# Sunday, January 31, 2010

Apple and Google are the current darlings of Silicon Valley. Anything they do is golden and for the longest time they formed a tag team with Apple building great consumer electronics and Google leading in search and other search related applications like Maps and GMail. Google Search, Google Maps, and GMail power the iPhone and helped it be such the huge success it was. The sweet relationship between the two tech giants was only growing.

Now it is war.

First Google made Android. That pissed off Apple somewhat, even causing the Google CEO to quit Apple’s board. Google use to get the location data from each search on the iPhone and Apple started to withhold it last year. Apple feared that Google would use this valuable data to do market research and to build behavior metrics into the Android. If Google knew every search performed on an iPhone and the location where the user was standing when making that search, that is very valuable market research information if you are thinking of entering the mobile market.

Then last summer Google Voice was rejected by the Apple App Store. As I wrote on this blog several times about Google Voice, it is disruptive technology that AT&T is threatened by, so Apple rejected it, showing us once again that Steve Jobs controls the iPhone very tightly. While this spat was ugly, it was just a lovers quarrel. The FCC got involved and some high profile tech luminaries ditched their iPhones over this, but it was a not a declaration of war.

Then came the Nexus One. Pearl Harbor. Now Google is right on Apple’s turf. Apple decided to buy a mobile advertising company to retaliate. The war is on.

Even the iPad is a front in this war. ChromeOS started to ruffle Apple’s feathers. While ChromeOS is a threat to Microsoft in the NetBook space (but Windows 7 for Netbooks is something like $7), ChromeOS is on a collision course with the iPad. In the battle for lower end light weight web device laptop/netbook/slate market, it will be ChromeOS vs the iPad.

Steve Jobs decided to get into the rally the troops mode now that war is on. As reported by Wired, Jobs went ballistic at an Apple company town hall meeting when the topic of Google was brought up.  He claimed that Google wants to kill the iPhone, but “we won’t let them!” He said that Google’s mantra of “don’t be evil” is “bullshit.”

Wow, this venom is usually reserved for Microsoft. Speaking of which, Apple is rumored to replace Google as the default search application on the iPhone with Microsoft's Bing. Warfare makes strange allies.

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posted on Sunday, January 31, 2010 10:07:10 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Wednesday, January 27, 2010

After you read Gizmodo or Tech Crunch, read this blog next.

With more hype and fanfare than the President’s State of the Union Address, Apple launched the much anticipated iPad today. Despite the surprisingly many show stopper (for me at least) complaints like: no camera for web calls, no USB ports, no widescreen form factor, AT&T 3G, no HDMI output, and no Flash and Silverlight support, the iPad will probably sell well at first. Then sales will drop off. Even though version 2.0 will have a USB port and an HDMI output, I don’t see the iPad being a massive break out hit like the iMac, iPod, and iPhones before it.

The reason why is because we just don’t want a tablet. The industry has been trying for years. Apple tried as far back as 1983 and failed. Microsoft has been trying for almost a decade and failed (Tablet PCs are only 2% of PC sales.) If you have a smart phone and a laptop, where does the slate/tablet fit in? Apple says you will use the iPad to surf the web, however, the web will be pretty crippled without any Flash or Silverlight support. Nor can you make video Skype calls. Apple says you will read books, but the battery life and eye strain will drive the eReader crowd back to the Kindle. Apple says you will watch TV and movies, however, with a 4:3 (non widescreen) form factor and without HDMI output you will watch less and less media.

Since I am not going to ditch my smartphone and I am not going to ditch my laptop, I don’t need another device to carry around. The iPad can’t replace a laptop without multitasking. It is too big to replace my phone. Apple was figuring that maybe it would replace my Kindle, however, the Kindle’s power is that it does just one thing and one thing great: it is an awesome platform to read books without any eyestrain. Nothing else.

The iPad is not a category killer. I guess Steve Jobs is human after all.

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posted on Wednesday, January 27, 2010 11:07:43 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Do you know Excel? Answer a few quick questions at the Excelerators Quiz site, and find out how you rate. Let me know your results and you could even win a brand new HD monitor from Microsoft! The prize you can win will include a Dell ST2310 23 inch flat panel monitor, keyboard, and mouse. (Over $250 value.)

Here is how you can win the goods:

Go take the quiz and report here your results in the comments, or ping me on Facebook. Take the quiz between today and February 4th. I will decide the winner and send the results to Microsoft. (Tiebreaker will be a PowerPivot challenge I will dream up.)

This is one of only 5 or so “official” blogs where you can win; you can only enter once. :) You also have to be a US citizen to win (sorry to my buddies in Hong Kong!).

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

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posted on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 10:10:08 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [13] Trackback
# Monday, January 25, 2010

I’ll be speaking at the Great Indian Developer Summit from April 20-23 at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India. This will be my second time to the GIDS and it will be hard to top last year’s adventure of Video Drivers, Prison Riots, and Silverlight, but I will try.

developersummit (1)

I will be speaking on .NET day on:

  • Business Intelligence Design Patterns: BI Made Easy!
  • Sharing Code between .NET and Silverlight (This is mostly on SL 3.0, but will I show how you can do it with SL 4.0 too, which is *much* easier!)

On web day I will be speaking about:

  • Building Line of Business Applications with Silverlight 4.0

Sessions are only 50 minutes, so almost no slides and almost all demo.

For the Friday Seminar, I will be doing a 3 hour workshop on Agile and Scrum. I am going to try to make this completely interactive. If you are going for a Certified Scrum Master or Certified Scrum Developer, this is a great head start.

Telerik will be a Silver Sponsor and should have a booth and (if the customs agents like us) lots of Telerik Tee shirts to give away.

