In-Depth Developer Training, Samples, Marketplace Assistance, Promotion, Device Face-Time & Loaner Device Access for Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7 devices are coming to market this Oct/Nov in several markets.

Time is running out to get in on the launch and test device access is vital for some applications.

Get these benefits from the Windows Phone 7 Boot Camp that I’m running, sponsored by Microsoft at their Canadian offices:

  • 2 solid workshop days to rapidly build your WP7 Developer knowledge and beyond – covering major topics in depth, samples, exercises and expertise in Microsoft technologies
  • 50!! Demos/Examples
  • Priority invite to Microsoft Canada’s deployment clinics to test your application(s) on a real device unless you have a relationship with Microsoft, this may be your only opportunity before retail device availability!!!
  • FREE go-to-marketplace support from Microsoft to get your application into the marketplace and potential promotion – you’ll be connected with a Microsoft evangelist to help you with getting your application(s) into the marketplace with potential for application promotional
  • Information, 40+ samples & exercises to walk away with

Due to a shortage with devices, Microsoft Canada has withdrawn the loaner program (substituting the deployment clinics) and a device cannot be present in all bootcamp cities.

There are many free resources on the web, but none offer these benefits along with interactive learning.

Want More?  How about, all this for less?  Use the promo code WP7BOOTCAMP to get $100 off.

Register today.

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All I want for Mix-mas this March at Microsoft Mix10

So the seasonal gift giving has now passed, but I’m hoping for a few good prezzies for Microsoft’s Mix conference.

  • Windows Mobile 7 rocking a .NET ‘Mobile’ (not compact) Framework programmable Silverlight 3+ interface, Xbox mobile games (like Zune games programmable with the free XNA Game Studio), Zune Interface, Media Center extender abilities, and a marketplace with no publishing gauntlet for music, games and apps, and real devices available by Oct 2010.  A full marketplace in Canada is a must!
  • ‘Visual Mobile 2010 Express Edition’ – I don’t need this since I’ll have VS 2010 Premium/Ultimate, but Microsoft needs to release a free mobile development tool (with Silverlight designer support presumably) that will launch 100,000 apps
  • Decent replacement for the Live Framework (which was withdrawn) including free Bing Maps API usage up to a decent ceiling
  • Consistent mobile and desktop Live Services and Framework experience
  • Live Mesh Release (with better-than-hopeless user documentation)
  • Better free and on-ramp deal pricing for the Windows Azure Platform
  • Microformat & Live Clipboard SDK for IE 9.  Ray Ozzie blogged and tinkered (including a subsequent SDK and runtime) about ‘Wiring the Web’ with a ‘Live Clipboard’ using microformats back in 2006.  Skip to the present day and go to this Microsoft Canada blog post this week promoting my Mix session proposals (thanks Joey) and look at the Mix-powered Microformat tool that appears at the top left ;-)  Accelerators for IE8 just didn’t do it.
  • Oh, and of course for one or more of my Mix sessions (see below) to be selected by the public through the voting that ends tonight! 🙂

Not too much to ask for right?

 

Looking to learn more about the Windows Azure Platform, Silverlight, Windows Touch or Windows Identify Foundation?

If you’d like to see these sessions in person at Microsoft’s Mix 2010 conference or the recordings that will likely be made available for free later on, please vote for the sessions before January 15th 2010, by going to the site, adding the 3 sessions to you ballot and submitting it

Microsoft Announcements at Steve Ballmer’s CES 2010 Keynote

This post was updated live during the keynote on Wed Jan 6th 2010.

All the juicy information on the keynote is below, but first, I’d appreciate 30 seconds of your time to support my session submissions for the Microsoft Mix 2010 conference by voting (follow the link, select a session, add to ballot, back up to repeat for other sessions, then submit the ballot)…

Looking to learn more about the Windows Azure Platform, Silverlight, Windows Touch or Windows Identify Foundation?

