Make it snow with XAML

XAML is a very flexible technology platform. This time of year, some of the nicest things you can do is release apps that contain the character of the season. Since I am in Colorado, a lot of that character surrounds the weather. Snow is an easy ambiance to add to any XAML app. In this…

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Decorate your tree with XAML.

Next week is Christmas. I know most of you are scrambling to find the perfect gift for that special someone. Here’s an idea: a custom app built just for her. What could she love more than vector-based graphics on a touch screen? How she’ll remember this year and bring it up again and again, reminding…

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The two ways to handle orientation in your Windows 8.1 app

Ah, elegance. Handling orientation basically means adjusting your app to account for real estate changes when the user pivots their device from Landscape to Portrait, or when the user adjusts your app’s width. In Windows 8.0, there were four possible orientations: FullView (1366×768), FillView (1024×768), SnapView (320×768), and Portrait (768×1366). In Windows 8.1 there are…

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Over $100 million available to purchase Windows apps this holiday

Like most retailers, the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store see a spike in shopping activity around the holidays. Last year holiday sales of paid apps grew 40% over baseline, and we expect an even more robust Holiday 2013 due to an even larger base of Windows and Windows Phone users with more ways to…

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Students can make real cash this holiday season on Windows 8.

Introducing the Windows 8 Holiday App Challenge! Build an App Build your Windows 8 App and publish it to the Windows Store. Submit the app link HERE to be eligible to win a $50 gift card. Promote the App Promote your app and get 100 downloads. Find tips and tricks on how to promote your…

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Everything I know ‘bout Behaviors in Blend for Visual Studio 2013

When Visual Studio 2012 was released, it supported a new way of building apps – Windows Store apps using the Windows Runtime. These apps could be built in XAML, of course. But, unlike previous Microsoft developer tooling, Expression Blend was not shipped separately; it was moved out of the Expression Suite (which was discontinued), and…

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Walkthrough: Is your Windows 8 app too square and boxy? Here are some options.

There are some really great features in XAML that some developers either 1) do not know they are there or 2) never leverage. Well, in this article, I want to talk about techniques you can leverage to move your Windows app away from the tempting, yet commonplace, square and rectangular design. As it turns out,…

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Windows 8.1 design principles hand developers back their sanity

When the computer mouse was new, it was simple to use but unfamiliar to users. As a result, user manuals could not say “click the red X”. Instead, they had to say, “move the mouse on your desk to control the pointer on your screen”. The idea of the mouse was new – the conversation…

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IPhone 5S features I want to see on my Windows Phone, today!

Fingerprint authentication. I had it way back with Windows Mobile and loved it. But I don’t have it with Windows Phone. I certainly have a little biometric envy. Multi-colored flash. I have a xenon flash, which spanks any LED flash. Good lighting is important. Still, the IPhone’s multi-color LED flash is appealing to me. 64…

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How Apple’s new IPhone 5S bald-faced copied Microsoft Windows Phone

There is no shame in copying excellence. In fact, I would say that a core tenet of excellence is its ability to inspire excellence in others. Microsoft had the first smartphone, that doesn’t diminish Apple. Microsoft had the first smart watch, that doesn’t diminish Google. Microsoft had the first DVR, that doesn’t diminish Tivo. You…

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