Team Foundation Server with marginal effort. A CTP will be available in 2011.

Windows Azure AppFabric

  • Windows Azure AppFabric Access Control enhancements help customers build federated authorization into applications and services without the complicated programming that is normally required to secure applications beyond organizational boundaries. With support for a simple declarative model of rules and claims, Access Control rules can easily and flexibly be configured to cover a variety of security needs and different identity-management infrastructures. These enhancements are currently available to customers.
  • Windows Azure AppFabric Connect allows customers to bridge existing line-of-business (LOB) integration investments over to Windows Azure using the Windows Azure AppFabric Service Bus, and connecting to on-premises composite applications running on Windows Server AppFabric. This new set of simplified tooling extends Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 to help accelerate hybrid on- and off-premises composite application scenarios, which are critical for customers starting to develop hybrid applications. This service is freely available today.
  • Windows Azure Virtual Network. New functionality is being introduced under the Windows Azure Virtual Network name. Windows Azure Connect (previously known as “Project Sydney”) enables a simple and easy-to-manage mechanism to set up IP-based network connectivity between on-premises and Windows Azure resources. The first Windows Azure Virtual Network feature is called Windows Azure Connect. A CTP of Windows Azure Connect will be available by the end of 2010, and it will be generally available in the first half of 2011.

Extra Small Windows Azure for Developers

Extra Small Windows Azure Instance. At the PDC 2010 Microsoft announced the Extra Small Instance, which will be priced at $0.05 per compute hour in order to make the process of development, testing and trial easier for developers. This will make it affordable for developers interested in running smaller applications on the platform. A beta of this role will be available before the end of 2010.

New, Improved Features for Windows Azure

Remote Desktop enables IT professionals to connect to a running instance of their application or service to monitor activity and troubleshoot common problems. Remote Desktop will be generally available later this year.

Elevated Privileges. The VM role and Elevated Privileges functionality removes roadblocks that today prevent developers from having full control over their application environment. For small changes such as configuring Internet Information Service (IIS) or installing a Microsoft Software Installer (MSI), Microsoft recommends using the Elevated Privileges admin access feature. This approach is best suited for small changes and enables the developer to retain automated service management at the Guest OS and the application level. Elevated Privileges will be generally available to customers later this year.

Full IIS Support enables development of more complete applications using Windows Azure. The Web role will soon provide full IIS functionality, which enables multiple IIS sites per Web role and the ability to install IIS modules. The full IIS functionality enables developers to get more value out of a Windows Azure instance. Full IIS Support will be generally available to customers later this year.

Windows Server 2008 R2 Roles. Windows Azure will now support Windows Server 2008 R2 in its Web, worker and VM roles. This new support will enable customers to take advantage of the full range of Windows Server 2008 R2 features such as IIS 7.5, AppLocker, and enhanced command-line and automated management using PowerShell Version 2.0. This update will be generally available later this year.

Multiple Admins. Windows Azure will soon support multiple Windows Live IDs to have administrator privileges on the same Windows Azure account. The objective is to make it easy for a team to work on the same Windows Azure account while using their individual Windows Live IDs. The Multiple Admins update will be generally available later this year.

Dynamic Content Caching. With this new functionality, the Windows Azure CDN can be configured to cache content returned from a Windows Azure application. Dynamic Content Caching will be available to customers in 2011.

Content Delivery Network SSL Delivery. Users of the Windows Azure CDN will now have the capability to deliver content via encrypted channels with SSL/TLS. This update will be available in 2011.

Improved global connectivity. Microsoft will add new Windows Azure CDN nodes in the Middle East and improve existing connectivity in the U.S. and Brazil in 2011.

Improved Java Enablement. Microsoft plans to make Java a first-class citizen on Windows Azure. This process will involve improving Java performance, Eclipse tooling and client libraries for Windows Azure. Customers can choose the Java environment of their choice and run it on Windows Azure. Improved Java Enablement will be available to customers in 2011.

Composite Application Development

Transform applications to do new things in new ways, highly scalable and highly available

Windows Azure AppFabric Composition Model and Composite App Service provides an end-to-end “composite” application development environment to help developers streamline the process of assembling, managing and deploying various home-grown and third-party services that span the Web, middle tier and database in the cloud.

