The Midweek Download: Aug. 22nd Edition – Developers! Your Tools for Building on Windows 8 & the Microsoft Platform are Ready!

In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on Visual Studio 2012, Windows Upgrade offer registration and some of the coolest Kinect projects around.

Hey, developers: ‘Start Building’ for Windows 8 and the Microsoft platform. That’s Microsoft’s message for developers, says S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of the company’s Developer Division. Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5 – the tools that form the backbone for developing on the latest Microsoft platforms, including Windows 8 – have been released to the Web, Microsoft announced earlier this week. MSDN subscribers can download the tools and start building modern apps across the Microsoft platforms and for the cloud. Also, developers, don’t miss this Monday post on the Windows 8 App Developer Blog focused on testing Windows 8 apps using Visual Studio 2012. Below is a photo of S. Somasegar.


Windows 8 RTM is available for developers. Two weeks ago, we announced that Windows 8 released to manufacturing (RTM). Since then we’ve been preparing builds for distribution as described in the Windows 8 has reached the RTM milestone post on Windows Team blog. We’re happy to let you know that we are now ready with early access builds for developers. In this Aug. 15 post on the Windows 8 App Developer Blog, we’ll give you some pointers on the best way to get and install the RTM build and we’ll also point you to resources you can use to get your apps up and running on Windows 8 RTM.

Windows Upgrade offer registration now available. Registration is officially open for the Windows Upgrade Offer we announced in May. If you purchase or have purchased an eligible Windows 7 PC anytime between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 you will be able to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for only $14.99 (U.S.) which will be redeemable when Windows 8 is generally available on Oct. 26. If you’re still looking for a PC, check out some of our great Windows 7 PCs. Head on over to Blogging Windows for more information.

Best of Kinect on NEXT. The last few weeks have sees an number of exciting new Kinect projects and over the last year there have been plenty – from inside and outside Microsoft. Next at Microsoft Editor Steve Clayton thought he’d round up some of my favorites for you in this Monday post on Next. Some of the projects include KinEtre and the Kinect V Motion Project. Check it out.

Video: Touring the Windows Phone Dev Center. If you’re looking for a little more behind-the-scenes insight into our new Windows Phone Dev Center, check out the latest episode of Channel 9’s Inside Windows Phone. Host Larry Lieberman sat down with Ash Wahi, program manager for the new portal, and asked him to drill into some of the new features and explain a little of the thinking behind them. (Ash, you might recall, also penned last week’s post announcing it to the world.) Head on over to the Windows Phone Developer Blog for the whole story and to watch the video. Also, don’t forget to check out this Aug. 16 post on memory profiling.

Tips for turning your Excel data into PowerPoint charts. As a presenter, you probably use charts (also called graphs) in your presentations. Charts  display data in a visual format that audiences can easily grasp – if you design the chart and slide clearly and crisply. A crisp chart has nothing to do with your toaster’s setting. Instead, it’s a chart that shows only the data necessary to make the desired point clear – no less, no more. Too much data (sometimes called “data dump”) will overwhelm your audience, blunting your message. Find out more over on the PowerPoint Blog.

From the IEBlog: Full-page animations using CSS. Internet Explorer 9 introduced support for CSS 2D Transforms. Internet Explorer 10 Developer Preview added support for CSS 3D Transforms and CSS Animations. By tapping the power of your GPU and running asynchronously from regular JavaScript, these IE10 features provide a more performant and flexible alternative to traditional script-based animations for Web content. In previous blog posts, we covered CSS 3D Transforms as well as CSS Animations and Transitions. In this post, we introduce a more “unconventional” use case for these technologies by describing the concept of “full-page animations” that can be used during the navigation process to add fluidity and continuity to browsing.

That’s a wrap for this edition of The Midweek Download! Thanks for reading!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog

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