One of the sessions I thoroughly enjoyed was “Designing Metro style apps that are touch-optimized” by Jan-Kristian Markiewicz and Kay Hofmeester. You can browse to the session’s information/recording on Channel 9. But until then, feel free to check out some of the slides I captured during their session.

The second day of BUILD had several news in store for developers. The buzzwords were “connected and continuous”, which topped the word charts with the very frequently used other pair: “fast and fluid”.

The following pictures show some of the highlights of the second keynote with limited commercial interruption:)

@kellabyte – seeing anything familiar here? ūüôā

Visual Studio 11 Рclone search enabled.  Let the clone wars begin!

even more announcements for developers!

DOM Inspector also available in ASP.NET MVC 4.

ScottGu shows how ASP.NET MVC 4 now even supports IPhone:)

Windows Azure Publish goodness.

They got their tablet; but crowd is still here! ūüôā

TFS Preview in Azure.

TFS in the cloud.

Hello Windows Server 8; we have been expecting you.

Idenity detail: support for Claims based authentication.

Windows Server 8 – performance improvements.

Another opportunity for devs.

funky + cool naming: Windows.Security.Credentials.PasswordVault()

Steve Ballmer in the house; reading out comments on Windows 8 announcements.

Windows everywhere!

Windows Phone 7/7.5 love.

Hardware + software go hand in hand.

Clouds on the horizon.

Are you ready?

Developers, developers, developers!

Action Plan following BUILD Day#2

Check out BUILD’s Wednesday Keynote¬†here. Opening keynote is available on this link.

Download Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview (MSDN subscribers only).

Download Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows 8.

Wait for Windows 8 Server preview to become available this week.

Download ASP.NET MVC 4. More info on Phil Haack’s blog.

Visit the Windows Dev Center.

Take a look at the¬†Channel 9 ‚Äď Build Videos; more content is added after each day of BUILD.

Let’s get ready for BUILD day#3.

BUILD Day#1 in Pictures

BUILD has finally arrived and all attendees survived the opening day; may it be due to the excitement of  Windows 8, metro style UX in full action or the Samsung tablet with the Windows Developer Preview. Actually, I doubt it has anything to do with the tablet:)

There are already numerous blog entries related to the announcements; which were published throughout today. Conclusively, I decided to share some of the moments I captured during the day with very few comments.

Tadaaaa! – XAML & C#/C++, HTML/CSS+Javascript.. all side by side; unified.

Templates to simplify the design process for Metro style apps.

Woaaah! – HTML/CSS support in Expression Blend.

Better overview of app certification process in App Store.

 App store built in in HTML5/CSS/Javascript.

Traditional web apps also have a place in the App Store.

 Search contract; requires only few lines of code.

lots of details to decipher.

be ready for continuous updates.

Keyword: opportunity

App store coming soon.

go Metro!

 Grid template is your best friend.

many controls for metro-style apps.

do you speak “touch”?


We are all ears.

  Metro is your future.

 Start today.

 Session suggestions by Jensen Harris

built-in metro style controls

Action Plan following BUILD Day#1

Check out the opening Keynote for BUILD here. The Wednesday keynote will be probably available from the same link.

Download Windows Developer Preview.

Check out Tim Heuer’s XAML session list. You can watch recorded sessions online.

Take a look at the Channel 9 – Build Videos.

Register for Telerik‘s¬†BUILD Demystified: Telerik Senior Leadership Tell All live webinar chat in October.

Let’s get ready for BUILD day#2.

Due to some last-minute luck and when I least expected it, I got a free pass to BUILD. I have to emphasize the luck factor, as the conference tickets had sold out rather quickly, in spite of  the lack of public session and speaker lists as well as keynote topics.

I have to send a big THANK YOU to StartupWeekend  and Microsoft BizSpark, who teamed up with the Windows team to offer a limited number of free passes to BUILD. I had been following the BizSpark newsletter for some time and I was also checking out StartupWeekend news, as both provide news sources for and about aspiring entrepreneurs. I especially want to thank Maris McEdward, Community Manager at StartupWeekend, and James Senior, Senior Technical Product Manager in the Windows 8 team, who both have been very helpful with the registration process.

The following 140 character short yet very poetic (!) reasoning about my enthusiasm to attend BUILD made me a ticket winner:¬†This geekgirl can‚Äôt wait to discover Windows8 + deep dive into HTML5. If you don‚Äôt want my dreams to be killed, let me win a ticket to BUILD.¬†Well, for those, who thought poetry doesn’t get you anywhere, I may have thrown an unhandled exception just this very moment.