  • The AppFabric Composition Model will help developers compose applications on the Windows Azure Platform with extensions to the .NET Framework and tie them all together through a new Microsoft Visual Studio-based designer experience. A CTP will be available in the first half of 2011.
  • The AppFabric Composite App Service allows developers to take the Composition Model and automate the deployment, configuration, control, monitoring, troubleshooting, reporting and optimization of an application without the usual manual steps. A CTP is also due the first half of 2011.

Improved Development Experience

Windows Azure Enhancements. While developers and IT professionals appreciate the reduced management burden that Windows Azure offers, they also place a high value on retaining the flexibility to see and control how their applications and services are running in the cloud. Developers and IT professionals need clear visibility into their cloud applications, along with a high level of control over how these applications are running.

To address these needs, Microsoft is announcing the following developer and operator enhancements at PDC 2010:

  • A completely redesigned Microsoft Silverlight-based Windows Azure portal to ensure an improved and intuitive user experience
  • Access to new diagnostic information including the ability to click on a role to see type and deployment time
  • A new sign-up process that dramatically reduces the number of steps needed to sign up for Windows Azure
  • New scenario-based Windows Azure Platform forums to help answer questions and share knowledge more efficiently

These Windows Azure enhancements will be generally available by the end of 2010.

New Cloud Offering for Partners

· “Windows Azure Platform Cloud Essentials for Partners” is an offer that replaces Microsoft’s existing partner offers. This offer will go live on Jan. 7, 2011, and provide free access to the Windows Azure platform, including 750 Extra Small Instance hours and a SQL Azure database per month at no additional charge. Partners can sign up for the Cloud Essentials Pack at http://www.microsoftcloudpartner.com.

Huge shout out to Bruce Kyle and Microsoft Press Pass for all this content.

Thanks for checking out this post!

Cheers,
MurraySignature

Murray Gordon
Business Development Manager
Competitive Practice Recruit
US Partner Group

Microsoft Corporation
 
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Posted by: Murray Gordon | April 15, 2010

Windows Azure Feature Voting

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There a great site for seeing what developer and architects are asking for from Windows Azure.

You can even throw your own voice into the conversation.

image  You get 10 votes to throw into the mix.

 

Click Here to vote or see the features for Windows Azure that are in high demand.

http://windowsazure.uservoice.com/forums/34192-windows-azure-feature-voting

 

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Thanks for checking out this post!

Posted by: Murray Gordon | April 8, 2010

Good links for SharePoint 2010 for Internet “Throttling”

I posted a blog recently about SharePoint 2010 licensing. It was titled SharePoint 2010 Licensing Explained. I have since had lots of questions about “SharePoint 2010 for Internet – Standard” and “artificially throttled around content size.”

Here’s a couple of good links that explain in more detail what I was referring to:

http://blogs.technet.com/speschka/archive/2009/10/27/adding-throttling-counters-in-sharepoint-2010.aspx

http://www.microsoft.com/canada/businessproductivity/sharepoint/default.aspx (Large List Resource Throttling)

Thanks for checking out this post!

Cheers,
MurraySignature

Murray Gordon
ISV Architect Evangelist
Microsoft Corporation
 
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Posted by: Murray Gordon | April 8, 2010

Article: Cross-Organization Single Sign-On Made Real with ADFS

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Alan Le Marquand wrote a great article that looks at another side of Forefront Identity Manager 2010 – Cross-Organization Single Sign-On made real with ADFS.

It’s worth checking out.

Click Here to Read the Article

 

 

Thanks for checking out this post!

Cheers,
MurraySignature

Murray Gordon
ISV Architect Evangelist
Microsoft Corporation
 
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Posted by: Murray Gordon | April 8, 2010

SharePoint Workspace 2010 Explained

Lots of questions about SharePoint Workspace 2010 (previously Groove) from Partners and Customers lately.

This article describes the key functionality and architecture of Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010. SharePoint Workspace 2010 is the new name for, and succeeds, Microsoft Office Groove 2007. SharePoint Workspace 2010 is a client application that provides fast, any-time interactive access to document libraries and lists on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010.

