Microsoft BizSpark Camp 2012, Pakistan, in action..

clip_image002

Just to give you a quick overview that in 2nd week of April 2012 Microsoft Pakistan will be launching it’s BizSpark Camp on Windows Phone Game & Application development in Karachi. To support and help young start-up companies of Pakistan, BizSpark Network Partners including P@SHA, Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITeS; The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), Karachi Section and IEEE, Karachi Section are also onboard.

After the launch of Camps, start-ups will be given a week’s time to submit their product ideas and shortlisted companies will be provided Technical & Business trainings.

Mentorship, Market Visibility & Showcasing event(s) will occur as per the practices of previous years.

For more details on BizSpark please visit: www.microsoft.com/bizspark or contact Microsoft Innovation Center Pakistan.

Start-ups!; Hurry Up!!

My talk at 1st National Conference of Ubiquitous Computing at Karachi Pakistan

A few days back I was invited to speak at the First National Conference on Ubiquitous Computing by Ms. Faryal from Newport Institute of Communications and Economics, Karachi.Leading speakers from Government, Industry & Academia including Mr. M. Sualeh Farooqui Secretary, IT Department, Govt. of Sindh; Mr. Rehan AllahwalaCEO, Super Technologies ; Prof. Dr. S. M. Aqil BurneyProf., Dept of CS, UoK and others presented in this event.

My take on the subject matter was to align the concept of mobility with ubiquitous computing where to me the real time practical implementation of this domain lies in our pockets in the form of Phones & Tablets.

I tried presenting some cool infographics which stated that the use and utilization of smartphones has almost surpassed the PC market and its around a 15 billion dollar industry led by Games and other apps.

Jibran01

Microsoft obviously is a key player in the game where it completes the cycle by having a single development environment enabling developers to program for Windows Phone, Windows 8 (metro style apps), Kinect for PC/XBox and obviously the Cloud Computing Platform, Windows Azure.

We are already in the era where every service and logic will reside centrally on cloud and we would be utilizing those on various interfaces through heterogeneous devices.

I would like to thank the management and team of Newport Institute for taking step forward and providing such as great learning platform and I hope this continues!

BizSpark Camps on Windows Phone Application Development, comes to Pakistan…

g_bs_logo_su

Really excited to share that this year Microsoft will be having BizSpark Camps on Windows Phone Application Development in Pakistan. The first roll-out of the camps will take place at Karachi in April 2012 timeframe where this year the focus will be on Game development & App development utilizing sensors and other great device capabilities.

image

So if you are a start-up and willing to create a strong app on Windows Phone then, get yourself enrolled on www.microsoft.com/bizspark and reach Anas Kidwai (anas_kidwai@hotmail.com) at Microsoft Innovation Center.

The start-ups will be invited to the launch event where they will be given the chance to interact with industry gurus and then interested start-ups will submit their idea documents. Top 10 – 15 shortlisted start-ups will be get access to the training program and will be facilitated through the product development process later followed by market visibility through Microsoft & other BizSpark Partners.

My first Windows 8 Metro style app using VB.NET

Taking a look around Visual Studio 11, Me & my friend Asif decided to get a Windows 8 Metro Style App developed using Visual Basic .NET, the below screenshot is of this app where it picks the list of tools available at Microsoft download center and makes you download them while staying within your application..  It’s a Windows 8 metro style native app using WIN RT and has been developed on Visual Studio 11 express Beta for Windows 8. VS 11 provide templates and the abstraction layer of WIN RT makes life very easy to program such an app while staying in your favorite dev environment.