In the past weeks, I tried to steer away from any heated discussions and conspiracy theories. I am certainly curious to find out about the latest announcements and I may have a few predictions. As expected, the announcements will please a certain crowd, while starting off upset discussions among others. ¬†As for me; I am ready to embrace mind-blowing news, ground-breaking ¬†changes and the modern Web. The term “modern” is mentioned multiple times in a latest feature story about BUILD on the Microsoft News Center site and when there is such an emphasis on modern, who wants to stay outdated, right? Fun aside, in my opinion, two of the key details in the article: “the modern Web¬†‚Äď a place of rich, immersive, and engaging user experiences that consumers interact with across a wide spectrum of devices” and “Web projects becoming more application-like”… I guess, we need to read between the lines.

With less than 12 hours to the first keynote, the BUILD countdown has officially begun. Numerous predictions already popped up in Twitter (#bldwin) and the blogosphere today, however the non-stop stream of news, tweets etc. will take place tomorrow. If you want to catch up with the latest BUILD updates, MicrosoftFeed has compiled a thorough list of links on how to follow BUILD Windows related news. You may also browse to the BUILD virtual pressroom tomorrow morning for the live streaming/video link of the keynote.

Until Microsoft unveils all the mysteries surrounding BUILD in a few hours, there is not much to do than “Abwarten und Tee trinken“.

The Los Angeles Silverlight Usergroup has begun its journey to become the biggest and best Silverlight User Group on the Planet. Last month the group had three sponsors and gave away roughly $2,500 in prizes not including Swag and Food. This month, and every month hereafter the UG plans to give away over $12,000 in prizes because of existing sponsors such as Apress, DevExpress, United Future/WongDoody and new sponsors like Telerik, Infragistics, ComponentOne, Red Gate, SilverlightShow, VIBlend, the Jeff Levy Show (the Digital Doctor), Safari Books Online, Syncfusion, Nowcom, The Windows Phone Dev Podcast, and more coming soon!

At the next meeting, Wednesday May 25th (7pm PST), that is tomorrow, they will be broadcasting the Meeting/Show LIVE online for¬†the very first time! But they are not just pointing a camera and turning it on; they went out and purchased thousands of dollars in equipment and software and even brought a Director/Producer on board, Peter Genovese, to coordinate the whole thing. There will be multiple camera angles, special effects, cut away sponsor spots, live chat and the audience is encouraged to participate in chat, questions and are eligible to win their share of the $12k in PRIZES! This special online Meeting/Show is brought to the users in part by Infragistics and Red Gate software.¬†If you don’t want to miss out on the fun tomorrow,¬†go here,¬†sign up for free. You may also watch the meeting online here:¬†http://www.ustream.tv/channel/la-slug

If you are going to be viewing online only and attempting to win prizes you must do two things:

  • Live outside of a 100 mile radius of Los Angeles.
  • Email LASLUGTicket@gmail.com to get a raffle ticket number (they are free)

International viewers may participate too. The only catch: If the prize is a physical one like a book, you will need to handle the shipping cost.

I will have cool SilverlightShow T-Shirts to raffle off; see you all tomorrow!

The Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals will take place in New York City, USA from July 8-13, 2011. Before US finalists can¬†make it to New York, these students must first succeed at the U.S. Finals, taking place from April 8 to April 11 on the Microsoft campus in Redmond.¬†Until April 9th, that’s an entire week from today, you can vote every day for¬†your favorite Imagine Cup U.S. finalist team on Facebook as part of the US People‚Äôs Choice Awards. Why not let your friends, family and social network join the voting action too and support the incredible talent out there at Imagine Cup?



Students participating in the Imagine Cup address some of the worlds‚Äô toughest challenges and have created projects leveraging¬†Windows Phone 7, Windows Azure, and the Microsoft stack to cure cancer, raise environmental awareness, and bring aid to those in need.¬†The 2011 theme is “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems“. You will see numerous competition entries, which reflect one of the following United Nations¬†Millennium Development Goals:




This year, teams focused on ecological sustainability, medical monitoring and health care, environmental awareness, poverty, educational tools and even transit assistance and note taking tools for the visually impaired.¬†My favorite project is named¬†ProcŇęr by the LifeCode team.¬†ProcŇęr is the intelligent humanitarian supply chain of the future. With advanced resource analytics, system-aided decisions and increased responsiveness, this system solution adapts to the changing landscape of resource inventory in disasters.