Click Here to read the Article

Thanks for checking out this post!

Cheers,
MurraySignature

Murray Gordon
ISV Architect Evangelist
Microsoft Corporation
 
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Posted by: Murray Gordon | April 8, 2010

WPC 2010 Registration Is Now Open

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Now is the time to register for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2010, July 11 – 15 in Washington, D.C. Discover the latest insights into Microsoft’s cloud computing strategy, product innovations and business solutions. Learn about Microsoft’s roadmap and best practices for the year. Plan your Technology Roadmap and gain exclusive access to network with Microsoft executives and partners.

Click Here to Register

Thanks for checking out this post!

Cheers,
MurraySignature

Murray Gordon
ISV Architect Evangelist
Microsoft Corporation
 
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blog US ISV Team Blog

Posted by: Murray Gordon | April 1, 2010

Windows 7 – Light up New Features

I have had some requests lately for details on the path to Windows 7 compatibility and how to light up key features. So I thought it would be timely to put out a new post on my new blog (www.murraygordon.com) about how to get your applications compatible with Windows 7. Here goes…

This is the 2nd post in the series.

Windows 7 offers you several ways to differentiate your products from your competitors. Depending on the scenario you focus on with your product, you might choose Scenic Ribbon, Taskbar, Federated Search, Multi-touch, Libraries, others. You can get a complete list of new features at Windows 7 Developer Guide. For a video that gives you an overview of the features from a developer point of view, see Windows 7 Introduction – New Features for Developers.

To help you decide what features apply to your software, we’ve put together a table of scenarios, features, and customer value. See Top 10 Scenarios; ISVs Add Customer Value with Windows 7 Features to help you decide what features will help get your customers the most value.

Training Kit for Developers

To get you ready quickly, download the Windows 7 Developer Training Kit. The kit includes presentations, hands-on labs, and demos on Taskbar, Libraries, Multi-touch, Sensor and Location Platform, Ribbon, Background Processes, Services, and Tasks, Windows 7 Instrumentation and Performance, and more. Download the kit for the release candidate from Windows 7 RC Training Kit for Developers.

API Code Pack for Managed Code Developers

If you develop in managed code (C# or VB), you’ll want the Windows API Code Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework (formerly VistaBridge) which is a source code library that provides access to the new Windows 7 features from managed code. These features are not available to developers today in the .NET Framework. Download the free code pack and check out this video of the Code Pack in Action.

Taskbar and Jump Lists

You’ll notice the Taskbar the first time you open up Windows 7. A customized jump list lets your user go to the information they need most. The users of your application need not want to display the most recent documents saved; you may want to show the latest customers or the highest ranked items when the user clicks on your taskbar icon. You can manipulate custom destinations, user tasks, the Recent and Frequent lists, and items removed by the user by using the Taskbar and Jump Lists API.

For a video on how to implement, see Windows 7 Feature: Taskbar and Jump Lists. For a blog post that includes code and video, see Windows Task Bar in 10 Minutes. For conference presentations, see Windows 7 taskbar: Developer Resources on MSDN. For step by step in depth code samples, see the three-part blog postings, Developing for the Windows 7 Taskbar.

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Libraries

Libraries are user-defined collections of content. Libraries extend the idea of known folders to make it easy for users to save files in a consistent way. Content can be stored all over the PC and network. Libraries give users control over their “Documents Library” folder structure. Users define which folders to include in the Documents Library.

To get started, use the common save dialog box for your applications. This will automatically display libraries to your users. To use the new Common Dialog, you’ll need to use the newer Vista or Windows 7 API in the System.Windows.Forms.FileDialog namespace. It’s like a half dozen line of code described in Light Up with Windows 7 Libraries.

For more information, see Windows 7 Programming Guide – Libraries or Windows 7 Libraries – Managed Code.

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Federated Search

Windows 7 supports searching for documents beyond the user’s own PC. Developers and IT professionals can enable their search engines, document repositories, web applications, and proprietary data stores to be searched from Windows 7 without needing to write and deploy client code. This enables end users to search their corporate intranet or the web as easily as they can search for their local files—all from within the same familiar Windows interface.