Hope to see you there!

posted on Monday, January 25, 2010 9:25:19 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, January 23, 2010

Last week Telerik released the Data Service Wizard Beta 1. It will automatically create for you the end points for an Astoria, WCF, or RESTful service. New in the beta of the Data Service Wizard is the ability of the wizard to automatically generate the DataServiceKey attribute required to make relationships in Astoria work.

When you use "Astoria" (ADO.NET||WCF) Data Services, by default Astoria tries to map the primary keys in your entities using a convention. This is important for your service to work. The mapping works out of the box for the Entity Framework, however, if you are using LINQ to SQL or Telerik Open Access, it does not since some of your tables may have a primary key that will not map to the CLR primitive types that follow the Astoria convention for key mapping. (Order Details in Northwind bombs for example since both of its composite key are entities and not primitive CLR types.)

There is a very simple fix for this. You have to make your entity a partial class and then decorate the entity using the DataServiceKey attribute, in the constructor. Recently we added support for this in the Data Service Wizard: by default we do this for you by adding a “DalDataServiceKeys.cs“ (or VB) file to your data access layer project automatically.

image

The code is show below for our DalDataServiceKeys.cs file shown in the Telerik.OA.DAL project above. You will notice on Line 36 we will even convert the complex type to a primitive CLR type so Astoria can handle it.

   1:  namespace Telerik.OA.DAL
   2:  {
   3:      using System.Data.Services.Common;
   4:   
   5:      /// <summary>
   6:      /// Category Class Data Service Key Fix
   7:      /// </summary>
   8:      [DataServiceKey("CategoryID")]
   9:      public partial class Category
  10:      {
  11:      }
  12:      /// <summary>
  13:      /// Customer Class Data Service Key Fix
  14:      /// </summary>
  15:      [DataServiceKey("CustomerID")]
  16:      public partial class Customer
  17:      {
  18:      }
  19:      /// <summary>
  20:      /// Employee Class Data Service Key Fix
  21:      /// </summary>
  22:      [DataServiceKey("EmployeeID")]
  23:      public partial class Employee
  24:      {
  25:      }
  26:      /// <summary>
  27:      /// Order Class Data Service Key Fix
  28:      /// </summary>
  29:      [DataServiceKey("OrderID")]
  30:      public partial class Order
  31:      {
  32:      }
  33:      /// <summary>
  34:      /// OrderDetail Class Data Service Key Fix
  35:      /// </summary>
  36:      [DataServiceKey(new string[]{"OrderID","ProductID"})]
  37:      public partial class OrderDetail
  38:      {
  39:      }
  40:      /// <summary>
  41:      /// Product Class Data Service Key Fix
  42:      /// </summary>
  43:      [DataServiceKey("ProductID")]
  44:      public partial class Product
  45:      {
  46:      }
  47:      /// <summary>
  48:      /// Region Class Data Service Key Fix
  49:      /// </summary>
  50:      [DataServiceKey("RegionID")]
  51:      public partial class Region
  52:      {
  53:      }
  54:      /// <summary>
  55:      /// Shipper Class Data Service Key Fix
  56:      /// </summary>
  57:      [DataServiceKey("ShipperID")]
  58:      public partial class Shipper
  59:      {
  60:      }
  61:      /// <summary>
  62:      /// Supplier Class Data Service Key Fix
  63:      /// </summary>
  64:      [DataServiceKey("SupplierID")]
  65:      public partial class Supplier
  66:      {
  67:      }
  68:      /// <summary>
  69:      /// Territory Class Data Service Key Fix
  70:      /// </summary>
  71:      [DataServiceKey("TerritoryID")]
  72:      public partial class Territory
  73:      {
  74:      }
  75:  }

This will enable you to use Astoria with OpenAccess for all of the tables in your database. I converted my Tech*Ed “Data Access Hacks and Shortcuts” session demo to use OpenAccess and Astoria from the Entity Framework in less than 5 minutes. (I will show it and give away the code on my blog in a week or two.)

image

Enjoy!

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posted on Saturday, January 23, 2010 6:24:52 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, January 22, 2010

When Windows Mobile 6.0 shipped, Apple’s iPhone was just a rumor and Android was nowhere in sight. How times have changed, now Microsoft has been left for dead in the smartphone/mobile space.

We have been waiting, and waiting, for any news on Windows Mobile 7 from Microsoft. Two rumors leaked this week that lead us to believe that the long, long wait will be over soon.

The first, reported by WMExperts, claims that there will be news on WinMo 7 in the next two months, possibly at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in mid Feb or CTIA in Las Vegas in late March. WMExperts also say that there will be two versions of Windows Mobile 7:

  • Windows Phone 7 Business Edition
  • Windows Phone 7 Media Edition

Also on naming, WMExperts says:

First, it's not Windows Mobile 7 but just "Seven," so that's how we're going to refer to the OS from now on. Also the phrase "Microsoft Zune Phone Experience" may be tossed around.

There is a lot of information out on the site including HD, live TV, XBox integration, Exchange integration, Silverlight, etc. Sync abilities are to multiple devices, the cloud (Live Mesh?) and PCs. I am starting to believe this web site, this all sounds like Microsoft: confused launch, multiple SKUs, names, and bad marketing.

The WSJ’s “All Thins Digital” site has rumor #2: Microsoft is making their own phone. Microsoft, in conjunction with HTC (the maker of the Nexus One, can you spell conflict of interest over in Taiwan?), will release the Microsoft branded “Zune Phone”. Details are sketchy, but the Zune Phone will have HD video and music subscriptions, so it is obviously targeted at the consumer space.

