Windows 8: Making VirtualBox and Hyper-V Play Nice

I got a new shiny this week (actually arrived on Friday, but since I was heading to Roanoke Code Camp over the weekend, I did not have time to set it up before I left). As an aside, pictures don’t do this machine justice…I’ve always thought that ThinkPad was synonymous with chunky business laptops with squared edges, and a look only a CPA could love (sorry CPAs, no offense meant). The Lenovo X1 Carbon Touch is flat gorgeous. And fast.

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After getting home from the code camp, I started the process of migrating data from my current day-to-day machine (thankfully, data migration is pretty automated and painless these days), and installing the various bits and pieces I need.

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So You Wanna Make a Game?

WindowsCyan_Web_2There’s a new kid in town, maybe you’ve heard of him…Windows 8? Or maybe you’ve heard about his sibling, Windows RT. Maybe you’ve heard that over 60 million licenses for Windows 8 have been sold as of January, and recognize what that means in terms of a large and growing potential customer base.

Or maybe you’ve heard about the Keep the Cash offer, which provides $100 per eligible app published to either the Windows Store or the Windows Phone Store between March 8th and June 30th, 2013 (for up to $2000 per developer), and want to take advantage.

Or maybe you’re a student, and you’ve heard about the Windows 8 App Madness Challenge, in which students can receive $100 per app (up to 5) they successfully submit to the Windows Store.

However you got here, you may have the question…how do I get started? I’m here to walk you through, step-by-step.

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Quick Hits Issue #5: Resources for App Developers and User Groups

In this issue, I’ve got some great resources for app developers, as well as for user groups:

Get up to Speed on HTML, CSS3, and JavaScript

If you’ve done some web development, but want to kick your skills up a notch, check out Learn HTML5 with JavaScript & CSS3 Jump Start Training, a course from Microsoft Virtual Academy. The course covers HTML Semantic Markup, CSS3 Selectors, Layout and Animation, JavaScript Core and DOM Interaction, and more.

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Quick Hits Issue #3: New Meetups, Game Development, and more!

New Meetup Group

I’m pleased to announce a new Meetup group for Windows App Developers in the DC area. The group will focus on local workshops, hackathons, office hours, and other events featuring myself and other local technical evangelists.

If you’re not in the DC Area, check out these other meetups, featuring some of my peers in the east region:

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Quick Hits Issue 2: Privacy is Paramount (and easy)

In this second issue of Quick Hits, I want to share a couple of good posts on the topic of privacy policies for Windows Store apps. You may have heard already that if your app connects to the internet (and many, if not most, apps do), you are required to provide a privacy policy for your app, one that is accessible both from within the app (via the Settings charm) and from the app’s store listing.

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Building Back-end Data and Services for Windows 8 Apps: ASP.NET Web API

In this series, I’m exploring a variety of ways to build back-end data storage and services for Windows 8 apps (many of which, BTW, can also be used for other mobile and web apps as well). Here are the posts so far:

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Building Back-end Data and Services for Windows 8 Apps: OData – Part 2

In part 1 of this post, I showed how to create a SQL database in Windows Azure, create a schema for adding leaderboard functionality to a game, create an Entity Framework model for the database, and then create and test a WCF Data Service on top of the model that provides a rich REST-style interaction model with great query support via OData. If you have not yet read part 1, you should do so before continuing.

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Building Back-end Data and Services for Windows 8 Apps: OData – Part 1

UPDATE: Part 2 of this post is now published as well.

It’s been longer than I planned, but this post is a follow-up to my overview post, “Building Data and Services for Windows 8 Apps”. In that post, I outlined a couple of different ways that you can build out data storage and services to provide a back-end for your Windows 8 app (and of course, these services can be shared with other apps as well).

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W8WIL #8: Creating Your Store Logo

If you’ve spent any time at all browsing the Windows Store, you may have noticed that there are more than a few apps that show up with the default store logo, which is a simple box with an X through it. The default logo included with the Visual Studio project templates is intended to look unfinished, so that developers will hopefully replace this logo with one that’s appropriately branded for their app. Here’s what one of these apps looks like (I’ve obscured the name of the app to avoid embarrassing the developer):

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Notice that the app doesn’t have a great rating. Not necessarily a direct result of not having a nice store logo, but it doesn’t leave a great impression with potential customers.

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