Friday, 14 September 2012

No more SkyDrive file type restrictions

As more and more developers have been building Windows 8 apps, they've appreciated the Windows 8 file picker integration with SkyDrive and wanted us to similarly make it simple to integrate a SkyDrive file picker with their websites.

Based on this feedback, we recently released an update for the SkyDrive developer experience to
  1. Remove all API restrictions related to photo resolution and content types
  2. Provide a new, easy-to-use file picker API for websites (similar to our file picker for Windows 8 apps)

We're seeing many apps take advantage of these updates to unlock new possibilities.

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Telerik Windows 8 UI Controls Release Candidate – Build Windows Store-Ready Apps at No Cost

Telerik Windows 8 UI Controls Release Candidate – Build Windows Store-Ready Apps at No Cost
Today we are pleased to announce the Release Candidate of Telerik UI Controls for Windows 8 development. One of the highlights of the release is the addition of two new controls, Pagination  and HubTile, for both HTML and XAML environments. In addition, the suite gets improvements such as Design-time support for XAML and numerous performance enhancements.

With this version of the suite (as well as with the previous Beta) you can build Windows store-ready apps at no cost. Hurry up, get your app to the store first; being first has huge advantages! There are already a number of certified apps on the Windows Store using the Telerik Windows 8 controls.

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Building Office for Windows RT

Building Office for Windows RT
Editor’s note: Earlier this year, Steven Sinofsky announced Windows support for ARM processors (Windows on ARM or WOA). His post on the Building Windows 8 blog included the following news about Office:

    “WOA includes desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. These new Office applications, codenamed “Office 15”, have been significantly architected for both touch and minimized power/resource consumption, while also being fully-featured for consumers and providing complete document compatibility.”

In the months since that announcement, there has been a great deal of speculation about what we are delivering. David Brodsky, Partner Test Manager and Josh Pollock, Principal Development Manager join Office Next to walk you through what Office for Windows RT is and why it exists; specific optimizations we’ve made (and why most of those will benefit you on other platforms too); what wasn’t possible and the functionality differences that resulted; and finally how to get Office Home & Student 2013 RT.

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Windows 8: Binding a ProgressBar to a long running Task

A really common scenario in a Windows 8 / WinRT app (or any app) is to load data from the web or do some other action that takes a while to complete. While loading our data, we also have to update the UI to show some sort of loader so the user knows a bunch of data is being loaded.

With Windows 8 and the Async / Task model it's really easy to do asynchronous task on another thread and not block the UI. But how do we show the user what's going on with the long running task?

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Adding and Editing WinRT Behaviors with Blend

I am a huuuuuuge fan of Behaviors (and Actions and Triggers) for Silverlight and WPF. I have been very disappointed when WinRT turned out not to support them.

Luckily, Joost Von Schalk created WinRTBehaviors on CodePlex (also available on NuGet). But his solution still lacks any Blend support. I have not been able to reproduce the full Blend behavior editing experience, but I managed to take the first baby-step that at least saves you from creating Behaviors from code.

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Windows 8 Colors (HEX code)

Windows 8 Colors (HEX code)
In my own projects I really like to have correct colors. With Windows 8 coming out, more and more of my projects are around Windows 8. I’m not much of a designer, but sometimes I like to play pretend. I was able to grab these colors from Windows 8 RTM. I’m only including the HEX code because RGB would have been a pain to copy from the programs I use. If you need RGB, there are lots of HEX to RGB color converters online. I hope you find these useful!.

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Building Data and Services for Windows 8 Apps


In this post, I'm going to kick off a series in which I'll walk through the creation of a back-end service for a Windows 8 app. This first post will provide an overview of the series, and introduce a couple of potential technologies you can use to build your back-end services.

The Challenge
As an example of a scenario that might merit a nicely abstracted back-end service, I'm going to create a simple leaderboard service that can store and retrieve high scores and win/loss/tie stats for a variety of games. Since it's where I've spent the majority of my time lately, I'm going to focus on games built with HTML and Javascript, but the platform choices I'm going to describe will work just as well for games and apps build with C# or VB and XAML..

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