I predict that Microsoft will announce Win Mobile 7 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in mid-Feb. The MVP summit is the same week in Redmond, so they can also inform the MVPs at the same time. (Steve Ballmer promised us last year we would be one of the “first to know”.) I am also going to speculate that the big developer announcements (Silverlight, etc) and the “Zune Phone” will be at Mix in Las Vegas in March. (Since I will not be at Mix, I suspect that they will give one away to each person attending, just like the PDC Tablet.) They can follow up with more details at CTIA the next week. (Also this is possibly why they moved the Visual Studio Launch to April, not to conflict with CTIA.)

Since Microsoft has waited for so long to release WinMo 7 and has done it with the Apple like secrecy, they have raised the stakes. With the hype around Android and Nexus One, and the sex-appeal of Apple, in order for Microsoft to stay in the game they have to really launch something special.

Indications are that WinMo 7 will build on top of everything Microsoft has done well in the consumer space: XBox and ZuneHD. The ZuneHD platform has gotten rave reviews, so building a phone on top of it makes sense. It would also explain why Microsoft was silent for so long on the phone, they had to first build the ZuneHD. Apparently there is good Twitter and Facebook support and via Live Mesh, you can edit documents on your PC remotely and sync them up. With awesome Office and Exchange support, that is huge for business users.

That all said, is this enough to stay relevant?

I think that Microsoft suffers from the fact that they are not named Apple or Google. Unfair, yes, but that is the game they are in. Media will immediately cover the blogs of the Apple or Google faithful and take away from any PR splash. Also since someone as lowly as I can figure out what is coming and when from Microsoft, expect Google and Apple to trump the day before the announcement. (Apple releases iPhone with SD card will dominate the news!!!)

In order to really shake things up, Microsoft has to take a gamble. They need to complete the revolution that Apple started and Google took to the next level.

As I have said before, the way Americans (and Canadians) buy mobile phones is broken. We buy crippled, subsidized  phones from carriers that lock us into an expensive contract. Apple changed that by making a phone that the carriers had no control over for the first time, however, they still got us locked into one carrier. Google changed the game by giving us an unlocked phone, but in reality you still have to deal with TMobile since the AT&T support is lacking and there is no CDMA version for Verizon yet.

In order for the Zune Phone to be disruptive, it has to be offered as both GSM and CDMA, unlocked, cost $150 (subsidized by Microsoft with Bing ads), and available at Wal Mart and Best Buy. If the phone is sexy enough where tons of people want it, they will go buy it at the local electronics store. Apple and Google will soon follow suit and we will be released from the tyranny of the carriers.

We’ll see what happens…

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posted on Friday, January 22, 2010 8:45:41 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Thursday, January 21, 2010

I will be presenting a half day seminar on Agile Development, Tools and Teams on Wednesday February 24th at the MCCIA in Pune. The event is brought to you free by e-Zest, MCCIA, and Telerik. Seats are limited, to sign up in advance, please email seminar@e-zest.net.

The Program Details

One of the most popular Agile project management and development methods, Scrum is starting to be adopted at major corporations and on very large projects. After an introduction to the basics of Scrum like: project planning and estimation, the Scrum Master, team, product owner and burn down, and of course the daily Scrum, Stephen (a certified Scrum Master) shows many real world applications of the methodology drawn from his own experience as a Scrum Master. Negotiating with the business, estimation and team dynamics are all discussed as well as how to use Scrum in small organizations, large enterprise environments and consulting environments. Stephen will also discuss using Scrum with virtual teams and an off-shoring environment. We’ll then take a look at the tools we will use for Agile development, including planning poker, unit testing, and much more. There will be plenty of time for Question and Answer. This seminar is a jump start for a certified scrum master exam. 

Who Should Attend 

Developers and development managers, especially those using the Microsoft .NET platform. 


Schedule and Agenda

Seminar Coverage

Time Slot

Event Registration

9:00-9:55

Speaker Introduction

9:55-10:00

Introduction to Agile Development and Scrum

10:00-11:00

Agile Estimation

11:00-11:30

High Tea Break

11:30-11:45

Implementing Scrum with remote and offshore teams

11:45-12:15

Agile Tools, Test Driven Development, and Continuous Integration

12:15-12:45

Summary, Question and Answer

12:45-1:00

Conclusion of Program

1:00

 

The Speaker

Stephen Forte is the Chief Strategy Officer of Telerik, a leading vendor in .NET components. He sits on the board of several start-ups including Triton Works and is also a certified scrum master. Prior he was the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and co-founder of Corzen, Inc, a New York based provider of online market research data for Wall Street Firms. Corzen was acquired by Wanted Technologies (TXV: WAN) in 2007. Stephen is also the Microsoft Regional Director for the NY Metro region and speaks regularly at industry conferences around the world. He has written several books on application and database development including Programming SQL Server 2008 (MS Press). Prior to Corzen, Stephen served as the CTO of Zagat Survey in New York City and also was co-founder of the New York based software consulting firm The Aurora Development Group. He currently is an MVP, INETA speaker and is the co-moderator and founder of the NYC .NET Developer User Group. Stephen has an MBA from the City University of New York. Stephen currently lives in Hong Kong and will be returning to Mt. Everest again in September 2010. 

Final Details

DATE

Wednesday February 24th, 2010

TIMING

9.00 am to 1.00 pm (registration from 9.00 a.m. to 9.45 a.m.)

VENUE

Shekhar Natu Hall, MCCIA, 403-A,Senapati Bapat Road, Pune 411 016

FEE

Free

 

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posted on Thursday, January 21, 2010 1:59:34 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Telerik is proud to announce that the Data Services Wizard beta was released today. If you have used the wizard while it was a Telerik Labs project, you will notice a ton of new features and improvements. If you are new to the wizard, now may be a good time to give it a try and give us your feedback.

The Data Service Wizard works with Telerik OpenAccess Q3 or higher and Visual Studio 2008. Our next beta, due in February, will support Visual Studio 2010 and WCF 4.0. The wizard will create a service layer for you using “Astoria” 1.0, the latest version of “Astoria”, WCF, or the WCF REST or AtomPub project templates. You can get a walk through here.