You can build a basic web service that leverages the Windows OpenSearch provider for federated search. Federated search enables users to search remote data sources from within Windows Explorer and to interact with that remote data from within Windows Explorer. See Windows 7 Federated Search Provider Implementer’s Guide.

To see show how to code your own federated search tool so that end users of your product can download and install it to customize their Windows 7 interface, see Windows 7 Feature: Federated Search video on MSDEV.

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Windows 7 Ribbon

Windows 7 features the Ribbon interface from Office 2007 throughout the operating system, enabling improved user interface development on the platform. This means that developers can eliminate much of the drudgery of Win32 UI development and deliver a rich, graphical, animated, and highly familiar user interface by using markup based UI and a small, high-performance, native code runtime.

You can put ribbon UI into your applications. The ribbon is extensible and adds to a better user experience. For more information, see Windows Ribbon Framework: Developer Resources.

To see a demonstration and code examples for leveraging the new Windows Ribbon feature in applications to provide a clean, user-friendly, and modern-looking user interface, see Windows 7 Feature: The Windows 7 Ribbon video on MSDEV.

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Multi-Touch

Touch is probably the biggest crowd pleaser for demos and functionality. It offers some real innovation for your application. And the feature will get you thinking about how your application can be more exciting to your users. To take advantage of Touch, you are going to need a PC that supports multiple touch points.

The current API is native (unmanaged code) and in the near future Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) 4 will include full support of Multi-Touch in Windows 7.

You can get started today seeing more about the possibilities. The Windows 7 SDK includes a few demos for reference, including detailed samples showcasing Multi-Touch gestures support, manipulation, and inertia for both WinForms and WPF.

For an overview, see Enabling Multi-Touch in the Windows 7 Beta. For code samples and hands on labs, see Windows Touch: Developer Resources. You can get a good idea of how powerful the features are for Touch in a video Windows Media Center on Windows 7 with Touch.

Sensor and Location Platform

Sensor and Location Platform provide a standard way to integrate sensor and location devices with Windows 7, and provides a standard programming model for applications to take advantage of these devices. You’ll want to use the sensor and location APIs for your application to take advantage of the current conditions. If your application takes advantage of GPS, this API is right for you.

For more information, see Windows 7 Sensor and Location .NET Interop Sample Library. For a sample application including code, see Location-Aware Navigation Application. The application uses Windows 7 Location Platform to retrieve user’s location and enables her to see her move on the Virtual Earth Map.

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Powershell 2

Using PowerShell in your development efforts and to empower your users to customize the functionality and leverage your application in new ways. For example, PowerShell can be used to automate your application and configuration.

Give PowerShell scripters access the functionality of your application by creating custom CmdLets. You can also build PowerShell scripts to help automate testing your application.

If you expose your hierarchical data that the user will need to access, you might need to write your own Windows PowerShell provider, as described in How to Create a Windows PowerShell Provider.

Fire cmdlets from user interfaces to allow users to customize actions during installation and configuration.

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High-Fidelity Graphics with DirectX

Windows application developers have long used DirectX to provide high-quality, hardware-accelerated, 3D graphics.

Windows 7 puts even more graphics capability into the hands of application developers. Through a new set of DirectX APIs, Win32 developers can take advantage of the latest innovations in GPUs to add fast, scalable, high-quality, 2D and 3D graphics, text, and images to their applications. On the latest LCD displays, DirectX APIs can display desktop and window content using color depth greater than 8 bits per color component.

These enhanced graphics capabilities are provided by the following COM-based APIs:

  • Direct 2D for drawing 2D graphics.
  • DirectWrite for arranging and rendering text.
  • Windows Imaging Component for processing and displaying images.
  • Direct 3D 10 for drawing 3D graphics.
  • DirectX Graphics Infrastructure (DXGI) for managing devices and GPU resources, and providing interoperability between DirectX and GDI.

For an early look at how WPF in .NET Framework 4 will support graphics, see .NET Framework 4 – Windows Presentation Foundation Graphics and Multimedia.

