If you attended MIX 11 or watched it on Channel 9, you might have seen Todd Brix’s session titled “Making Money with your Applications on Windows Phone.” In this session, Todd talked about all the great things Windows Phone users and developers can expect with the new Marketplace and App Hub in the Mango timeframe.  I just want to focus on two items that will be of great significance to companies and organizations that are looking to build, and privately distribute Windows Phone apps to their employees, partners and customers. The Beta Distribution Service allows developers to distribute pre-certified apps to an access-controlled set of beta users.  How does it work?

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If you attended MIX 11 or watched it on Channel 9, you might have seen Todd Brix’s session titled “Making Money with your Applications on Windows Phone.” In this session, Todd talked about all the great things Windows Phone users and developers can expect with the new Marketplace and App Hub in the Mango timeframe.  I just want to focus on two items that will be of great significance to companies and organizations that are looking to build, and privately distribute Windows Phone apps to their employees, partners and customers. The Beta Distribution Service allows developers to distribute pre-certified apps to an access-controlled set of beta users.  How does it work?

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CIOs are asking for help in confronting the tidal wave of mobile devices entering the enterprise and IT departments have raised the white flag as attempts to block consumer-focused smartphones and tablets have failed. The Consumerization of IT has been a growing trend fueled by cloud-delivered services and compelling mobile devices with wireless capabilities.  This trend snowballs more and more each year, meaning it’s time to embrace it rather than put your head in the sand.  Microsoft MEAP is the answer.  I’ve been talking to you about how Microsoft aligns with Gartner’s Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) for years now, and I wanted to update you on how we’ve evolved with respect

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CIOs are asking for help in confronting the tidal wave of mobile devices entering the enterprise and IT departments have raised the white flag as attempts to block consumer-focused smartphones and tablets have failed. The Consumerization of IT has been a growing trend fueled by cloud-delivered services and compelling mobile devices with wireless capabilities.  This trend snowballs more and more each year, meaning it’s time to embrace it rather than put your head in the sand.  Microsoft MEAP is the answer.  I’ve been talking to you about how Microsoft aligns with Gartner’s Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) for years now, and I wanted to update you on how we’ve evolved with respect

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About a month ago, I wrote an article intended to help you fill some of the gaps left by the missing SQL Server Compact database. Since your Windows Phone 7 Silverlight app is consuming an ObservableCollection of objects streaming down from Windows Azure and SQL Azure, it makes sense to organize those objects in a database-like format that’s easy to work with.  If you’ve ever worked with Remote Data Access (RDA) in the past, the notion of pre-fetching multiple tables to work with locally should look familiar. In this case, each ObservableCollection represents a table, each object represents a row, and each object property represents a column.  I had you create

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About a month ago, I wrote an article intended to help you fill some of the gaps left by the missing SQL Server Compact database. Since your Windows Phone 7 Silverlight app is consuming an ObservableCollection of objects streaming down from Windows Azure and SQL Azure, it makes sense to organize those objects in a database-like format that’s easy to work with.  If you’ve ever worked with Remote Data Access (RDA) in the past, the notion of pre-fetching multiple tables to work with locally should look familiar. In this case, each ObservableCollection represents a table, each object represents a row, and each object property represents a column.  I had you create

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Posted in Windows Phone 7

By now, you’ve heard me talk a lot about the role wireless data networks play when it comes to the success of your mobile application. They are unreliable, intermittent, highly latent and often slower than they should be due to overtaxed cellular towers and congested backhaul networks.  Hopefully, you’ve built an app that tackles those challenges head-on using efficient WCF REST + JSON Services coupled with an offline data store. So what is the user of your new application going to think when a Web Service call fails because the network is unavailable? An end-user of your app probably won’t be too thrilled when they’re staring at an unintelligible error message. 

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By now, you’ve heard me talk a lot about the role wireless data networks play when it comes to the success of your mobile application. They are unreliable, intermittent, highly latent and often slower than they should be due to overtaxed cellular towers and congested backhaul networks.  Hopefully, you’ve built an app that tackles those challenges head-on using efficient WCF REST + JSON Services coupled with an offline data store. So what is the user of your new application going to think when a Web Service call fails because the network is unavailable? An end-user of your app probably won’t be too thrilled when they’re staring at an unintelligible error message. 

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Posted in Windows Phone 7

In my last article of this series, you finally got to consume wireless-friendly WCF REST + JSON Services from both Windows Server and Windows Azure with data coming from SQL Server/SQL Azure. You now have an ObservableCollection of Customer objects residing in a Singleton on your Windows Phone 7 device.  This Singleton looks similar to an in-memory database and the Customers property works like a table. So now what? If you’re like me, you probably want to display the list of Customers in the UI.  You might also want to perform other local operations against this data store.  You could add a new Customer and update or even delete an existing

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In my last article of this series, you finally got to consume wireless-friendly WCF REST + JSON Services from both Windows Server and Windows Azure with data coming from SQL Server/SQL Azure. You now have an ObservableCollection of Customer objects residing in a Singleton on your Windows Phone 7 device.  This Singleton looks similar to an in-memory database and the Customers property works like a table. So now what? If you’re like me, you probably want to display the list of Customers in the UI.  You might also want to perform other local operations against this data store.  You could add a new Customer and update or even delete an existing