The inspiration and some of the code was drawn from:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/br211380.aspx

However this app is quite simple and I am sharing the UI & Backend code below:

In UI it’s all about a listview, webview and a button control and below is it’s XAML:

<Grid Background=”{StaticResource ApplicationPageBackgroundBrush}”>

<Grid.RowDefinitions>

<RowDefinition Height=”140″ />

<RowDefinition Height=”*” />

</Grid.RowDefinitions>

<!– Title –>

<TextBlock x:Name=”TitleText” Text=”{Binding Title}”

VerticalAlignment=”Center” FontSize=”48″ Margin=”56,0,0,0″/>

<!– Content –><Button x:Name=”btnExit” Content=”Exit” HorizontalAlignment=”Right”  />

<Grid Grid.Row=”1″>

<Grid.ColumnDefinitions>

<ColumnDefinition Width=”2*” MinWidth=”320″ />

<ColumnDefinition Width=”3*” />

</Grid.ColumnDefinitions>

<!– Left column –>

<!– The default value of Grid.Column is 0, so we do not need to set it

to make the ListView show up in the first column. –>

<ListView x:Name=”ItemListView”

ItemsSource=”{Binding Items}”

Margin=”60,0,0,10″ SelectionChanged=”ItemListView_SelectionChanged”>

<ListView.ItemTemplate>

<DataTemplate>

<StackPanel>

<TextBlock Text=”{Binding Title}”

FontSize=”24″ Margin=”5,0,0,0″ TextWrapping=”Wrap” />

<TextBlock Text=”{Binding Description}”

FontSize=”16″ Margin=”15,0,0,0″/>

</StackPanel>

</DataTemplate>

</ListView.ItemTemplate>

</ListView>

<!– Right column –>

<!– We use a Grid here instead of a StackPanel so that the WebView sizes correctly. –>

<Grid DataContext=”{Binding ElementName=ItemListView, Path=SelectedItem}”

Grid.Column=”1″ Margin=”25,0,0,0″>

<Grid.RowDefinitions>

<RowDefinition Height=”Auto” />

<RowDefinition Height=”*” />

</Grid.RowDefinitions>

<TextBlock x:Name=”PostTitleText” Text=”{Binding Title}” FontSize=”34″/>

<WebView x:Name=”ContentView” Grid.Row=”1″ Margin=”0,5,20,20″/>

</Grid>

</Grid>

</Grid>

The backend is all about getting the data from RSS feed, parsing it and assigning it to the controls:

(this is not all the code)

Public Async Function GetFeedsAsync() As Task

Dim feed1 As Task(Of FeedData) =

GetFeedAsync(“http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/rssfeeds?hid=1097&biq=rss_windows_allproducts”)

Me.Feeds.Add(Await feed1)

End Function

Private Async Function GetFeedAsync(feedUriString As String) As Task(Of FeedData)

Dim Client As New SyndicationClient

Dim FeedUri As New Uri(feedUriString)

Try

Dim Feed As SyndicationFeed = Await Client.RetrieveFeedAsync(FeedUri)

‘ This code is executed after RetrieveFeedAsync returns the SyndicationFeed.

‘ Process the feed and copy the data we want into our FeedData and FeedItem classes.

Dim FeedData As New FeedData

FeedData.Title = Feed.Title.Text

If Feed.Subtitle.Text IsNot Nothing Then

FeedData.Description = Feed.Subtitle.Text

End If

‘ Use the date of the latest post as the last updated date.

FeedData.PubDate = Feed.Items(0).PublishedDate.DateTime

For Each Item As SyndicationItem In Feed.Items

Dim FeedItem As New FeedItem

FeedItem.Title = Item.Title.Text

FeedItem.Description = Item.Title.Text

‘ Handle the differences between RSS and Atom feeds.

If Feed.SourceFormat = SyndicationFormat.Rss20 Then

FeedItem.Description = Item.Summary.Text

FeedItem.Link = Item.Links(0).Uri

End If

FeedData.Items.Add(FeedItem)

Next

Return FeedData

Catch Ex As Exception

Return Nothing

End Try

End Function

So just two things: and you’re good to go with App Development:

1)      XAML

2)      The same old backend programming techniques

Happy Coding J

Detailed Reference: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/br211380.aspx

Unveil the Beauty of the Web today!

Microsoft Announces Global Availability of Internet Explorer 9

More than 250 top sites from around the globe join the launch of Internet Explorer 9 to celebrate a more beautiful, immersive Web.

Internet Explorer 9 lets websites shine by putting the focus on the site, not the browser.

