Blog Archives

Building Metro style apps with XAML and C++

With Tim Heuer

Write NATIVE C++ Code with XAML Event


The Channel 9 Event is happening live today on Channel 9.. Catch it today live right now..
(Editor’s Note: Since the event is past now  All sessions will be available for on demand viewing on 5/21 or 5/22.)

Tweet questions to #ch9live.
Whether you are a new C++ developer ready to learn about writing Metro style apps, an intermediate developer who wants to hone your code and skills, or an experienced C++ developer eager to squeeze every ounce of performance out of your Metro style app, this event is for you.  We will have pragmatic advice for every developer writing Metro style apps and games with XAML and/or DirectX and C++.
Note: These Windows-specific talks will use both portable ISO C++ and Visual C++-specific compiler extensions.


Add a Guest Operating System (Linux, etc.) to Windows 8

You can use the hardware virtualization built into many CPUs to run a guest operating system directly inside Windows 8.. So you can run Windows 7, Windows XP, Linux, etc. Right inside of Windows 8..

Jeff Sandquist Shows off Project Detroit


This year at Microsoft’s Build Conference , Microsoft announced a partnership between the Channel 9/Coding4Fun team and Ryan Friedlinghaus, world famous and award winning automotive designer based in Corona, California and star of the Discovery Channel’s Velocity network reality TV series, Inside West Coast Customs

Operating under the codename Project Detroit, the Niners set out to reconstruct a 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback to be outfitted with the latest in Microsoft technology.

Find out more at Coding4fFun..



Apple Users! Beware Windows XP Derangement Syndrome

I know most Apple users are big on their operating system and the momentum that mobile devices have propelled Apple to new heights but face it, it’s not quite a post PC world just yet..

imageThere are some misnomers out there and I have to say I hear it a lot from folks who have MacBook Pro’s but are running Windows XP and assuming that there are more computers out there still running XP  on BootCamp on their machines that haven’t upgraded Windows and are about two generations behind in their criticisms today.. Apple’s smear campaign against Windows Vista..

Let’s take a look at some facts about Windows and the current state of the PC..

Internet Explorer 9 and 10

Now some people out there in the world are still complaining that there are “just too many copies of IE 6 out there in the wild in use today on their older machines.. This is very false to FACT.. In fact, two years ago, users held a funeral for IE 6..  Microsoft even sent flowers..

So what do people use if they aren’t on Windows XP ?? Many use Internet Explorer 9 which is the current version. What do you use if you are on XP ? Well many of you should know that Microsoft ended the shelf life of Windows XP back in 2008..


While we are on the subject JUST HOW MANY PEOPLE are out there today RUNNING Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6 ??  As of February 2012 the last count world-wide was 7.1%. Most maybe in China. and I’d ask you are they running on a LICENSED product that is EOL.. When did you last run an operating system and a browser that was released over 12 years ago.. If you are well maybe you should consider some alternatives..


Microsoft will ship Windows 8 with Internet Explorer 10 a fully functional HTML 5 web browser that has been totally re-written to support HTML 5 from the ground up with the IE 9 release. Not even the critics can complain about this one..

So how many copies of other IE Browsers are out there in use today ? Including IE 8 ?  IE 8 (Internet Explorer Version 8 is the last version that runs on XP?  A recent live snapshot tells us the story.. In fact the people complaining about IE 8 should be the ones supporting not complaining as it’s more used than Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome , which (besides for one day ended) ends up being the most used browser in the world. So why aren’t web standards people lining up to support it ?

Could we call it anti- Microsoft Bias ?? I sure could..  Microsoft turned on standards mode (STRICT) HTML 4 standards compliance on by default with IE 8 with HTML 4, Yet site creators at-large refused to support opt-in for IE 8 so we could all put IE to rest,  Microsoft answered that problem with IE 9.0 a modern HTML 5 browser.


Internet Explorer 9 and 10 creates a new HTML 5 compatible world

So Microsoft’s new version, which works with Windows Vista and above, brings us true HTML 5 compatibility and maintains website standards. If you navigate to a new site that isn’t compatible then it will flip back into a compatibility mode that is most compliant with that site.

Other nice features includes SANDBOXING which can isolate your browser into one Memory Space so it can’t infect malware into the rest of the machine..  It also brings AD BLOCKING technology right into the browser so you can block advertising and MALWARE much easier, should it try to get in..


Windows 8 Consumer Preview- The Cure for OLD PC WOES- Everything old can be *new* again
Have you not upgraded your machine to Vista, or did and unhappy with performance or not upgraded to  Windows 7 because you were afraid you didn’t have enough power to run it easily ?

