Archive for November, 2007

Silverlight 1.1 becomes Silverlight 2.0

November 29th, 2007 No comments

Sl_h_c_sm Since the announcement of Silverlight 1.0 and 1.1 back at MIX’07, there has been many questions swirling around as to why Silverlight 1.1 wasn’t jumping a full version to Silverlight 2.0. Typically in a Microsoft product evolution, anytime you release minor or subtle changes, you would typically do a “point” release (ie. .NET Framework 1.1). However, if the product goes through significant modifications and game changing feature enhancements, you’d bump up to the next full version (ie. .NET Framework 2.0, .NET Framework 3.0). These follow the typical Major/Minor version numbering scheme.

There is no argument that the next version planned for Silverlight is going to include significant feature enhancements to the underlying Silverlight technology (Cross-Platform/Cross-Browser Common Language Runtime support, Dynamic Language Runtime, Base Class Libraries, etc.), therefore the product team has announced that the next version will be officially termed Silverlight 2.0. This is a good move. Certainly one that helps our customers and developers understand the sea change coming with Silverlight 2.0.

You will find a Beta of Silverlight 2.0 coming in Q1/2008. To get the knowledge and guidance you need for building Silverlight 2.0 applications, we well as find out the latest information on Microsoft’s web direction, I’d highly suggest attending this years MIX’08 conference. We’ll see you in Vegas! 


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The Thirsty Developer – there’s no turning back now

November 28th, 2007 No comments








Today, the little podcasting experiment that Larry Clarkin and myself have amused ourselves with became a little more official. We’ve made it into the Zune Marketplace Podcasting guide. Subscribe now! We’re still waiting on the iTunes submission to go through.

With that, we pushed Episode #3 today where we talk with Tim Landgrave about his thoughts on migrating up the .NET version chain to .NET 3.5.


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Happy Holidays! Here’s your copy of Visual Studio 2008

November 27th, 2007 No comments

With the recent release of Visual Studio 2008 so close to the holidays, we decided to make this holiday season a little extra special for the developers out there. In December, the Microsoft evangelism team, in conjunction with some of the local user group communities, will be hosting a number of holiday parties across the U.S. There will be games, food, prizes, networking and an opportunity to lay your hands on a fully licensed copy of Visual Studio 2008 Professional! Here’s the deal…

Come to a local holiday party in your neck of the woods, bring your laptop/desktop and install a 90-day trial copy of Visual Studio 2008 Professional. Once complete, you will receive a free (hot off the presses) VS2008 T-Shirt and a fully licensed copy of VS2008 Professional mailed to you once it becomes “market” available (after manufacturing). Yes, you’ll be installing a trial copy, but it’s a “special” trial copy. See…we won’t have fully packaged product available for you before the holidays. For that reason, we’re creating a special batch of trial discs to hand out for these events. Once you receive your fully packaged product in the mail, you’ll also receive a key to unlock your trial copy. This prevents you from having to uninstall and re-install. NOTE: The trial available from MSDN will NOT be unlockable. You will be required to uninstall this trial when installing your fully packaged product.

This is all great news. But with the good, comes the not-so good. Due to the fact that we’re giving free product out, we had to limit the cities were we’re holding the party and we had to cap the registration for each event. For the Midwest, we will be having parties at the following locations:

However, this isn’t your only opportunity to get your hands on a free copy of VS2008. In December, we’ll be holding a slimmed down install fest as part of our DevCares events. If you can’t make it to the community holiday party, check out a DevCares event near you. There will be limitations to those events as well, so be sure to register right away.

Don’t fret if you can’t latch onto these great opportunities. We’ll be having additional events around the broader product launch in February/March timeframe.


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Orcas Ships!

November 21st, 2007 1 comment

VS08_v_rgb Now that I’m able to poke my head above water after a barrage of meetings since Monday, I come late to the party to inform you (like you didn’t already know) that Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 (aka Orcas) have shipped.

One of the best features of Visual Studio 2008 is Multi-targeting. Multi-targeting provides the ability to target your development for applications based on .NET 2.0, .NET 3.0 or .NET 3.5. The tool adopts to your selection. If you select .NET 2.0, the project items and toolbox is filtered down to what’s only available as part of .NET 2.0. If you select .NET 3.5, then the items for .NET 3.5 are available. This gives you a much simpler path in maintaining your existing applications or upgrading them to the latest Framework features. It seems like such a simple feature, but it provides a powerful value.

Visual Studio also provides great enhancements for the web developer. The VS team “borrowed” some of the great CSS editing capabilities found in Expression Web and brought them over to Visual Studio. Also, the JavaScript support in VS2008 is unbelievable. Not only do we get intellisense support for JavaScript, but we now have trivial JavaScript debugging support. Oh sure, we had JavaScript debugging support in Visual Studio in previous versions, but have you ever tried it? In prior versions, you would launch your app in the browser, attach the Visual Studio debugger to the browser process, Visual Studio would list the documents that are loaded in the browser, you’d have to hunt down your code and set your breakpoints. In VS2008, just set your breakpoint in the JavaScript code, hit F5, and go. Nice!

Visual Studio also has built-in support for building your WPF, WCF, WF and ASP.NET Ajax, Office-based applications.

.NET 3.5 brings the introduction of the Language Integrated Query (LINQ) to the framework. Now there is a common syntax for developers to master that allows them to work with their various data sources. Whether those sources are derived from data pulled down from a database, loaded from an XML file or built as object structures within their application, the syntax is common across all uses. ScottGu has a series of blog posts covering the various aspects of LINQ and serves as a great ramp-up on understanding the technology.

MSDN Subscribers can download all of the juicy bits today as part of their subscription plan. If you’re not an MSDN Subscriber, you can download a 90-day eval copy and take the tools for a spin.If you’re new to Visual Studio or .NET development in general, you might be interested in downloading the free Visual Studio Express tools.

I’d be interested in hearing from you out there. What is your favorite “Orcas” feature?


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Thirsty Developer Opens the Airwaves

November 13th, 2007 3 comments

ThirstyDeveloper In my job as a Developer Evangelist, I run into a lot of interesting characters developers and software architects, and they have a lot of interesting stories to tell. I’ve always wanted a way to capture those stories and share them with the larger community. Well now, with the help of my co-host and evangelism co-hort, Larry Clarkin, we have done just that with the release-to-world of The Thirsty Developer Podcast.

The Thirsty Developer will be ongoing podcast series where Larry and I sit down with some of the great people we meet, maybe over a beverage or two at the local watering hole (it is called "Thirsty" after all), to discuss the great work they are doing, maybe peak into a pet project of theirs, or just talk to them about what excites them the most about technology. It’s all about learning and sharing knowledge.

Developers learn best by peeking into someone else’s code. This is kind of like that – but with audio.

Point your favorite Pod-catching client at The Thirsty Developer Podcast feed to subscribe to the show. This is our first attempt at Podcasting. There will be some bumps and bruises along the way. However, the disservice is not capturing these conversations to begin with. You can suffer through our hiccups as we fine tune the process. Any and all comments are welcome at

For those of you not familiar with Podcasts, first let me say – Welcome to 2007, it’s nice to have you here; and second, No – you don’t need an iPod to listen to a Podcast; and third – enjoy your listening experience.


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