Device Stage

 

Device Stage provides a new way for users to interact with eligible devices in Windows 7. It includes a visual interface that makes it easy for customers to find and use applications and services for their devices. Device Stage also provides a multifunction version of AutoPlay for certain eligible devices. Device makers that develop device experiences for Device Stage use a new set of XML schemas to specify rich branding and customization of the interface, including defining custom tasks to install software and links to services. Device makers can update their custom Device Stage experiences by submitting updates to Microsoft for distribution across the Internet to PCs running Windows 7.

To better understand how to create a device metadata package for Devices and Printers, review the white paper Device Metadata Package for Devices and Printers: Resource Roadmap

The Microsoft Device Experience Development Kit provides information and material you need to know to develop Device Stage experiences for eligible devices. The current release is available here.Installer

Windows Installer has been updated to increase developer efficiency by reducing the amount of custom code required to create an installation package and create true per-user software installations.

  • Multiple Package Transaction allows developers to create a single transaction from multiple packages, using a “chainer” to dynamically include packages in the transaction. If one or more of the packages do not install as expected, simply roll back the installation.
  • Embedded UI Handler makes custom UIs easier to integrate by embedding a custom user interface handler in the Windows Installer package.
  • Embedded Multiple Package Chainer allows developers to enable installation events across multiple packages. For example, they can enable install-on-demand events, repair events, and uninstall events across multiple packages.

For more information, see Enhanced installer engine.

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Other features

  • Instrumentation and Performance. To see how you can use the built-in Windows 7 instrumentation to monitor your application, and provides code examples of some of the things you can do to improve you application’s performance, see Windows 7 Feature: Instrumentation and Performance on MSDEV.
  • Background Services and Tasks. You can make background services and tasks run on demand, which is more efficient and improves overall system performance. The session includes code examples. See Windows 7 Feature: Background Service and Tasks video on MSDEV.
  • Energy Efficiency. To use the energy efficiency diagnostic tool, and provides examples with code of how to tune your application to use power more efficiently and thus prolong battery life for laptops or other mobile devices, see Windows 7 Feature: Energy Efficiency video on MSDEV.

 

Hope this helps in your efforts to get compatible and light up Windows 7.

This post completes the multi-part series.

Thanks for checking out this post!

Cheers,
MurraySignature

Murray Gordon
ISV Architect Evangelist
Microsoft Corporation
 
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Posted by: Murray Gordon | April 1, 2010

Windows 7 – Get Compatible

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I have had some requests lately for details on the path to Windows 7 compatibility. So I thought it would be timely to put out a new post on my new blog (www.murraygordon.com) about how to get your applications compatible with Windows 7. Here goes…

Windows 7 was made generally available (GA) on October 22, 2009. The version that went public in October 2009 was available in late July 2009 to ISV’s and Enterprises with MSDN subscriptions. So there was a good bit of time before Windows 7 went public to be ready.

Microsoft is providing a resources to help you show your applications are ready for Windows 7.

Readiness for Windows 7 includes first being compatible and then taking advantage of some of the features in Windows 7. Some of the features are easy to implement too. For example, you can support the Libraries feature by calling the standard dialog box.

You can get more details on how you to get your apps compatible and incorporate Windows 7 features in a series of videos on MSDEV. You can view the videos in the series main page, A Developer’s First Look at Windows 7.

Compatibility

The first order of business is to be sure your applications are compatible. Generally the compatibility of your existing applications with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is high. Yet some compatibility breaks are inevitable due to innovations, security tightening, and increased reliability.

Here are the main steps:

  1. Whether or not you participate in the software logo program, you can test your applications using the Compatible with Windows 7 software logo toolkit. The test provides a good level of testing and provides steps and resources to resolve any issues that it might find.
  2. You can declare your intent to support Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 at Compatibility Center Submission Form. You can submit your applications one at a time or uploads lists. The Center is open to all ISVs regardless of size or locale. Also add Windows 7 to the list of operating systems that your application supports on your Web site and product marketing materials.

That said, Microsoft has several programs to get you up and running with Windows 7.

App Compat Programs

For companies inside and outside the US, you can find the details and steps you can take to insure compatibility and can register your application on ISV App Compat. Tech support is offered worldwide at an MSDN Forum Application Compatibility for Windows Development.