To highlight some of the new features, I will give you some screen shots below.

First we made the navigation and project selection much easier. Now you can select your data access layer and your service project in one simple screen.

image

You asked for it, we delivered it: we are proud to announce Visual Basic .NET support!

image

We have also made the code preview page page optional.  As you can see we generate VB code. :)

image

Here is the completed Astoria service:

image

We’ll post some more how to and videos soon.

Enjoy!

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posted on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 4:03:36 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Telerik has been named to the Red Herring Global 100 Award list.  The Global 100 is Red Herring’s list of the top 100 privately held global tech companies. This is like the Fortune 500 list but for tech. This is a huge deal, past award winners include Google, Yahoo!, Skype, Netscape, Salesforce.com, and YouTube.

Telerik is an Eastern European company with headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria and the only company on the Red Herring Global 100 from the former “Soviet Block.” That the company's founders grew up under communism and last week were speaking at the Red Herring 100 award ceremony about capitalism, innovation, and technology is totally awesome. Shows you how technology can empower people and change the world.

It is quite an honor to work at a company in the Red Herring Global 100.

image

According to the Red Herring web site, the selection process is:

A group of Red Herring editorial judges will review each nomination. The editors will assess nominees on both quantitative and qualitative criteria such as financial performance, technology innovation, quality of management, execution of strategy, and integration into their ecosystem. Specific to the Red Herring 100 Global Award, the judges will look closely at the company's global strategy to evaluate how the company will be able to handle the challenges of internationalization and a global presence.

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posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 5:32:14 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, January 18, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010
Leveling the LINQ to XML Playing Field

You must register at https://www.clicktoattend.com/invitation.aspx?code=144593 in order to be admitted to the building and attend.

Subject: 

This talk covers a wide range of techniques for working with XML in .NET. We’ll start with streaming techniques and XmlDocument, run through a quick introduction of general LINQ mechanics, and then examine how LINQ to XML greatly enhances XML access in .NET 3.5. Learn how to combine streamed XmlReader access with LINQ to XML and see how these old and new technologies integrate with one another in a very elegant way by implementing a simple custom iterator. We’ll work through demos in both C# and VB .NET, and also examine XML literals (an extremely handy VB-only feature) along the way.
Contrary to popular belief, all LINQ providers are not created equal. In fact, LINQ to XML has in one way proven to be the “weakest LINQ” of all. Unlike other major LINQ providers which give you strongly-typed objects, LINQ to XML offers no typed schema definitions (and thus, no type safety) for your code. There isn’t much recourse to this beyond writing code gen tools, using 3rd party solutions, or gambling on the LINQ to XSD provider (an MS incubation project). Lenni will demonstrate how the LINQ to XSD provider fills the gaping schema hole left by LINQ to XML. Attend this session (no prior LINQ knowledge required) and get the full LINQ story for LINQ to XML.

Speaker: 
Leonard Lobel
Leonard Lobel is a principal consultant at twentysix New York, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. Programming since 1979, Lenni specializes in Microsoft-based solutions, with experience that spans a variety of business domains, including publishing, financial, wholesale/retail, health care, and e-commerce. Lenni has served as chief architect and lead developer for various organizations, ranging from small shops to high-profile clients. He is also a consultant, trainer, and frequent speaker at local usergroup meetings, VSLive, SQL PASS, and other industry conferences. Lenni is also lead author in the MS Press book "Programming Microsoft SQL Server 2008".

Date: 
Thursday, January 21, 2010

Time: 
Reception 6:00 PM , Program 6:15 PM

Location:  
Microsoft , 1290 Avenue of the Americas (the AXA building - bet. 51st/52nd Sts.) , 6th floor

Directions:
B/D/F/V to 47th-50th Sts./Rockefeller Ctr
1 to 50th St./Bway
N/R/W to 49th St./7th Ave.

posted on Monday, January 18, 2010 8:31:21 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Microsoft developer community has always been a giving group. The amount of free time we give away writing blog posts, answering questions in forums, organizing user groups, code camps, and speaking at events is pretty amazing.

I have also been impressed by all of the MVPs who run 5ks for charity or organize other events for charity. In the past I have organized a few events that helped raise money for charity including cancer research, a school in rural Nepal, and the Indonesian Tsunami relief fund. Each time I have asked my peers in the Microsoft developer community to donate time, money, or even just a simple blog post to raise awareness. Each time I have always been impressed by just how vast and generous the response has been.

I have decided to organize a Facebook group, MVPs for Charity, and will ask all MVPs, User Group leaders, active community members, and Microsoft employees to join. On this group, I hope we can all keep each other informed of what we are doing for charity as well call on each other for help whenever there is a charity event or need.

After the disaster last week in Haiti, some of my peers in the Microsoft developer community asked me if I was going to organize another auction or fund raising drive. I am giving money to two charities the ClintonBush fund (at the request of President Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are raising money), and http://www.yele.org/. I will ask you all to choose a fund and donate as well.

posted on Sunday, January 17, 2010 9:46:12 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, January 15, 2010

Have a startup? Want free software? The Microsoft BizSpark Camp is for you. You have to sign up by Monday. See below for more details.

Via Sanjay Jain

BizSpark Camp

With several successful Microsoft BizSpark Incubation Weeks (Azure Atlanta, Win7 Boston, Win7 Reston, CRM Reston, CRM Boston, Win 7 Irvine, Mobility Mountain View,), we are pleased to announce Microsoft BizSpark Camp for Windows Azure in New York, NY during 28–29 January 2010. Based upon your feedback we have made several changes including offering cash prize, compressed time commitment, and much more. We hope you're tapping into the growing BizSpark community.

