This is turning out to be in extremely busy month for me. There is also some exciting announcements coming from Microsoft. By the time you read this I will have already spoken about the new developer features in Windows 7. Typically these new features are implemented in C, so if you like to write managed code, you are entering the Interop world, which allows you to call native API code from within C# or VB. It turns out that CodePlex provides some of this Interop code. Moving forward, the new features in Windows 7 will be made available in Visual Studio 2010 and related SDKs and frameworks. Those of you interested in leveraging some of the new features in Windows 7 today with C# or VB can download this at CodePlex. If you are curious about what new developer features that are available in Windows 7, there are a series of excellent videos at the PDC web site. Don't kid yourself, even Microsoft employees watch these videos to learn what's going on . Here are some of the more interesting links:
Windows 7 Links
Power Management https://channel9.msdn.com/pdc2008/PC02/
Trigger Start https://channel9.msdn.com/pdc2008/PC19/
Direct2D and DirectWrite https://channel9.msdn.com/pdc2008/PC18/
Sensors and Location https://channel9.msdn.com/pdc2008/PC25/
Windows Web Services https://channel9.msdn.com/pdc2008/PC01/
Silverlight 3.0 is going to be big. How many of you readers know what "RIA" stands for? It stands for Rich Internet Application. Silverlight 3.0 includes some capabilities that make database oriented applications using a browser (all the popular ones) super simple, with support for such tasks as data validation, authentication (role-based), and integration with ASP.NET. Why not just do everything with ASP.NET? The answer is simple – you can do things in Silverlight that you just can't do with traditional HTML. If you don't believe me, go here. I challenge my readers to create an application like this, that runs in a browser and is based on standard HTML.
Great Learning Resources
There are a couple of ways that you can learn Silverlight 3.0. One way is to work through the Hands On Labs at Silverlight.net. Some of you may be looking for a more formal approach to learning. In that case, get out your calendar and mark off July 8, when you can attend an instructor led class in SF, 835 Market Street, San Francisco – the Microsoft Office.
Our expert instructors will help you look past the glitzy, media rich Silverlight demos, to the reality of writing browser-hosted, business-oriented applications. Four deep dive sessions will guide you on a tour from Silverlight Foundations to styling Silverlight passing through Silverlight Browser Integration and ending with Silverlight and the Server. You can register here. Check out my blog here for more details. The cost for the instructor led classes a mere $125. Now's the time to get in on Silverlight 3.0, when the amount of knowledgeable developers is relatively small. Developers looking for work should take notice. There is growing adoption among large companies who were using Silverlight to solve real problems. Here are some examples.
Real World Examples
InfoSpace is leveraging Silverlight to create an engaging experience for their toolbar user which also provides a gateway to their metasearch properties. Unlike other toolbars available today, crammed with undistinguishable icons, the toolbars developed by InfoSpace are a fresh experience with simple, elegant and consistent user experiences. Read more about InfoSpace toolbars via Sam Chenaur's blog post and learn why they chose Silverlight.
John L. Scott Real Estate is delivering a unique social networking solution, called JLSconnect, that makes it easier for buyers to shop for a home, and it will help JLS agents win new business and keep customers. John L. Scott was able to deliver unique customer value quickly and cost-effectively. Read more about John L. Scott Real Estate and how they used Live Services and Silverlight together.
As always encourage you to contact me. I'm curious about what frustrates my audience in what Microsoft could be doing better to serve the developer community. Thanks for reading and am looking forward to your feedback. Send it here – email@example.com.