Communications as a Service (CaaS)

My colleague Joe Hofstader just got an article published on MSDN.  Here’s a summary: Being an architect on a CaaS solution over the last few years has brought some interesting perspective into the unique challenges of the development and deployment of these applications. As I mention throughout this article, CaaS applications require additional considerations past…


Webinar Recording Available: Better Online Technical Documents – Building a Word 2007 Add-in to create WPF Flow Documents

I just posted the recording of the webinar that I did today showing a Word 2007 Add-in that creates WPF Flow Documents (using the FlowDocument class): Here’s an example of where I’ve used it to create a FlowDocument of a Whitepaper. Here’s what it demonstrates: How to use the new Ribbon designer to create…


Silverlight Media Encoding Q&A With Ben Waggoner

What encoding settings should I use for Expression Encoder for HD Video?  How should I encode differently for progressive or streaming? How do I reduce buffering in my video? When anyone at Microsoft has a question about media encoding formats we know to go to Ben Waggoner, a digital media evangelist, the resident expert on…


Heading to Mix and South by Southwest!

March 2008 will be a very busy month for me.  First I will be going to Mix in Las Vegas, March 5-7, then I will be catching a plane to Austin to go to my first South by Southwest for the interactive, film, and music festivals.  Mix is Microsoft’s conference in Las Vegas on the…


Popfly as a Platform

I have been showing off Popfly as a great example of a Silverlight 1.0 application but my colleague David Chou has gone even deeper with this post about Popfly as a Platform: Popfly provides an environment where people without a significant technical background can build stuff in, and hides the complexities in the underlying infrastructure….


I Stand Corrected: Webdings do not come with Silverlight

Last month, I wrote this blog post on how I was using the Webdings typeface to create graphics for Silverlight applications.  Well, on Friday I got my MacBook and instantly saw that with Silverlight installed, Webding characters were not showing up in my Silverlight applications on the Mac.  I went to the latest Silverlight SDK…


Silverlight on Mac Install Experience

Mike Downey, Group Manager of Platform Evangelism at Adobe Systems, wrote a comment to my blog post about Ice Cube’s about the Silverlight install experience that he experienced on his Mac: Also, in order to view the video I had to leave your site via a link out to, download a 4.7MB Silverlight…


Creating a Simple Volume Control

One of my customers asked me how to make a volume control for his custom media play in Silverlight 1.0.  First I looked to the video gallery on but I didn’t find a sample so I created a simple demo in about 30 minutes that shows how to do it.  Here’s what I came…


Adding "Press Play" to a Silverlight Media Player

I just added an animated “Press Play” graphic to the Silverlight Media Player created with Expression Encoder.  I created the graphic (with animation) as a separate XAML file so it can be easily reused.  To see it in action, see this blog post.  Feel free to use the PressPlay.xaml in your Silverlight media players; just…


Encoding Formats for Silverlight Video

As you can see, I have been experimenting with posting video on my blog now that I have a HD Video Camera (JVC GZ-HD7U).  I have been trying various encoding formats in Expression Encoder to get a good balance of bit-rate and quality.  Here is my workflow: I shoot the video at 1080p I connect…