The current economic downturn is putting many entrepreneurs under increasing pressure, making it critical to find new resources and ways to reduce costs and inefficiencies. Microsoft BizSparkCamp for Windows Azure is designed to offer following assistance to entrepreneurs.

· Chance to win cash prize of $5000

· Nomination for BizSpark One (an invitation only program) for high potential startups

· Learn and build new applications in the cloud or use interoperable services that run on Microsoft infrastructure to extend and enhance your existing applications with help of on-site advisors

· Get entrepreneurs coaching from a panel of industry experts

· Generate marketing buzz for your brand

· Create opportunity to be highlighted at upcoming launch

We are inviting nominations from BizSpark Startups interested in Windows Azure Platform that target one or more of the following:

The Microsoft BizSparkCamp for Windows Azure will be held at Microsoft Technology Center, New York, NY from Thu 1/28/2010 to Fri 1/29/2010. This event consists of ½ day of training, 1 day of active prototype/development time, and ½ day for packaging/finishing and reporting out to a panel of judges for various prizes.

This event is a no-fee event (plan your own travel expenses) and each team can bring 3 participants (1 business and 1 – 2 developer). It is required to have at least 1 developer as part of your team.

To participate in the BizSpark camp, you must submit your team for nomination to Sanjay or your BizSpark Sponsor. Visit Sanjay’s blog for details on how to submit your nomination by Monday, January 18th, 2010. Nominations will be judged according to the strength of the founding team, originality and creativity of the idea, and ability to leverage Windows Azure Scenarios.

You may want to enroll into Microsoft BizSpark, an exciting new offering that enables software startups to leverage Microsoft development and platform technologies to deliver next generation web and Software + Services applications. For details see here.

posted on Friday, January 15, 2010 4:41:18 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, January 14, 2010

After a round of hacking attempts that apparently were supported by the Chinese government, Google announced on Tuesday that they are removing the censored results displayed for a google.cn search in China. If you take a look now, you can see photos of the tanks in Tiananmen Square during the massacre 21 years ago. This violates the laws of China and Google will most likely be shut down by the Chinese government and exit the Chinese market.

Here in Hong Kong the local media is going crazy. Hong Kong, while part of China, is autonomous and has a free press. Bloggers, twitter, and some media outlets are applauding Google for “standing up to censorship.” (Google’s decision on Tuesday does not effect Hong Kong.)

This was a nice play by Google. They are removing the censorship and forcing the Chinese government to shut them down, which they may well do soon. It is a move that gets a lot of blog love. Former Microsoftie Robert Scoble said that China is so important economically and: “That’s why this move today impressed me so much.”

If Google has such problems  with censorship and a corporate mission to and “don’t be evil” why did they agree to censorship in the first place when they entered China in 2006? Why would Google operate in China for four years while censoring their search results?

If Google was #1 in search in China and making boat loads of money, would they just pack up and leave? They are a business at the end of the day, so my bet is no. Google has not been making money in China and its revenues in China are “truly immaterial” according to Google. According to the Economist, Google has high expenses in China, including 700 people in the Google China office. Google is way behind Baidu in China, which has well over 300 million users (that is more than the entire population of the United States, the world’s third largest country by population…)

While I applaud Google for standing up to censorship, I feel that Google is exiting China due to business reasons and picked a fight with the Chinese government to get the automatic love of technology luminaries (who love Google anyway) and political rights activists who need a big powerful poster boy. If you think about it, it is a brilliant move, you hide the fact that you failed in a market and get tons of good press for poor business performance. Compare these headlines:

“Google exists China after years of poor performance. Fires 700 employees.”

or:

“Google stands up to censorship! Google on the side of freedom and democracy. Love live Google!”

Maybe I am wrong and if I am, I apologize in advance.

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posted on Thursday, January 14, 2010 3:35:22 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Over the past week I have been making predictions on .NET, mobile devices, and digital content. Last year I made some predictions on my  blog. Since I made some predictions last year, I figured it would be fun to go back and evaluate how I did.

Prediction #1 for 2009: Windows 7 will ship and it will not be a flop.

Not the boldest prediction, but  hey have to start off with an easy one to build credibility. :)

Prediction #2 for 2009: C# innovation along the lines of the DLR

I said that Microsoft has the “second mover advantage” where they innovate based on what is already going on in the marketplace. Last year I predicted that C# will continue to evolve based on what is going on in Ruby. I think that when you look at C# 4.0 and the support for the DLR you will see this as being true and will continue moving forward.

Prediction #3 for 2009: MVC will have low adoption

I have no way to gauge how popular MVC is, but it is more popular than I thought, so I clearly got this prediction wrong. I think that MVC is good technology, however, overkill for some classes of application.

Prediction #4 for 2009: Marketing Hype around Azure

I thought that the Windows and SQL Azure marketing engine would go into full swing in 2009. I was wrong, but we will see it go into full swing in 2010.

Prediction #5 for 2009: The LINQ to SQL users will feel betrayed

I thought that the LINQ to SQL users would reject the Entity Framework and start a movement for Microsoft to support LINQ to SQL. Back when I wrote this prediction, Microsoft recently announced that LINQ to SQL was being passed over in favor of EF. Wrong again, no petition.

Prediction #6 for 2009: I poked some fun at Alt.net

I would say that while this one prediction was meant to provoke (and provoke it did!) it also had the theme that alt.net would evolve into a mature voice for their way of thinking. This is true since alt.net has been engaging in dialog and contributing to the community.

In summary I did not do all that bad. We’ll see how well I did in 2010 next year at this time.

posted on Wednesday, January 13, 2010 6:10:19 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Last week I made some technology predictions in the Microsoft space. Yesterday I spoke about the mobile space as a whole. Today I will conclude my 2010 predictions with a look into digital content.