We all have witnessed in the last decade, how the frequency of natural disasters has increased. Even if aid/resources are offered, it is very difficult to locate where exactly who needs what once disaster struck. ProcŇęr’s management/decision engine runs on Windows Azure and also has an accompanying Windows Phone 7 application and a Web Interface. It also has social network and Bing Maps integration. You can check out the team video and vote for them on Facebook or by SMS, just text¬†“LIFECODE” to 23000.



I am rooting for team LifeCode, yet you may check out all US finalists and vote for a different team. All finalist projects are a reflection of a genius idea; all teams deserve our support! Don’t forget; voting ends next week!

In addition to voting, you may also inspire students to participate in Imagine Cup in the upcoming years by pointing them to some informative resources:


Imagine Cup Learning Center: http://www.imaginecup.com/student-resources/learning-center

Imagine Cup Blog: http://www.imaginecup.com/community/blog

on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Imaginecup

on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/microsoftimaginecup


Software can change the world. We just need some creative minds to believe and act on it.

MIX11 is just 10 days away and you may already be all jazzed up about the conference sessions and networking opportunities.  Just the weekend before MIX11, the Rockstars in Orange County Kickstart (ROCK!) event will take place here in sunny Southern California at the Microsoft Retail Store in Mission Viejo, CA. The event is organized by Microsoft Retail, in Coordination with the SoCal Dev Event Team. If you are in the area, you should definitely attend ROCK!



The Rock! event presentation topics include UX, Natural User Interfaces, Silverlight, IIS Smooth Streaming, Sketchflow, Windows Phone 7, WCF RIA Services, PRISM, XNA, Kinect and so much more. What’s even better; you get a chance to meet excellent speakers, among them Microsoft MVP’s, Regional Directors and ¬†senior program managers and managing directors from Microsoft. Just to name a few:¬†Tim Huckaby,¬†Jesse Liberty,¬†,¬†Dave Drach,¬†Dave Campbell, Emil Stoychev,¬†Jeff Paries, Ryan Plemons,¬†Omar Del Rio,¬†Gerardo Gonzales Uscanga,¬†Andras Velvart,¬†Zoltan Arvai,¬†David Silverlight,¬†Colin Blair etc.


You can find detailed information about the speakers, presentations and location on the accompanying http://stateoftheartwebdev.com site.


You need to RSVP to the ROCK! sessions; just visit the following links  for registration:

April 9th, Saturday morning session

April 9th, Saturday evening session

April 10th, Sunday morning session


But wait; that’s not all! If you can’t make it to MIX11, you may attend the ROCK!ON evening events taking place in the same week with the conference. Reza Madani, OC .NET User Group Lead, will lead the events. MIX11 highlights and videos of the day will be shared. In addition, Microsoft speakers will present on topics like Silverlight, HTML5, .NET Coding Standards, MVC3 and Entity Framework. The current speaker list includes: Craig Shoemaker, David McCarter, Paul Sheriff and Michael T. Roth.


You can RSVP to the Rock!On events following these links:

April 11th, Monday evening session

April 12th, Tuesday evening session

April 13th, Wednesday evening session

April 14th, Thursday evening session


If you can’t make it to MIX11, the Rock!On events are definitely the place to be not to miss out on all the latest and greatest news during the conference.¬†If you are buried in work and can’t make it to any of the events;¬†Rock! and Rock!On presentation links will be published on the website after the events.


MIX11 around the corner + all these refreshing tech events; without exception – April will be an exciting month for all geeks!


MVP Summit 2011

Today I managed to travel to Seattle in the last minute to attend the MVP Summit 2011 for the first time! I am pretty excited to be among thousands of MVPs from around the world and meet my fellow Silverlight MVPs throughout this week.




Besides us MVPs networking, we will get a chance to visit the Microsoft campus and come together with product groups. This also enables us to provide feedback on products and technologies. Due to the nature of the event, information shared with MVPs is under NDA. But if you have any feedback on Silverlight and/or Windows Phone 7 technologies, please do not hesitate to share your comments here or on Twitter with me, so that I can pass it along.


