Steve’s Newsletter – October 2011

I receive a lot of email each week from you asking very specific, and valuable questions. It’s my hope that a newsletter like this will help me communicate important announcements, tips/tricks, and other items to help you and your team ultimately be more successful!

Thanks for bearing with me through the summer!  Summertime at Microsoft usually involves a lot of planning, meaning I was either heads-down in an Office document or on vacation. 🙂


A lot has happened in the last couple of months!  A quick recap:

//Build conferenceIf you’ve been hiding under a rock, you probably didn’t hear about the //Build conference in September in Anaheim, CA.  It was at that conference that Microsoft took off some of the covers surrounding Windows 8; and more specifically the developer experience around Windows 8.

We released not only a Windows developer preview guide (PDF | XPS), but an ISO containing a preview build of Windows 8 and configured dev tools.  Pick your poison here!

Also at //Build we announced the availability of the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview for MSDN subscribers.  Jason Zander’s post does a great job previewing some of the notable capabilities in Dev 11.  Oh, did I mention this Team Foundation Server 11 is also available as an early preview?  There is also a pre-configured VM for you to check out if you don’t feel like doing any heavy lifting.

And while we’re talking about TFS, another preview you should really take advantage of is TFS on Azure (yup, hosted TFS in the cloud).  Brian Harry has more details.

Visual Studio LightSwitch 2011 released as well in July.  LightSwitch is the newest member of the Visual Studio family and is the easiest way to build business applications (think “screens + data”) for both the desktop and the cloud. Read more in my post about it.

Upcoming Events & Training

Here’s what’s coming up in October!

Windows Phone CampsComing soon to a city near you!  Take advantage and learn everything you need to know about developing on the latest version of the Windows Phone OS, including tips for monetizing your application.



  • What’s this ‘System.Runtime.DurableInstancing’ exception all about?  There’s a Windows Update (KB2468871) that interferes with TFS 2010 if you aren’t running TFS 2010 SP1.  You can read more about it here.
  • Can I set up a build server using TFS on Azure?  Yep, you can!  Brian Harry explains..
  • Can Test Professional test Java applications?  Yes and no.  You can author and execute test cases against a Java application, take screenshots, record bugs, and take video, but you won’t be able to bind your steps to the application for fast-forward.

Final Thoughts

I want to end with a quick note about my role – it’s changing! Okay, not too much, but my focus is shifting in terms of territory and customer account alignment. Before, I was focused on larger accounts in our Southwest District. Now my role is taking me across the Western US (basically Colorado and westward) working with smaller and mid-sized customers. So it’s by no means a goodbye as I’ll most likely just be next door.. As always, if you’re not sure who your Microsoft developer tools contact is, just ping me and I can get you in touch with the right person.

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