2010: Digital Content-The Empire Strikes Back

Already more music is sold online via iTunes then on physical CDs. Add in piracy and there is even more music in digital format. 2010 will be the year where we start to see movies and books move digital. Not much of a prediction. My predictions is that the movie and publishing industry will spend most of 2010 fighting back and in denial much like the music industry and the RIAA did 5+ years ago.

Today Netflix will sell you a device that will stream movies down to your HD TV without a computer involved. You can get unlimited movies for about $9 a month. The problem is that there are only 18,000 movies available and most of those movies are older. That is because Hollywood is stonewalling Netflix and not selling them a license to stream. Actually it is much worse than that. Hollywood is also holding Netflix hostage for new release DVDs. The studios are now planning to withhold new release DVDs for 28 days before they sell them to Netflix. Warner Brothers just inked a deal with Netflix that did just that. Now all new Warner Brothers movies released on DVD will be available for you to buy or rent at your local video store, but not available at Netflix for a month.

This is exactly the type of behavior that the RIAA and music industry would be proud of. Warner Brothers is now actively encouraging its customers to pirate the new release movie instead of getting it legally from Netflix.

Hollywood 1-Netflix 0.

But this is just the beginning.

Seeing what iTunes did to the recording industry, the technology phobic world of publishing may soon follow suit. Amazon is getting some pushback from publishers over pricing of titles for the Kindle. It is only a matter of time before the publishers “Netflix” Amazon. I suspect you will see something along those lines before the end of the year, especially that for the first time more Kindle books were sold on Dec 24th and 25th than “real” books.

Just like Darth Vader in the Empire Strikes back, the movie studios and publishers may win the battle in 2010, but they will lose the larger war. (Yes I am saying that Netflix and Amazon.com are Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.)

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posted on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 4:13:13 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, January 11, 2010

Last week I made some technology predictions in the Microsoft space. This week I will venture outside and look at the mobile space. 2010 will be remembered as the year where the mobile device hits critical mass, where we rely more on the smart device for Facebook, Twitter, email, TripIt, YouTube, etc, than an actual computer. With the device so important lets take a look at some mobile predictions.

2010: Google v Apple

With the introduction of the Nexus One phone from Google last week, Google just stepped on Apple’s toes. While Google is pushing its Android Mobile operating system to hardware manufactures, Google teamed up with HTC and built the Nexus One to sell as an unlocked GMS phone (and a TDMA version on the way for Verizon users.)

This represents a two pronged attack by Google. First Android is now considered an alternative to the iPhone by manufactures watching their market share disappear to the iPhone, just look at the Droid by Motorola. Second, by offering an unlocked phone directly from Google, while a risky move since they don’t want to annoy Android adopters like Motorola, Google is taking a page out of the Apple playbook-control the entire experience: software and hardware.

Apple will be concerned since it relies on apps by Google on the iPhone such as Gmail and YouTube. Concerned, but Apple is apparently not intimidated. On the same day as the Nexus One announcement, Apple announced that they would acquire Quattro Wireless for $275 Million. Quattro is an ad company, so Apple is basically saying that if Google is going to play in the iPhone world, Apple is going to play in the advertising world-Google’s largest source of revenue (say 90%) .

I won’t predict how this will end, however, I will predict that 2010 will have a lot more “Google v Apple” headlines as new devices and services are announced.

2010: Carriers lose control

One thing to think about is that while the Google v Apple battle is fun to talk about, let’s not forget about the carriers. 2010 will be remembered as the year the US Mobile industry changed. Before the iPhone, the carriers had full control. We bought a phone and service from them. They sold us crappy locked phones. You could not buy a different phone unless you traveled abroad and saw one and had a GSM carrier at home. If you did not travel and saw a cool phone and were lucky enough to have your carrier offer that phone, you could buy it from them and the carrier would brand the phone and remove several features. This was so common that many people did not even realize it was happening.

Apple made a device that everyone wanted. AT&T wanted it so bad that they let Apple do just about anything they wanted to. So while you still buy your locked iPhone from AT&T, it is the exact phone Apple designed, not the carrier. Sure AT&T had some influence over what was in the AppStore and that caused some problems last summer, but the iPhone was the first shot in the revolution.

This year represents the next step in the battle: removing control of the handset from the carrier completely. While the iPhone was a step in the right direction, if you wanted one you still had to deal with AT&T and it was basically impossible to get the iPhone anywhere else other than AT&T.

The Nexus One is the first “must have” phone that is not tied to a carrier. You buy your phone first at Google.com and then take your chip and put it into your phone and it works. While there are exceptions to this (AT&T 3G frequencies are currently not supported, defaulting you to EDGE, etc) it is the first step of removing the control the carriers have. Other vendors will follow suit. Fast forward a few years and Americans will do what people do in most countries, buy the phone first and then buy the service. This will lead to bigger and better innovation in devices.

2010: The year Microsoft comes back from the dead

Let’s face it, Windows Mobile has been left for dead behind the iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. A lot of people are counting Microsoft out. While it is late in the game for Microsoft, the iPhone showed that you can build an awesome device and grab huge market share in just 2.5 years. Microsoft has been working on Windows Phone 7.0 for well over a year, if not much longer. They have not given us “insiders” any info (very Apple of them.) That allows me to speculate wildly and make the prediction that Microsoft will do something bold in the mobile space in 2010.

Microsoft will do two things in 2010. First they will release the long awaited Windows Phone 7.0. We may see an announcement as early as next month at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This would work well since the MVP summit is the same week in Redmond, so they can make the announcement in Barcelona and then offer MVPs more technical details. We should see Windows Phone 7 ship in 2010 and it will most likely be based on the Zune HD with a healthy dosage of Silverlight on top for application development. Will it succeed, that I can’t predict, but I will predict it will be good enough to keep Microsoft relevant.

