WinRT XAML Toolkit available on CodePlex

The “Windows Runtime (WinRT) XAML Toolkit” is a new resource containing a set of controls and helpers for building Windows 8 Store applications.

Click here to read the details and access the download link on CodePlex.

New to Windows 8 development? Mark your calendars: the new book “Programming Windows, Sixth edition” by Charles Petzold is coming soon!

Happy XAMLing everyone :)

Expression Blend Preview for Silverlight 5 Update available

A new version of Expression Blend for Silverlight 5 is now available for download with these features:

  • Expiration date – June 30, 2013;
  • Go-live license;
  • updated Silverlight 5 SDK.

Check out the original post by the Expression Blend Team and download the new bits from here.

Happy Silverlighting!

Download Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 Update!

As announced on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 Update is now available for  download on the Microsoft Download Center.

The WPSDK 7.1.1 Update provides a WPSDK patch that enables developers to develop and test for the recently announced Windows Phone 7.5 256 MB devices, as well to run the WPSDK 7.1 on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview release via the following:

  • Updated 512 MB OS Emulator Image: An updated build Windows Phone OS 7.1 (Build 8773)
  • New 256 MB OS Emulator Image: A new Windows Phone OS 7.1 emulator image (Build 8773) that emulates running on 256 MB devices
  • Emulator Choice: Ability to debug or run your WP apps in either the 256 MB or 512 MB emulator
  • Windows 8 Support: An updated emulator is included, which can run on Windows 8
  • IntelliSense support for adding the new 512 MB requirement to the Windows Phone App Manifest file

News since the CTP release last month:

  • ‘Go Live’ license: The update now has a ‘Go Live’ license; developers running WPSDK 7.1.1 are now empowered to publish their Windows Phone apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace
  • Full Localization: WPSDK now supports all 10 IDE languages; and the OS image now has Malay and Indonesian
  • Windows 8 Support: The updated emulator will now run on Windows 8; note that the OS is still not officially supported by developer support until the final OS release

Useful links:

Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 Update CTP Download Center page

Documentation

For additional information on this release, please refer the post on the WP Developer Blog.

Calcium framework for Windows Phone available

Fellow MVP Daniel Vaughan has published in these days on CodePlex a new version of his “Calcium” framework targeting Windows Phone.

From the official release notes:

Calcium for Windows Phone is a consolidation of the infrastructure code that has been written for the book Windows Phone 7.5 Unleashed, and is already used by a number of published apps. 

Some of Calcium for Windows Phone features include: 

  • A user option’s system that allows you to add a settable option to an options page, with a single line of code.
  • A bindable application bar with toggle buttons and menu items, hyperlink button/menu items, which allows you to host multiple application bars in a Pivot.
  • Built-in support for localization. Bindable resources allows the user to change the interface language at run-time.
  • An IoC container and DI infrastructure, and templates to allow you to hide or show a Purchase link in your app depending on the • Trial state of your app and so forth.
  • Templates for Views with ViewModels.
  • Attribute based state persistence system.
  • Message service that allows you to display messages and ask the user questions from your ViewModel.
  • Launchers and Choosers abstraction layer.
  • Input Validation system, with styles customized for displaying validation errors.

And much more! 

Unlike Calcium for WPF and Silverlight, Calcium for Windows Phone does not depend on Prism and has a smaller footprint, more suitable for the mobile platform.

Other useful resources:

Fortify your apps with Calcium for Windows Phone! :)

Prism 4.1 – February 2012 available for download

Prism provides guidance designed to help you more easily design and build rich, flexible, and easy to maintain Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) desktop applications and Silverlight Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) and Windows Phone 7.1 (“Mango”) applications.

The new version 4.1 released on February 2012 is available for download here.

Read the official announcement by Blaine Wastell: Prism for Silverlight 5 Ships.

The XAML Project is live!

A new project has been recently announced in the “Silverlight Experts” group on Linkedin by fellow group-member Laith Alasad:

The XAML Project contains “Free vector design resources for XAML-based technologies such as Silverlight, Metro, WP7, and WPF. Search and download pure XAML graphics for your web, desktop, and/or mobile applications.

It’s a very useful resource, I’ve already inserted it in my favorites!

Happy XAMLing everyone ;)

A gift for your Christmas tree: Silverlight 5 RTW Released!

Big congrats and kudos to all the Silverlight team: Silverlight 5 RTW is now available for download!

Check out the official site for a complete list of download links and updated documentation including feature list, Breaking changes and Release History.

Don’t forget to read the official announcement, this is a special and fantastic release with tons of new features:

Improved media support

  • Low Latency Audio Playback
  • Variable Speed Playback
  • H/W Decode of H.264 media
  • DRM Key Rotation/LiveTV Playback
  • Application-Restricted Media

Improved Text support

  • Text Tracking & Leading
  • Linked Text Containers
  • OpenType and Pixel Snapped Text
  • Postscript vector printing
  • Performance improvements for Block Layout Engine

Building next-generation business applications

  • PivotViewer
  • ClickCount
  • Listbox/ComboBox type-ahead text searching
  • Ancestor RelativeSource Binding
  • Implicit DataTemplates
  • DataContextChanged event
  • Added PropertyChanged to the UpdateSourceTrigger enum
  • Save File and Open File Dialog
  • Databinding Debugging
  • Custom Markup Extensions
  • Binding on Style Setters

Silverlight 5 performance improvements

  • Parser Performance Improvements
  • Network Latency Improvements
  • H/W accelerated rendering in IE9 windowless mode
  • Multicore JIT
  • 64-bit browser support

Graphics improvements

  • Improved Graphics stack
  • 3D

Silverlight 5 extends features of the “Trusted Application” model

  • Multiple window support
  • Full-Trust in-browser
  • In-browser HTML support
  • Unrestricted File System Access
  • P/Invoke support

Tools improvements

  • Visual Studio Team Test support


As usual go, grab the new bits and Happy Silverlighting!

Follow your passion part 3: awarded Silverlight Most Valuable Professional!

Today I’ve received the official communication: for the third year I’ve been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for the Silverlight expertise!

It’s always a great honor to be recognized and having the possibility to be part of this group of awesome people sharing knowledge and… passion.

My heartful thanks to all the people who supported me: my family, the great Silverlight team, my MVP lead Alessandro Teglia and all the community. You, all, rock!

I’m looking forward to a new year of amazing technologies: Silverlight, WPF, Windows Phone, WinRT, XAML, Windows 8 – WOW!

As usual, happy Silverlighting all!

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!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5… Silverlight 5 RC available for download!

Great news today!

Silverlight 5 RC is available for download from the Silverlight.net official site:

http://www.silverlight.net/learn/overview/what’s-new-in-silverlight-5

This release contains a lot of new features including:

  • P/Invoke support for calling native functions
  • 64 bit support
  • Vector (Postscript) Printing
  • Remote Control and Media Command Support
  • DataContextChanged event
  • In-Browser Trusted Applications
  • PivotViewer Control
  • Power awareness for media apps

Pete Brown has a great post here and “the big list of what’s new and improved” here.

Some useful downloads and links:

Go, grab the new bits and Happy Silverlighting!