ISVs in the United States can join Front Runner, a program from MSDEV. Front Runner program provides

  • Details of the steps to insure your applications are compatible.
  • Tech support for your app compat issues.
  • A place to list your application as being or will be compatible
  • Additional marketing benefits.

Marketing benefits include use of the Front Runner logo, marketing materials, and funds that can be applied to your marketing efforts supporting your Windows 7 adoption. Listings in Front Runner are fed to the Compatibility Catalog and Pinpoint.

In both ISV App Compat and Front Runner you state that your application does or will work on Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 by a specific date.

For a video on Windows 7 Compatibility, see Windows 7 Compatibility on MSDEV. For details on application compatibility issues, see Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Application Quality Cookbook.

For a video on moving your application from Windows XP to Windows 7 including understanding how to work with User Access Control (UAC), see Developing Compatible Applications for Windows 7.

Compatible with Windows 7 Software Logo

You can optionally take compatibility to the next step and earn the Compatible with Windows 7 software logo. You’ll test your applications using the Compatible with Windows 7 software logo toolkit. Chances are that if your application runs under Windows Vista, it will work with Windows 7. The test will give you a list of items to check and provide information on what you should to insure compatibility. ISVs set up a virtual machine with Windows 7 and the toolkit installed, and the do your own self testing. The test consists of running the tool from the command line while you install, run, and uninstall your application. After you pass the test you submit an XML file to Winqual that is created by the logo toolkit, then register your application, sign a couple forms. You can use the Compatible with Windows 7 software logo right away. For a video on how the process worked for one ISV, see How Attachmate Earned Windows 7 Software Logo. You can opt in to receive email notices about the software logo toolkit.

imageBy passing the Compatible with Windows 7 software logo, you earn 30 partner points that can be applied toward the Microsoft Partner Network ISV Competency and can be listed in the Compatibility Catalog.

Some applications may have business reasons for not meeting every compliance test. You can get a waiver for certain issues. To learn more about waivers, see Guidelines for Waivers in Compatible with Windows 7 Software Logo.

To learn more about how the Compatible with Windows 7 software logo test works, see Compatible with Windows 7 software logo.

Also, checkout from Windows XP to Windows 7 – A Developer’s Reference Application. This application shows developers how to take advantage of the new Windows 7 features while keeping backward compatibility with older windows versions

Internet Explorer 8

Internet Explorer 8 is the browser that ships on Windows 7 in most locales. For a video on Internet Explorer 8 compatibility, see Internet Explorer 8 Compatibility. Light up your application with Web Slices, Accelerators, Search Suggestions. For information on how to get started with any or all of these features, see New Features To Slice, Store, And Accelerate Your Web Applications. If you require IE8 as part of your application for locales where IE8 might not be part of Windows 7, you should see Windows 7 E Best Practices for ISVs.

If you need to support the Windows 7 E edition that does not include internet Explorer 8, see Windows 7 E Best Practices for ISVs.

 

Hope this helps in your efforts to get compatible with Windows 7.

This is the first in a multi-part series. The next posts will cover how to Light-Up Windows 7 features.

Thanks to Jason De Lorme, ISV Architect Evangelist in Boston Area, for all the great content.

Thanks for checking out this post!

Cheers,
MurraySignature

Murray Gordon
ISV Architect Evangelist
Microsoft Corporation
 
Find me on Facebook Find me on Twitter Find me on LinkedIn Find me on Channel9 Chat via Live Messenger Chat via Office Communicator
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Posted by: Murray Gordon | March 29, 2010

VM Support in Windows Azure

Windows Azureclip_image002

Many of my customers and partners have raised questions around Windows Azure and the pilot program that Microsoft announced with Amazon Web Services.

While Windows Azure is not participating in this pilot, Microsoft is actively monitoring the feedback and will leverage the results this pilot to shape their future offerings. 

Microsoft has committed to enabling customers to purchase Windows Azure through a combination of existing and new licensing agreements. Additionally they will also ensure that they support a centralized seamless and consistent purchasing experience that existing multi-year commercial customers enjoy. Microsoft will have more specific details on this process later in the year.

Below you will find the FAQ for questions related to the pilot program. If you have additional questions please let feel free to comment on this post. I can answer those individually.

