The XAML platform is here! Download Windows 8 Developer preview

During the //Build conference in Anaheim the release of Windows 8 Developer preview has been announced: you can download it from this link.

To get started an impressive number of video tutorials is available in the official site of the conference: http://www.buildwindows.com/.

Check out also this great post by Michael for downloading all the Build videos in your pc.

Useful resources are available in the SDK: all the XAML Metro style app samples are available following this link.

It’s possible to install Windows 8 side by side with your operating system using a boot from VHD: I’ve followed the instructions described here by Mister Goodcat and all went smoothly.

The new platform and tools are well described in this “Big Picture” showed during the conference:
Laurent Bugnion, Rene Schulte and Doug Seven have great insights into the new platform and tools here, here and here.

Also available for download:

For those like me (also) interested in WPF, a list of the new features is available here.

I’m pretty excited about all these news and I’m looking forward to all the great applications that will be built using XAML, Windows 8, Silverlight, WPF and Windows Phone!

Happy XAMLing!

My Twitter Lists

Twitter has just enabled a new feature named “Lists” which permits to organize in categories the people you are following and make their tweets available to others. In this way it’s very simple to navigate the various subjects, follow the lists created by other people and subscribe to them.

I’ve tried this new functionality and created my own lists about Silverlight-related stuff, feel free to subscribe here if you find useful:

http://twitter.com/davidezordan/lists

Happy Silverlighting!

Simon in the cloud: deploying your existing Silverlight application to the Windows Azure platform

Windows Azure July 2009 CTP is now available: you can download the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio from here.

It’s now possible to associate an ASP.NET Web Application project in a Cloud Service solution as a Web Role: in this way it’s pretty simple to deploy a Silverlight Web application to Windows Azure without making any change.

To try this new feature, I’ve deployed the Silverlight version of Simon (I already blogged about this cool project by David J Kelley), you can try it here: http://azuretestapp.cloudapp.net/.

How to achieve this task?

First of all install the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio July 2009 CTP and then request a token in order to create your Azure application (detailed information are available in this great tutorial).

Then, open your Silverlight solution and add a new “Cloud Service” project (I’ve named it “SimonAzureService“).

SilverlightAzureFig01

Inside this new project, right click the section “Roles“->”Add“->”Web Role Project in solution” and select your Silverlight Web application project (“SimonSilverlight.Web“).

SilverlightAzureFig02

Done! You can now right click the “Cloud Service” project and publish it using the Windows Azure portal.

SilverlightAzureFig03

A quick tip: if your Silverlight plug-in is hosted on a simple html page (Index.html, for example), you have to modify the web.config file and add the following setting in the <system.Webserver> section:

 <defaultDocument>
      <files>
        <add value=”Index.html”/>
      </files>
 </defaultDocument>

All the source code is available for download from the project site on codeplex.

Windows Azure for Developers

The new developer portal is on-line: http://dev.windowsazure.com/

Also available the March 2009 CTP of the Windows Azure SDK and Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio. These latest releases are available here:

Wolfram Alpha is coming: a new computational knowledge engine

This is really an incredible news.

Stephen Wolfram has announced today a new computational knowledge engine, named “Wolfram Alpha“, that will be available on May 2009:

alpha_website

Using this system, we’ll be able to insert a generic question, formulated in natural language, and then obtain the answer retrieved by mixing information available on the Internet, in general trillions of pieces of curated data combined by millions of lines of algorithms.

Wow!

This ambitious project combines the power of Mathematica, A New kind of Science and a lot of human experts in order to obtain a new paradigm for using computers and the web.

Click here to read the original post.