You can catch up with non-NDA news and happenings around the MVP Summit 2011 on Twitter checking out #mvp11.

Last February, I was the uber-happy community winner of the¬†SilverlightShow Eco Contest.¬†I got a chance to learn about Silverlight 4 and Windows Phone 7 first hand at MIX10, attend cool activities and parties, build new geeky connections and even become a SilverlightShow representative to support them promote everything Silverlight!¬†A few weeks ago, SilverlightShow announced the¬†Eco Contest for 2011.¬†United Nations has declared 2011 as the “International Year of Forests” to¬†raise awareness and strengthen sustainable forest management. To join the worldwide efforts for a greener future on our planet, SilverlightShow¬†chose “forests” as the contest theme.


The Eco Contest ends on March 6th, 2011 Р11:59PM PST. So there are 18 days left for participation. To speed up your action plan, here is a a quick collection of links:

  • Navigate to the contest page
  • Get excited about the prizes: MIX11 pass, accomodation in Mandalay Bay/Las Vegas, Telerik RAD Controls
  • Check out the official rules : contest objective, categories, participation dates, prizes, judges, winner selection criteria
  • Take a look at current contest entries: why is your app still not among them?!?
  • If you have any questions, drop¬†SilverlightShow a line
  • Don’t wait any longer; join!

As a sidenote: I designed this year’s contest site and I will also be one of the judges.


Are you excited about the Eco Contest, just need a kick-start to form an original idea or come up with a mind-blowing concept for your app? If that is the case, you should definitely check out the resources page shared on the contest site. You can also get inspired by the contest entries from last year.

While doing my design research for the contest website as well as my project research last year, I have collected a few resource links too. Not all information is directly related to forests; some provide ideas about green living, calculating our eco footprint, eco-statistics for countries, nature conservation etc. Yet, I hope that there are some useful pointers, that fuel your imagination plus act as a guide in the vast sea of resources that is out there.

Gapminder World: http://www.gapminder.org/

Gapminder provides statistical tools with up-to-date  content on global trends. The data is presented as time series and is freely available in Gapminder World and Gapminder Countries. For example, in the data tab, you can check out forest coverage changes in countries over time.

Footprint Network: http://www.footprintnetwork.org

The Footprint Network’s goal can be simply stated as¬†measuring human impact on the Earth so we can make more informed choices.¬†This site provides the Ecological Footoprint tool – a resource accounting tool that measures how much nature we have, how much we use, and who uses what. The interactive features of the “Footprint Calculator” are pretty interesting.

Carbon Neutral: http://www.carbonneutral.com.au/

Carbon Neutral provides many services aiming to reduce and offset greenhouse emissions, provide environmental awareness and support revegetation. You can read about biodiversity, climate change, but much better check out their carbon calculator tool, which enables you to do carbon emission calculations based on energy, food, waste, air travel etc.

Conservation International: http://www.conservation.org

Conservation International aims to empower societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, global biodiversity and for the well-being of humanity. ¬†You will find details about climate change, safeguarding water, food security, protecting our oceans and much more.¬†Especially the information on “Saving Forests” may be of most interest to you.

Mother Nature Network: http://www.mnn.com

MNN is an environmental news site with broad coverage on up-to-date news on the environment and our social responsibility. ¬†You can read about eco-terms, learn more about environmental issues and check out the idea lab, which is basically a stream of ec0-resolutions. You can also find the latest news about “forests“.


Stop procrastinating! This is an excellent chance to share your Silverlight development/design work with the world, support a noble cause and eventually end up among the #MIX11 crowd! Three brilliant motivational factors at once; what else could you ask for?


Good luck to all #EcoContest participants!

The Silverlight Firestarter is less than 24 hours away. If you are curious on what is coming next for Silverlight, you do not want to miss this event! If you are in the Redmond area, you can still do a last minute registration to attend in person. You can also watch the event online; that is what I will be doing. Register here to watch the event online. There will be surely lots of Twitter action too; look out for the #slfs tag.

The event will start off with a 90 min. keynote by Scott Guthrie. Here is also a copy of the live agenda; including sessions by Jesse Liberty, John Papa and Tim Heuer and many more. You can find out more about the event on the official event site on Silverlight.net.

On the firestarter page, you will also find information about new training content and walk-through videos, which will be build on the live session content of tomorrow’s Silverlight Firestarter event. Join the Silverlight team tomorrow to catch the “Future of Silverlight” now!