Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

  • Introducing Longhorn for Developers

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    Chapter Three of Brent Rector's book, “Introducing Longhorn for Developers” is now online. This is the book that everyone was given at PDC, and is probably one of the best technical books I've ever seen. The third chapter is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand how XAML works.

    It looks like the introduction book is just the beginning of a bigger book to be released in January. It's only $21 if you buy it from Amazon now. I think I'll pick up mine today.

  • Fawcett on Longhorn

    Fawcett has posted a great overview of the Longhorn architecture, including what looks like versions of the Microsoft architectural diagrams. It looks like they'll be publishing more stuff in next month's issue.

  • Longhorn and the ISV

    Hey all you ISVs out there, have you checked this out yet? I knew there was a reason that I didn't order the PDC DVD yet... cause good things come to those who wait. Just in case you haven't gotten enough free swag from Microsoft, here comes the Longhorn Readiness Kit for ISVs. Here's what you get:

    * Your free copy of "The Developer Guide to Migration & Interoperability in 'Longhorn'". Please allow four to six (4-6) weeks for delivery

    * Your free copy of the official Microsoft PDC 2003 Conference DVD. This DVD set contains streaming media files and PowerPoint slides from the breakout presentations. We will send you the PDC 2003 DVD Conference once it becomes available. The estimated time for availability is late December 2003. Please allow an additional four to six (4-6) weeks for delivery.

    That's pretty cool. If you're signed up as a Microsoft Registered Partner, then the package is free! I love it when MS gives out free stuff. I think they mentioned something about local training, too. You better believe that I'll be there when that happens.
  • What's Behind Whitehorse?

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    Early word is it won't be based on standards, which I find that a bit hard to believe considering the prevalence of UML.  Time will tell.

    What's behind Microsoft's Whitehorse modeler? [ADT]

    [Via Jeff Key]

    Of note was something that was attributed to the lead product manager of Microsoft's Developer Division:

    “He said Whitehorse will ship with Microsoft's Whidbey, the next version of Visual Studio .NET., scheduled for release at the end of 2004.”
    Good, then we won't have to wait too long. I wonder if it will be in the beta...
  • Avalon Dissected

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    No, this isn't Biology class... put that frog down! Drew Marsh rips apart Avalon to feast on the chewy chocolatey goodness inside. Check it out.

  • Longhorn + Virtual PC 2004

    Jesse Ezell installed Longhorn under VPC last night. He has some great tips.... read more.
  • Microsoft Returns To Platform-Centric Strategy

    Want Proof? Microsoft Monitor reports on the reorganization of 1/6th of Microsoft's core business.

    As I blogged before, for the last 18 months or so, Microsoft has put significantly more emphasis on software developers and returning focus to Windows as a platform other people build products onto. In many ways, today’s realignment is consistent with Microsoft’s refined development efforts. [Joe Wilcox]

    This will be a big boost for Longhorn. Not just the client and the server, but the whole Longhorn wave. You better believe that this affects all of the Windows line, including the Windows Mobile, Tablet PC, Media Center, and Windows Embedded versions. The benefit of having a Core OS team, with the different flavors extended around that? Come on, do I really have to spell it out?

    Not only is it a big boost for developers, it's a big boost for everyone. Think about it. nearly 20 years ago Microsoft released a rich platform from which thousands of geeks created software. This was the catalyst for the technology advances of the last two decades. How much of our entire economy as it stands now is the direct result of guys like Gates, Wozinak, Ray Ozzie, and others? Then, after building a great platform, Microsoft entered its “b0rg” era, where it wanted to assimilate all things tech into its collective. “Your distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is Futile”.

    Now, 20 years later, Microsoft returns to its roots. Who is going to benefit from this? EVERYONE. Developers, end users, everyone. I no longer get to curse the fact that I was barely in Kindergarden when Windows 3.1 came out. I know longer regret sitting in homeroom watching the rise and fall of the “DotCom“ era. Because this “second age” will probably be better than the first. Who will be the next Gates, Wozinak, or Ozzie? Who will be the next to change the world with great software? Who knows. All I know is that Microsoft made a good move today. It's making a good move with Longhorn. And the results will be worth the wait.

    UPDATE: confirms the move.

  • Dynamic Systems Initiative

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    Bill Veghte, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Windows Server Group, talks about the Microsoft Dynamic Systems Initiative. In it is information on how systems management will be shaped in the Whidbey/Yukon/Longhorn timeframe. Here's a tidbit:

    With DSI, Microsoft is moving to a “Design for Operations” model. We’ve learned that dollars spent up front coordinating between the design team and the manufacturing team will end up saving businesses an incredible amount over the lifetime of a product. We’re really enabling that concept through DSI, dramatically simplifying and automating development, deployment and operation of distributed computing systems.
    Hint: This is what Whitehorse will do.
  • Longhorn and Usability

    I came across this video today about the frustrations users go through when computers don't work as expected. Microsoft is using feedback from users like this to help craft a better user experience in Longhorn.


  • XAML Intellisense Patch for VS.NET "Whidbey"

    Filed under: points us to a Microsoft patch for VS.NET Whidbey and the Longhorn SDK that cleans up Intellisense problems while editing XAML. You can get it here.

    It's kinda funny, because I don't remember having very much of an Intellisense experience in the Hands-On Labs at PDC. I'd test it here, but I have yet to get a box powerful enough for it. I'd love to hear if it improves anyone's development experience.

  • XAML for .NET 1.1

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    You read that right, Chris Sells points to a company that has created a version of XAML for 1.1. [Andrew Stopford]
    Man, that was fast. Program with XAML today. Looks pretty cool.
  • Longhorn Release Notes

    Bill Evjen earlier talked about his Longhorn Install Experience. In it, he pondered on how many installs he was allowed to do.Well, I came across an article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base that discusses Longhorn's Release Notes. In it, the first bullet point reads as follows:

  • This pre-release product uses product activation technology. You must activate your copy of "Longhorn" within 14 days of installation. You have been provided with a product key that permits 31 activations. All activations will expire after 365 days. After expiration, you cannot log on to this pre-release product.
  • The only thing is, it's hard to tell if this is regarding the version that is on MSDN, or the version we got at PDC. At any rate, that's the skinny.
  • WinFS Wants

    In Longhorn, I want the ability to have a file reside in multiple folders at once. Example:

    In this post, I discussed having a virtual folder for a website, so I can have the same files referenced in IIS in several locations. This is simply solved by allowing WinFS to take a file and reference it in several locations at once. A “virtual: file, if you will.

    Mike Deem, can you do that?

  • Twilight, eh?

    The Twilight of the PC Era? Hardly. Newsweek must not have had any reporters at PDC. They were right about one thing though. Innovation for innovation's sake is dead. Time to start improving the user experience.
  • Another "Me Too" Article

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    The Register takes it's time to publish another article with information that was available nearly a week ago.....

    The funny thing is, AFAIK Microsoft doesn't even consider Sparkle a Flashkiller. At any rate, kudos to Erin Joyce for coming up with this month's buzzword. Ya scooped everyone.