Microsoft Corp announced the launch of the latest version of the world’s most-used browser with the release of Windows Internet Explorer 9 in 39 languages at an event at the SXSW Interactive conference. Internet Explorer 9 is Microsoft’s most-downloaded browser beta of all time, with more than 40 million downloads, and it has already has gained more than 2 percent usage on Windows 7. Already more than 250 top sites from around the globe are taking advantage of the capabilities in Internet Explorer 9 to deliver differentiated experiences to their customers, with many featured on http://www.BeautyoftheWeb.com. Together, these partners reach more than 1 billion active Internet users on the Web.

Download Internet Explorer 9

“The best experience of the Web is on Windows with Internet Explorer 9,” said Dean Hachamovitch, corporate vice president, Windows Internet Explorer, at Microsoft. “Today, the Web can unlock the power and performance of the best PC hardware through Windows and Internet Explorer 9. Websites also can act more like applications within Windows 7, with features such as Pinned Sites. In less than a year, Internet Explorer 9 went from early preview to final release with the help of hardware partners and the Web community.”

Top Sites and Designers Take Advantage of Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 9 is designed to bring sites front and center through Windows 7, enabling a more immersive, more beautiful Web experience. Features such as Pinned Sites and Jump List enable people to put their websites directly on the Windows 7 Taskbar, as though they were native applications, and then to quickly and easily perform tasks related to those websites, such as check their inboxes, change the music station, accept friend invitations or see breaking news.

Fast Is Now Beautiful: Internet Explorer 9 With Hardware Acceleration

The new version of Internet Explorer takes advantage of the power of modern Windows PC hardware to improve all-around Web browsing performance. It is the only browser with hardware-accelerated HTML5 spanning all graphics, text, audio and video. Internet Explorer 9 harnesses the power of the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), unlocking 90 percent of the PC’s power that went previously untapped by Web browsers.

Developers can now build faster, more immersive websites that feel like native applications using HTML5, as well as runtimes such as Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft Silverlight, both of which will take advantage of the hardware acceleration in Internet Explorer 9 in their next versions.

     

“Internet Explorer 9 has moved the bar in hardware acceleration, enabling Flash Player to tap into the GPU and creating a win-win situation for our mutual customers who want fast, rich content experiences,” said Paul Betlem, senior director, Flash Player Engineering at Adobe. “With Internet Explorer 9 and Flash Player taking advantage of the GPU, we continue the collaboration with Microsoft to further optimize performance. Both companies are also working closely to advance and streamline controls for managing Flash Player privacy and security settings in Internet Explorer 9.”

“The next-generation Web is here today with Internet Explorer 9, accelerated by AMD’s incredible computing platforms — our award-winning AMD Fusion Accelerated Processing Units with DirectX11-capable graphics and AMD Radeon graphics cards,” said John Taylor, director of Client Product and Software Marketing, AMD. “The next generation is defined by immersive gaming, rich video and fast, compelling, application-like experiences, validating the fact that GPU compute power and the ability to remove barriers between the CPU and GPU are highly relevant to the day-to-day computing performance that consumers expect and demand.”

Improving Privacy and Security Online

Because the Web is increasingly less secure and private, Internet Explorer 9 is designed to be a trusted browser because it contains a robust set of built-in security, privacy and reliability technologies that keep customers safer online.

In December, Microsoft introduced Tracking Protection in Internet Explorer 9, which puts people in control of what data they are sharing as they move around the Web, by enabling consumers to indicate what websites they’d prefer not to exchange information with. Consumers do this by adding Tracking Protection Lists to Internet Explorer 9, and partners such as PrivacyChoice, TRUSTe, Abine and Adblock Plus have already published these lists.

Malware is now the No. 1 risk to people’s security online, and Internet Explorer 9 provides the first Download Manager with integrated SmartScreen malware protection. The browser also introduces SmartScreen download reputation, a groundbreaking browser feature that uses reputation data to remove unnecessary warnings for well-known files and show more severe warnings when the download has a higher risk of being malicious. Studies show that Internet Explorer 9 blocks 99 percent of socially engineered malware attacks, five times more than Firefox and 33 times more than Google Chrome.