If you’d like to see these sessions in person at Microsoft’s Mix 2010 conference or the recordings that will likely be made available for free later on, please vote for the sessions before January 15th 2010, by going to the site, adding the 3 sessions to you ballot and submitting it

Background

Microsoft’s focus for the event

  • Screens woven into the fabric of our lives, specifically the PC and TV experience
  • Cloud – approach that combines power of client and cloud
  • Natural User Interface

Product/Service Announcements

  • Bing will be default search engine and MSN default homepage for HP PCs in 42 countries
  • HTC HD2 with Windows Mobile 6.5 exclusively through T-Mobile in the USA (more to say at phones at Mobile World Congress in Feb 2010)
  • Mediaroom 2.0 – IPTV solution for service providers such as AT&T U-verse (US) – live & on-demand content to the TV, Xbox, PCs (Windows 7 Media Center) & Windows Phones, enabled with Silverlight and IIS Smooth Streaming.
  • New slate form-factor PCs with Windows 7 coming in 2010 – will anyone notice once Apple releases their tablet?
  • Lots of cool games coming to Xbox in 2010 inc. Halo Reach (prequel to Halo 1), Crackdown 2, Fable III, COD MW2 content packs & Alan Wake (… a psychological action thriller delivered in episodes)
  • Xbox Game Room will have 1000+ old-style arcade games (with collaborative showdown) released over next 3 years starting in the spring.
  • Xbox Project Natal scheduled to be available for the 2010 holiday season – no new demos however

Demos/Information

  • Video of Seth Meyers from Saturday Night Live ‘thanking technology for everything is does for us’ (with comic sarcasm) – not sure there was a point to that…
  • There are 39 Million Xbox consoles around the world and 500M+ games sold ($20B+)
  • 11 Million users brought to Bing
  • Windows 7 had 3000 engineers, 50,000 partners and 8M beta testers
  • PC sales jumped nearly 50% the week Windows 7 launched
  • In 2009 33% more PCs sold at US ‘Black Friday’ (traditional retail sale day) than in 2008
  • Windows 7 All-in-ones shown: Lenovo A300 (thinnest on market), Medion Touch, Sony Vaio L
  • Windows 7 Laptops shown: Asus, MSI, Dell Adamo XPS (thinnest on market with very fast wake-up), Asus NX90
  • Windows 7 (‘full version’) Netbooks shown:  Lenovo, Acer, etc.
  • Windows 7 Gaming machines shown: HP NV15, Toshiba X505
  • Windows 7 3D Gaming machine shown: ASUS G51
  • Windows 7 on small-form-factor PCs shown: Acer Aspire Revo, Dell Xeno HD
  • Demo of digital reader with interaction and text to voice – Blio (1M+ books)
  • Demo of SkyDrive, Device Stage, Windows Live & Office 2010
  • Demo of Bing Maps zooming in with StreetSide
  • Demo of Ceton CableCard in Windows 7 Media Center – recording 4 HD channels at one time
  • Demo of what else you can do on the PC while watching TV on it (playing in background) – with horrible audio ‘stuck-record’ repeating glitch ;).
  • Demo of Windows 7 Media Center front-end to CBS (US TV Network)
  • Windows 7 slate form-factors coming in 2010 shown: Pegatron, Arcos & HP, with a video of the HP prototype specifically, with Kindle software running
  • Another Seth Meyes video on the ‘history of things that have happened in technology’… yawn…
  • Between Xmas and new year Xbox LIVE had 2.2M concurrent members online – busiest week ever
  • 20M+ Xbox Live users
  • A new member each second last week
  • A 1/3 of Xbox Live time is on non-gaming activities like buying extra songs, avatar clothing, etc.
  • 20M people have logged into Facebook, Twitter & last.fm, via Xbox Live
  • Demo of Xbox doing HD movie rental with instant streaming

Get further basic details from the MS press release, as well as a further press release about Natural User Interfaces (Voice, Touch and Beyond)

2010 New-Year Prediction: Silverlight + Azure = The New Windows

It has probably not escaped many of you that Windows’ market share (and that of related editions) is being eroded and is potentially under threat to varying extents in some markets as we role into 2010. 

  • iPhone is whipping ‘Windows phones’ such that Windows Mobile 7 will likely be a do or die mission in in 2010 (or more realistically 2011)
  • Android is nibbling at Windows phones too
  • Zune is nowhere near iPhone
  • Netbooks with non-Windows OS installs are creeping into the remaining markets
  • Mac is constantly barking its commercials
  • LAMP is still thriving
  • Google is trying to satisfy basic user requirements will a wafer-thin OS or by being OS-independent

I think however, that Microsoft has the opportunity to really drive adoption of Windows, but not in the way it has before.  The real opportunity for Windows’ continued prosperity lies in the cloud.  Even though this may happen, I do not however think it will be seen as a success – at least not initially (and doomsayers for Windows will jump on this).  The resulting public attitude will probably really grate at Microsoft for some time.