1. Will Windows Azure offer VM support?

Yes, Microsoft will add Virtual Machine functionality to Windows Azure to expand the set of existing applications that can be run on it. This Virtual Machine deployment functionality will enable developers to run a wide range of Windows applications in Windows Azure, while taking full advantage of the built in automated service management.

2. What is the pricing for this proposed VM functionality in Windows Azure?

We are not announcing pricing for the proposed Windows Azure VM functionality right now. However, this pricing will be consistent with our current Windows Azure pricing model.

3. How does this proposed VM functionality in Windows Azure differ from Amazon hosting Windows Server VMs?

While Windows Azure is a cloud service that uses (and charges via) computation resources that are analogous to physical computers, it differs in important ways from platforms such as AWS that offer VMs on demand. With a purely VM-based platform, the situation is much like hosting: You bear full responsibility for configuring and managing the VMs and the software they contain. With the proposed VM functionality in Windows Azure, while developers have the flexibility to customize the Windows Azure VM and incorporate it in service models, the platform itself takes care of everything else.

4. When will Windows Azure offer VM capability/support?

We are still engaged in the planning and prioritization for additional functionality in Windows Azure based on customer feedback. As we announced at PDC we will enable customers to migrate existing Windows Server applications through the managed virtual machine (VM) functionality in 2010.

5. Will Windows Azure enable similar Windows Server-license mobility in the future?

The Windows Azure team regularly evaluates new licensing models that could better serve customer needs. We look forward to customer and partner feedback on the Windows Server License Mobility pilot. We will take this feedback into consideration as we structure future licensing models.

6. When will Windows Azure be available in the Enterprise customer programs like the Enterprise Agreement & Select?

In the future, Microsoft will provide the ability for Windows Azure licensing agreements to be integrated into Enterprise customer programs such as Enterprise Agreement and Select.  We will provide specifics about the licensing model and pricing details in calendar year 2010. 

7. When will Windows Azure platform volume licensing pricing details be available?

We will provide volume licensing details in calendar year 2010.  We don’t have specifics to share at this time. 

Here’s the original email about Amazon Web Services, if you have not seen it yet.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Amazon Web Services <no-reply-aws@amazon.com>
Date: Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 3:10 AM
Subject: Announcing the Windows Server ‘Bring Your Own License’ Pilot Program
To: REMOVEDclip_image001

clip_image002

Dear Amazon EC2 Customer,

We are excited to announce the immediate availability of the Microsoft Windows Server® License Mobility Pilot, which enables customers with Microsoft Enterprise Agreements (EA) to migrate their existing Windows Server licenses to Amazon EC2. By moving existing licenses to the cloud, you can leverage licenses that you have already purchased to reduce your cost of running Windows On-Demand or Reserved Instances by up to 41%. Microsoft will stop accepting new enrollments for the pilot on September 23, 2010 so it is important to act quickly.

To participate in this pilot, Microsoft requires that your company meet the following criteria:

  • Your company must be based (or have a legal entity) in the United States
  • Your company must have an existing Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) that is valid for a minimum of 12 months after your entry into the pilot
  • You must already have purchased Software Assurance from Microsoft for your EA Windows Server Enterprise, Datacenter, and Standard licenses
  • You must be an Enterprise customer (Academic and Government institutions are not covered by this pilot)

Once you have enrolled in the pilot, you will be eligible to run your Windows Server licenses in Amazon EC2 for the next 12 months following your sign-up. You will still be responsible for maintaining the appropriate number of Client Access licenses and External Connector licenses needed to operate your EA Windows Server licenses.

To learn more about this pilot or sign-up, please visit http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/windows-license-mobility-pilot. We hope that you take advantage of this new pilot!

Sincerely,

The Amazon EC2 Team

We hope you enjoyed receiving this message. If you wish to remove yourself from receiving future product announcements or the AWS Newsletter, please update your communication preferences.

Amazon Web Services LLC is a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. Amazon.com is a registered trademark of Amazon.com, Inc. This message produced and distributed by Amazon Web Services, LLC, 1200 12th Ave South, Seattle, WA 98144.

Thanks for checking out this post!

Cheers,
MurraySignature

Murray Gordon
ISV Architect Evangelist
Microsoft Corporation
 
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