Just wait until you get to the end of the article, I have a majorly GOOD surprise for you. HINT: Windows 8 supports lower spec devices such as Mobile Phones and Tablets that run at about the same speed and graphics power of your very old PC..  That means you can UPGRADE that OLD PC and still have a working machine and right now if you do and install over the internet it’s absolutely free until the final release comes out.. Your old PC   *MAY EVEN* be faster.. Just make sure your computer display is capable of 1024×768 resolution.  Netbooks with a minimum screen of1024x768 are supported. Some early netbooks only do 1024×600 (still supported with Windows 7).

You can download and install the Windows 8 consumer preview right from the web right now no media needed just a broadband connection and it should work fine even on your old Windows XP BOX..

WAIT where’s my START menu…

It’s been replaced by a start screen..  Windows 8 with the new interface is much easier to get used to. In fact hitting the Windows key and the letter F key can help you find anything including Apps, Settings, and Files

In review: So if you are a MacBook Pro Owner telling folks that the world is still on IE 6 and Windows XP maybe you had better clue in, you are a few years behind the eight ball with your technology and what you are saying to others about Microsoft’s OS and Web Browser just might be a little bit behind the times and you might be giving out wrong information to the people that trust you to be knowledgeable may find you are giving them bad and wrong information. I am not hacking on you for having that MacBook Pro but isn’t it time to at least download the Windows 8 preview and give yourself a reality check ? Stop with the XP/IE 6 nonsense.

Windows 8 Running on an Apple MacBook Air   Wow ain’t that trackpad neat.. Check out Duncan’s YouTube Channel for more..

Apple users clue in just because you left Windows for MacOS under XP doesn’t mean time stood still. I would just ask you a few questions:

1) Why hack on Windows ? It’s a testament to Windows XP that 11 years later that you are still using it..

2) Why not try out Windows 7 or Windows 8.. You can even install it as a second OS. In fact Windows 8 is free right now to try as a consumer preview and installs right off the internet (no media necessary) just be sure to write down your product key when it shows you one.. You just might find it impressive and easier and actually work better after a few weeks than what you have right now.

It also migrates all of your old Windows Apps, settings and files so you don’t lose anything.

3) Please, stop hacking on IE, what you are talking about is ten year old software that most people in their right mind left long ago for new versions with less and now basically no compatibility issues.


If you are an old XP user that hasn’t given up the ghost and can’t get updates, TRY Windows 8. The requirements for your old PC to stay usable is less than ever before because this version scales to lower power processors such as the ones found in tablets and phones. Most all of your legacy hardware is supported too with drivers (even now.  Below is a youtube video of an Acer Aspire Netbook (slow processor 1 gig of ram) it’s pretty cool..


Windows Vista Users



Do you love Vista and don’t want to leave it, maybe you will miss the background movies too much ?? If you are and you are a bit discouraged about your performance there is always a quick fix.. It’s called Process Lasso by Bitsum..  Please download it today and feel the real POWER in Vista..



While this App looks METRO, and it’s advertised as a Beta (and only works on keyboards and mice at the moment), and while it installs an app to the METRO environment, it launches and works *NOT* in the metro environment but from the classic desktop mode. This seems kind of like a cop out for me.. I haven’t tried this app on Windows 7 but I am almost betting it will run there as well.. LOL

Obviously, FAUX Metro is the way to go.. With the options presented here, I could re-write this app’s UI myself in a few minutes as a real METRO app. So why they did a classic desktop app alone here is beyond me or one that (shocker) works both places and integrates into both. This is a little bit of a letdown considering this is marketed as a beta. Give us one app to rule them all.. It’s not that difficult is it ?

The app is still quite functional and usable in the “Classic Desktop Mode” Here’s what it looked like when it found my Arc Touch Mouse.. Will this be a common thing ? Will Microsoft still use classic desktop mode for things ? Is it too soon to have expected this built into the metro control panel ?


Download Link:

Remembering Popfly


Wow so the market churns and changes, it seems like it was just last year, well actually it was 2007 when Microsoft started creating Silverlight based Web Mashup Applications under the banner of Microsoft Popfly. It lasted until 2009.


Since then web based work flows and mashup applications have become the norm..

Microsoft has since released other workflow mashup tools including the new Data Explorer CTP that lets you get information on “Big Data” and public data sources on the web.


The Microsoft Expression Blend Team launch BlendInsider

This is very cool, check this out.. The Blend Team just launched their new blog at


Videos Include XAML and HTML