Speaking of Silverlight, that is going to be Microsoft’s next big mobile move: position Silverlight as a cross platform mobile application framework. While Adobe and Apple don’t get along, Microsoft will start to position its Silverlight platform to work with Android and the iPhone. It will be a way to get the Microsoft footprint onto those devices.

Will my predictions be right? I hope so. But if not, it sure will be an exciting year in the mobile space!

posted on Monday, January 11, 2010 4:31:24 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [3] Trackback
# Sunday, January 10, 2010

Last week I started to made some predictions on the future of Microsoft development for 2010. I said 2010 will be remembered as a “tipping point” year for three things in the Microsoft developer space. I am not saying that on December 31st, 2010 you will sit back and say I am right on all of these, but I am saying that by December 31st, 2011 or 2012 you will. That said, 2010 will be the tipping point for:

Last week I talked about moving beyond .NET and BI for the masses, today, I will talk about the cloud.

2010: Windows and SQL Azure Launch

January 1 ushered in a  new year as well as the availability of a new service from Microsoft: Azure. With the Windows and SQL Azure services available commercially, one could predict that 2010 will be the year of the cloud. While I don’t think that developers are going to push .NET applications up into the cloud in masse in 2010, I do suspect that adoption will be higher than most people realize, but the ultimate customers who adopt the service may surprise you.

In 2010 the early adopters of Windows and SQL Azure will be large corporation’s “departmental” applications. Sure we will see a bunch of startups begin to use Azure, however, there will only be significant traction after the platform is out a little longer and maybe after a potential billing policy change. Applications built under the radar of the corporate IT department by external consultants and departmental programmers will lead the way, just as Access and Visual Basic did almost 20 years ago.

The reason why is obvious. Business men and women at large companies (companies over 200 people) always groan when they have to deal with their IT department. They think that IT is slow and costly. Azure will be an end run around IT. The cost of Azure is well within the budgets of the folks requesting these applications, actually quite lower than what the internal IT department will charge back to the department to host an application. Windows and SQL Azure will be secure enough to host these non-mission critical, however, extremely important line of business applications. Since almost all of these applications are used at the office and broadband is available at every office, it is a no brainer.

Rewind back 20 years ago and this is how Microsoft conquered the enterprise. (I am not saying that Microsoft “owns” the enterprise, but 20 years ago they had no presence in the back office and were counted out in the the server/enterprise space. Now look: SQL Server, SharePoint, Exchange Server, etc, not to mention Windows Server.) Microsoft used the desktop to extend to the back office. Windows and Office were so popular that developers were willing to give the Trojan horses Access and Visual Basic a try. The rest is history.

So 2010 will be a tipping point year for the Cloud, or at least the Azure platform. Microsoft will gain some market share and also make some mistakes and continue to rev Azure. I can’t predict at this moment when it became a critical mass, but just like with Silverlight and BI, we will all look back one day and say it all started in 2010.

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posted on Sunday, January 10, 2010 3:11:33 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, January 08, 2010

A few days ago I started to made some predictions on the future of .NET for 2010. I said 2010 will be remembered as a “tipping point” year for three things in the Microsoft space. I am not saying that on December 31st, 2010 you will sit back and say I am right on all of these, but I am saying that by December 31st, 2011 or 2012 you will. That said, 2010 will be the tipping point for:

  • Moving beyond .NET
  • Business Intelligence for the masses
  • The Cloud

Earlier this week I spoke about Silverlight and the future of .NET. Today I will talk about BI.

Business Intelligence for the Masses

There is an insatiable demand for BI in the marketplace, yet few developers “get” BI. When I talk to CIOs of large companies about their software needs, they always say to me “do you know anyone who does BI?” BI is seen today as something that end users want more and more of, but IT departments are having a harder and harder time actually delivering.  BI is considered complex and expensive.

Later this year (I suspect at TechEd US in June), Microsoft will launch SQL Server 2008 R2. This version of SQL Server is focused mostly on BI and along with PowerPivot will deliver “Self-Service Business Intelligence.” I have written about PowerPivot before on this blog, but in short it allows users (or developers) to connect to a data source (or data sources) and download data, take it offline in their Excel spreadsheet, slice, dice, and manipulate the data how they see fit, as well as create very powerful Pivot Tables and Charts in seconds. PowerPivot ships with a data engine as part of your workbook, so you can have a self contained OLAP cube inside of your XLSx file. It compresses super well, but you don’t have to email it, PowerPivot also integrates nicely with SharePoint for collaboration with your co-workers.

Let me be clear, this is game changing technology. Out of the box data visualization tools are complex and clunky (and expensive!), so we force ourselves into Excel for BI. Microsoft has done something brilliant, they have taken the world’s number one BI client (Excel) and taken off the training wheels.

While end users may not be able to build OLAP cubes or write TSQL queries like I did in this PowerPivot example, SQL Server R2 and PowerPivot drastically lower the barrier to entry for BI development. (Note, PowerPivot works for many databases, not just R2.) Developers will spend time building the Data Warehouse and ETL on the back end and setting up simple queries in PowerPivot on the front end and the users will then turn and build amazing drill downs and pivot tables and charts. A golden age of BI development will begin where BI apps are simple and plentiful, including “Self Service”. While 2010 will not be the year where we reach this, we will look back at 2010 as the starting point of the golden age of BI.

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posted on Friday, January 08, 2010 3:54:29 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Thursday, January 07, 2010

As you may know Telerik has built into most of its products support for Windows and SQL Azure. While at the PDC last November, Ben Riga interviewed me on what it was like to build a commercial product on top of Azure. I give a sneak peak at how we developed the software and how we leveraged SQL Azure. I talk about some of our pain points as well as where it was easy. The video is here, complete with my cell phone’s battery dying in the middle of our interview!