The money may continue to stream in because Microsoft has (or is now planning) a story whereby more people can begin to use, or will continue to use Windows but it would be more so Windows Azure (not the client OS) and they will not be paying for it directly.  The indirect payment may lead to less consumer-based visibility, which may create a negative trend in public opinion (which is what matters in today’s Internet-temperature-measured society).  Few people care how their cool app works.  Azure may be a great back-end for a web-based iPhone app, but it would probably be seen as a point for iPhone/Apple, not Windows/Microsoft.

Microsoft has a ‘Good, Better, Best’ mantra for client richness, but it has previously focused its attention on the ‘Best’, aka Windows ‘proper’.

An application with a Windows 7 client and a Windows Server + Windows SQL Server back (and other servers), and perhaps Office apps as optional clients, is the ideal for Microsoft revenues, but Microsoft is starting to see that serving the ‘Better’ experience is necessary and potentially even more profitable if they can’t get you to effectively subscribe to a ‘Windows’ license by helping to make sure your application/service provider uses Azure.  These providers are paying the real fees to Microsoft while collecting their own revenue stream from users through fees and/or ad-supported revenues.

Silverlight equates to a compact yet rich UI experience that will broaden in future versions and is, or will be, available on many platforms, serving as a great gateway to the Windows Azure Platform.  WPF applications on Windows available via ClickOnce installations (or as XAPs via IE/Firefox) also represent revenue suckers on the tentacles to Azure.    Ray Ozzie flat-out said at PDC09 that Internet Explorer 9 and Silverlight (preferably on Windows 7 of course) are the future for all 3 screens.  That of course leaves IE9 on Windows (or the lesser IE versions on other Windows platforms) or other browsers as the ‘Good’ option which again can also be services on the back-end by Windows Server or Windows Azure.

Microsoft has of course already been collecting service-provider style licensing fees via its SPLA program.  My company has been a licensee for some time in fact.  A cohesive and (almost, but not quite yet) affordable cloud offering for small ISVs opens up the flood gates to licensing Windows (in it’s Azure form, along with SQL Azure) to many more end users who can be consuming ‘Windows’ on any platform, even a Google Chrome browser.

To make this work, Microsoft really needs to up its game for developers in terms of tools and offerings…

It doesn’t help that Silverlight tool support in Visual Studio has been non-existent; forget Expression Blend that developers haven’t had the time or perhaps money to conquer.  WPF applications have also been few and far between; likely for similar tool-support reasons.

Visual Studio 2010 may be just in time, and Microsoft is clearly taking no chances, having recently announced a delay to the RTM in order to improve performance.  This is the first version of the IDE using WPF and Microsoft can’t have poor IDE performance be the reason that developers shun VS2010 en mass.  Adoption of 2010 is crucial because Microsoft has invested energy into integrating tools for their new technologies/platforms and making them easier to target (e.g. SharePoint 2010 and Azure).  The announced delay seems like the smartest move to me.

The included Azure consumption units being added to MSDN Subscription are a tiny and insufficient token.  The initial offering for the highest level subscribers covers one Windows Azure server for 8 months and then goes down.  This simply isn’t high enough to encourage people to get something off the ground.

Microsoft needs to do well with Windows Mobile 7.  This is rumoured to have a Silverlight-based interface which would be more of a plus if the tools had matured already.  If Microsoft could get all the Internet-connected apps for WM7 to be hosted on Azure, maybe they could give away the WM7 license?  You currently need a non-free Visual Studio edition for client-based Windows Mobile development.  Perhaps adding a free Visual Mobile 2010 Express Edition would help push things along?

So the more precise prediction is that Silverlight+Azure = Windows in terms of revenue to many more end-users (who may not be on Windows or have no prior computer), as well as potentially preventing loss of net revenues if people move off the Windows Client.  It may be hard to measure initially like Obama ‘creating or saving’ x million jobs.  It may not happen in 2010, but the seeds must be sewn in 2010.  The real key advocates for this maneuver are the ISVs and service providers and its (and the predictions) success or failure will ride on motivated these parties are to go down this route as well as how easily they can execute it.  Microsoft has to do more to provide solid timely tools, communicate the benefits, educate developers and provide substantial/usable offers for Azure adoption.  Microsoft has not announced a PDC 2010 which means it falls to Mix (not clearly a transition-to-cloud conference) and TechEd conferences (often seen as more IT Pro than developer), regional evangelism, local evangelism and blogs 😉 to help them along…