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Posted in Windows Phone 7

In my last two articles, I showed you how to build WCF REST services using Visual Studio 2010 that can reside on-premise in Windows Server 2008 or in the Cloud in Windows Azure.  Furthermore, I demonstrated pulling data from a table in SQL Server/SQL Azure.  I serialized .NET Objects using lightweight JSON to speed data transfers over even the slowest wireless data networks.  Now it’s time to call that REST service from Windows Phone 7. Launch VS2010 and open the solution you created to build the WCF Service Web Role in Azure last time.  Right-click on the solution and add a Windows Phone Application project.  Change the name to ContosoPhone. Part

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In my last two articles, I showed you how to build WCF REST services using Visual Studio 2010 that can reside on-premise in Windows Server 2008 or in the Cloud in Windows Azure.  Furthermore, I demonstrated pulling data from a table in SQL Server/SQL Azure.  I serialized .NET Objects using lightweight JSON to speed data transfers over even the slowest wireless data networks.  Now it’s time to call that REST service from Windows Phone 7. Launch VS2010 and open the solution you created to build the WCF Service Web Role in Azure last time.  Right-click on the solution and add a Windows Phone Application project.  Change the name to ContosoPhone. Part

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Posted in Windows Phone 7

Five years after Ray Ozzie penned The Internet Services Disruption, he reflects on Microsoft’s move to the cloud. While he’s most proud of Windows Azure and SQL Azure, he also gives our competitors their due by mentioning that they have out-executed us when it comes to mobile experiences.  He harps on the subject of how complexity kills and then challenges us to close our eyes and form a realistic picture of what a post-PC world might actually look like. Ray goes on to state that those who can envision a plausible future that’s brighter than today will earn the opportunity to lead.  His ultimate dream is to move us toward a

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Five years after Ray Ozzie penned The Internet Services Disruption, he reflects on Microsoft’s move to the cloud. While he’s most proud of Windows Azure and SQL Azure, he also gives our competitors their due by mentioning that they have out-executed us when it comes to mobile experiences.  He harps on the subject of how complexity kills and then challenges us to close our eyes and form a realistic picture of what a post-PC world might actually look like. Ray goes on to state that those who can envision a plausible future that’s brighter than today will earn the opportunity to lead.  His ultimate dream is to move us toward a

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Posted in Azure

Ever since my last blog post where I demonstrated how to create lightweight WCF REST + JSON services for consumption by Windows Phone 7, I’ve received many requests from folks wanting to know how to do the same thing from Windows Azure.  Using Visual Studio 2010, the Azure Development Fabric and SQL Server, I will show you how to move this code to the cloud. Fire up VS2010 and create a new cloud project (you’ll be prompted to download all the Azure bits if you haven’t done so already). Select WCF Service Web Role and move it over to your Cloud Service Solution.  Rename it to AzureRestService and click OK. You’ll

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Ever since my last blog post where I demonstrated how to create lightweight WCF REST + JSON services for consumption by Windows Phone 7, I’ve received many requests from folks wanting to know how to do the same thing from Windows Azure.  Using Visual Studio 2010, the Azure Development Fabric and SQL Server, I will show you how to move this code to the cloud. Fire up VS2010 and create a new cloud project (you’ll be prompted to download all the Azure bits if you haven’t done so already). Select WCF Service Web Role and move it over to your Cloud Service Solution.  Rename it to AzureRestService and click OK. You’ll

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Posted in Azure

Let’s start at the server and work our way to the phone.  Anyone who knows me is probably aware that I come from a wireless background so I’m always obsessed with things like coverage, bandwidth and latency when it comes to building mobile systems.  The only thing I assume in mobile development is frequent network dropouts and 28.8 kb/s modem speeds.  Think Compuserve.  For device apps to be successful, they must pre-fetch the data they need and cache it offline so a user can keep working when the network is not around.  This is not typical SOA, calling Web Services on-demand to help drive your application.  If your connectivity is that

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Let’s start at the server and work our way to the phone.  Anyone who knows me is probably aware that I come from a wireless background so I’m always obsessed with things like coverage, bandwidth and latency when it comes to building mobile systems.  The only thing I assume in mobile development is frequent network dropouts and 28.8 kb/s modem speeds.  Think Compuserve.  For device apps to be successful, they must pre-fetch the data they need and cache it offline so a user can keep working when the network is not around.  This is not typical SOA, calling Web Services on-demand to help drive your application.  If your connectivity is that

Read more

Posted in Windows Phone 7

With Microsoft Windows 7 selling more than 600,000 per day, it’s interesting to look at all our numbers and see how they stack up against the competition: 150,000,000 Number of Windows 7 licenses sold, making Windows 7 by far the fastest growing operating system in history.[source] 7.1 million Projected iPad sales for 2010. [source] 58 million Projected netbook sales in 2010. [source] 355 million Projected PC sales in 2010. [source] <10 Percentage of US netbooks running Windows in 2008. [source] 96 Percentage of US netbooks running Windows in 2009. [source] 0 Number of paying customers running on Windows Azure in November 2009. 10,000 Number of paying customers running on Windows Azure

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With Microsoft Windows 7 selling more than 600,000 per day, it’s interesting to look at all our numbers and see how they stack up against the competition: 150,000,000 Number of Windows 7 licenses sold, making Windows 7 by far the fastest growing operating system in history.[source] 7.1 million Projected iPad sales for 2010. [source] 58 million Projected netbook sales in 2010. [source] 355 million Projected PC sales in 2010. [source] <10 Percentage of US netbooks running Windows in 2008. [source] 96 Percentage of US netbooks running Windows in 2009. [source] 0 Number of paying customers running on Windows Azure in November 2009. 10,000 Number of paying customers running on Windows Azure

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Posted in Microsoft