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Enjoy!

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posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 3:31:11 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, January 06, 2010

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The NYC developer community is proud to announce our 4th (sort of annual) Code Camp to be held on Saturday, March 6, 2010, from 8:00 AM until 6:30 PM. It will take place at the Manhattan Microsoft office on 6th Avenue across the street from Radio City Music Hall. We’d love for you to submit a session.

We have our call for speakers open from now until February 5th.

To apply for a speaking slot, first please register as a speaker here: http://tinyurl.com/nycspeaker

Then with the email address you registered with on our speaker page, please add as many abstracts as you like here: http://tinyurl.com/nycsession

Submit on anything you like in the .NET space, there is no central “theme” to our Code Camp except .NET development!

Unfortunately we can’t afford to pay any T&E, but we will stuff you with lots of pizza and soda!

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posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 3:06:43 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Happy New Year! Keeping with tradition, here are some predictions for 2010 in the Microsoft Software space.

2010 will be remembered as a “tipping point” year for three things in the Microsoft space. I am not saying that on December 31st, 2010 you will sit back and say I am right on all of these, but I am saying that by December 31st, 2011 or 2012 you will. That said, 2010 will be the tipping point for:

  • Moving beyond .NET
  • Business Intelligence for the masses
  • The Cloud

Today I will look at the first item and tomorrow I will talk about BI and the Cloud.

Moving beyond .NET

Here are some no brainer predictions. Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0 will ship and a lot of developers will be happy. Microsoft will also be happy since adoption will be high. Here is the not so obvious prediction: 2010 will be the year where .NET begins its decline and its replacement starts to shine.

Huh?

Let’s face it, .NET is old. This summer will mark 10 years since its debut at the 2000 PDC. It’s been in production for 8 years. That is like a century in computer time and a millennium in Internet time. Billy Hollis put it in perspective for me a few weeks ago at dinner: more time has passed since .NET 1.0 to today than between VB 1.0 to VB 6.0. VB 1.0 was introduced in 1991. VB 6.0 was introduced in 1998. That is 7 years. .NET shipped officially 8 years ago in February 2002. (This also means that I have been coding longer in C# than VB, but I digress...)

Second .NET is “hard”. What I mean by hard is that the framework has bloated: there are too many namespaces, too much “legacy”, and too many ways to do the same thing and we have lots of conflicting advice on what “pattern” is the best. Developers are confused if they should use ASP + AJAX or MVC or something else. They are also scared that if they build an app they will be mocked on the latest “expert” blog saying that their implementation of the MVVP pattern is a newbie mistake and they should follow the MVVQXDP pattern. Java and LAMP are no better. PHP on the other hand, once left for dead, is back with a vengeance. Why? It is easy, just like ASP classic. At the end of the day developers just want to get apps written with ease.

So what is going to replace .NET?

Silverlight + RIA Services + DSLs.

While Silverlight looks and smells like .NET, in reality is not. Ever try to use ADO.NET in Silverlight? Do something with data access that is not asynchronous? Silverlight is its own framework that borrows a ton from .NET, but itself sits just outside the full framework.

Silverlight will continue to evolve into a rich media, cross platform web based application platform with the release of Silverlight 4.0. While 2010 may not be remembered as the year of great Silverlight adoption, SL 4.0 will be remembered as the tipping point, much like VB 3.0 was for the Visual Basic platform. Speaking of VB 3.0, VB 3.0 did not get popular until the “database compatibility layer” shipped. (Wow I am dating myself here!) With VB 3.0 + the “database compatibility layer” or in reality, the JET database engine and DAO, VB moved from being a “toy” to a full fledged programming platform for business. When the db compatibility layer shipped for VB 3.0, adoption was not immediate, but when you look back, it was the one thing that started the VB revolution of building line of business apps.

RIA Services is Silverlight’s database capability layer. Just like Jet and DAO made it easy for a developer to connect to databases, perform CRUD operations, data bind, validate, and do it fast without complicated libraries, RIA Services will allow you to do all of that easily in SIlverlight. Silverlight 4.0 and RIA Services will ship this year, most likely sometime before the summer. I don’t think that at the end of 2010 you will be saying “this was the year of Silverlight and RIA Services” but in a few years when all we do is Silverlight you will remember Silverlight 4.0 and RIA Services as what started the Silverlight revolution in building line of business apps. Purists will say that RIA Services is not elegant and continue to code things manually. That is ok, purists mocked VB too, but just remember that for most of the 90s, VB ruled LOB apps in the enterprise.

You maybe thinking, Silverlight to replace .NET? But it is too close to .NET and has lots of .NET interop, etc, in order to work. (For example, to have RIA Services work you need a .NET server with WCF and EF 4.0, etc.) That means that .NET will be around forever! Well yes and no. Remember back to .NET 1.0, we had to use COM Inerop a lot to get a lot of things done. Or .NET wrappers for Win32 stuff. Not until .NET 2.0 (its 3rd release) did we really develop “pure” .NET applications.

Silverlight will continue to evolve and due to the influence of Ruby (as well as Rails), you will see more dynamic language support and DSL capability built into Silverlight moving forward. In the not too distant future you will start to build your XAML with a DSL: “give me CRUD screen connected to the Customer entity.” Then you will start to use DSLs to build your application’s business rules, workflow and control flow. After that you will build you application’s own meta-language, the equivalent of an API, allowing others to hook right into your application’s logic. What will this DSL/dynamic language be? IronRuby? Something from Oslo? I am not sure. That will be in my predictions next year. :)

Stay tuned for predictions on BI and the Cloud…..

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posted on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 4:35:11 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [6] Trackback