More information is available at http://www.BeautyoftheWeb.com.

What’s new in IE9, Release Candidate (RC)

The Release Candidate of Internet Explorer 9, available now at www.BeautyOfTheWeb.com in 40 languages.

With this Release Candidate Microsoft has added over a thousand new test cases for JavaScript and updated over fifty test cases based on community feedback. During IE9 development Microsoft has now submitted just under 4000 test cases in total for standards like HTML5. Microsoft has submitted these tests to the appropriate standards bodies for feedback and eventual inclusion in their official test suites.

You can try them out for yourself at the IE Test Center.

Web Standard

# of Submitted Tests

Internet Explorer 9 RC

Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13

Opera 11.01

Apple Safari 5.0.3

Google Chrome 9.0.597.84

Internet Explorer 8

HTML5

111

99%

50%

61%

60%

77%

0%

SVG 1.1 2nd edition

70

100%

76%

94%

84%

89%

0%

CSS3

134

100%

59%

76%

71%

75%

10%

DOM

127

100%

93%

82%

84%

89%

6%

Navigation Timing

10

100%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

Web Applications

77

100%

49%

40%

35%

36%

0%

JavaScript

3413

100%

47%

47%

86%

89%

6%

So this version of the browser is way better than earlier (IE8, IE9 Beta) and highly competitive compared to the leading browsers (Firefox, Chrome).

Changes made to IE9 while moving from Beta to RC

clip_image002

Source: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2011/02/10/acting-on-feedback-ie9-release-candidate-available-for-download.aspx

Mapping Visio 2010 diagram categories on organizational roles

Visio 2010 is a powerful, flexible and scalable tool and can be used pervasively through out the organization. Various Roles and Segments within an organization can use this tool for creating diagrams involved in their tasks and processes.

The following chart will give you an overview that how Visio 2010 empowers organizational users through its various diagram categories to get the best use out of it!

image

Multi Touch Gestures Supported in Windows 7

Windows 7 Multi Touch Gestures supports multiple One and Two finger actions these are pre-defined in the Platform and are On by default in Windows 7. So its not only about touching the screen but you need to choose the way in which a user touches the screen while interacting with your application. Check out below the Gestures supported in Windows 7 Multi Touch !

image

Enabling Multi Touch Support on HP TouchSmart tx2

Few days back I bought HP TouchSmart tx2 series notebook to use with Windows 7 (Ultimate) and the main purpose to use it was to test out Windows 7 Multi Touch features.  However after installing Windows 7, I was only able to get the support for single touch point or pen. So I checked out from the Device Manager it was showing some unknown devices which were not identified by the system etc etc.

So I was fumbling on many places then I finally came across HP TouchSmart tx2 N-trig DuoSense Multi-Touch Package 2.59 for Windows 7 RC on http://drivers.softpedia.com/get/MONITOR/OTHERS/HP-TouchSmart-tx2-N-trig-DuoSense-Multi-Touch-Package-259-for-Windows-7-RC.shtml.

I installed this and MultiTouch Support on my HP TouchSmart tx2 having Windows 7 RTM – Ultimate was enabled through this and further I was able to install Microsoft Touch Pack and started enjoying MultiTouch Apps.

Hardware supporting Windows 7 Multi Touch

 

The following hardware supports Windows 7 Multi Touch Features:

image image

Notebooks: Desktops:
Acer Aspire AS5738PG Acer Aspire Z5610 – AIO
Asus Eee PC T91 Dell Studio One 19 – AIO
Dell Latitude XT2 Fujitsu DeskPower F Series – AIO
Fujitsu Lifebook T4310 HP TouchSmart 600t – AIO
Fujitsu Lifebook T4410 HP – TouchSmart dx9100 – AIO
HP TouchSmart TX2 Lenovo C310 – AIO
Lenovo ThinkPad X200 Medion X9613 – AIO
Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t Positivo Union Touch 2200 – AIO
Toshiba Satellite U505 Sony  VAIO L – AIO

This hardware is usually rare, especially in Emerging Markets and it take around 1.5 months in its shipment, so if you plan to use it for your Projects, plan ahead.