TypeScript makes available critical programming features from C# and Java such as strong-typing, interfaces, and generics. React has become a very popular library for building multi-platform UI components. Combine the two, and you get a powerhouse of rich functionality to code even the most complicated applications. TypeScript even supports the popular JSX language commonly used by React developers.
A new one-hour webinar from Wintellect instructor Eric Greene explores how easy it is to build React components with TypeScript. Click on the video above to view, and share your feedback in the comments.… Read more
New Year’s Eve weekend is a time to party, but for the geeks among us, it may also be a good opportunity to curl up with some dev training videos.
Enter Microsoft/Xamarin with their on-demand recordings of Xamarin Dev Days sessions. The mobile development training event takes place periodically in cities around the world, and as of this month, you can also participate virtually via Xamarin Dev Days Live on Microsoft’s Channel 9. (Hat tip to Petri’s Paul Thurrott for first pointing this out.)
The five-episode track, which first aired Dec. 14, kicks off with Introduction to Xamarin, Cross-Platform UI with Xamarin.Forms and Cloud First Apps with Azure. The “afternoon” sessions are more hands-on; you can follow along as the instructors walk through building an app.
Log on and get to brainstorming about what you’ll build in 2017.
Microsoft announced Tuesday that it’s introducing a Cortana Skills Kit, allowing developers to add new capabilities to the virtual assistant.
Developers using the kit will be able to turn their web services, bots created with the Microsoft bot framework, and existing Alexa skills into new skills for Cortana. Currently in private preview, the kit will be more widely available in 2017.
Microsoft partners already using the kit include Expedia, which trained Cortana to book hotels using its bot, and CapitalOne, which programmed Cortana to have hands-free, natural language conversations with users about their money.
Developers can sign up here to be notified when the kit is available.
The Cortana Skills Kit was part of a small flurry of AI-related announcements Microsoft made this past week, as the company continues its push to “democratize AI” (and make Cortana more competitive with Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa).
Microsoft is partnering with manufacturers on a range of Cortana-enabled IoT devices, with and without screens. The Cortana Devices SDK will allow manufacturers to integrate Cortana across devices and platforms, and Harmon Kardon has already released a sneak preview of what appears to be an Echo-like audio system, set to debut next year, that combines Cortana with its speakers.… Read more
One of the most anticipated features of Windows Server 2016 is container services. Microsoft has worked closely with Docker to create this exciting new feature for on-premise CaaS. Wintellect senior consultant Blaize Stewart has created a webinar in which you can learn all about the new technology, the types of containers you can deploy on Windows Server 2016, and the Docker tools available to run and manage them.
Click on the video above to view, and share your feedback in the comments.… Read more
If you’re not ready to shell out $3,000 for a Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality device, you’re not alone, and Microsoft knows this. That’s why it’s partnering with companies including Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo to create a line of lower-cost augmented and virtual reality headsets for the Average Joe or Jane Gamer.
The head-mounted displays (HMDs), will start at $299, according to details revealed during yesterday’s keynote at the company’s WinHEC hardware event in Shenzhen, China. They’ll draw on the same Windows Holographic technology that powers HoloLens, but unlike the standalone HoloLens, they’ll need to be connected to a PC to operate.
System requirements for using the HMDs, which are set to start shipping in the first half of 2017, are as follows, according to Thurrott.com:
CPU: 6th or 7th generation Intel Core i5 mobile dual-core CPU with Hyperthreading or equivalent
GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 (GT2) or equivalent or greater DirectX12-capable GPU
RAM: 8 GB+ Dual Channel required for integrated graphics
Video-out: HDMI 1.4 with 2880×1440 @ 60 HzHDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.3+ with 2880×1440 @ 90 Hz
HDD: 100GB+ SSD (Preferred)/HDD
USB: USB 3.0 Type-A or USB 3.1 Type-C Port with DisplayPort Alternate Mode
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0 for accessories
The upshot of this is, of course, that developers will enjoy a much broader market for apps and games.… Read more
Microsoft has hired several of the world’s foremost quantum computing experts, doubling down on the effort to build a machine that could solve complex problems much more quickly than a digital computer.
Microsoft hardware guru Todd Holdmdahl will lead a research team focused on using a unit of quantum information called a topological qubit to create scalable quantum hardware and software.
The team will include physicists Leo Kouwenhoven of Delft University of Technology, Charles Marcus of the University of Copenhagen, ETH Zurich’s Matthias Troyer and David Reilly of the University of Sydney.
Unlike digital computers, quantum computers would have the ability to process multiple solutions to a problem simultaneously rather than sequentially, potentially speeding up scientific quests to combat climate change and feed the world’s population, among other goals.
“There is a real opportunity to apply these computers to things that I’ll call material sciences of physical systems,” Holmdahl said in a Microsoft blog post. “A lot of these problems are intractable on a classical computer, but on a quantum computer we believe that they are tractable in a reasonable period of time.”
While the qubits that quantum computers could run on are notoriously finicky–requiring very cold environments with minimum intereference to retain their quantum state–Microsoft’s researchers believe that topological qubits will be more tolerant to outside inputs like heat and electrical noise.… Read more
Microsoft’s commitment to open-source reached a new high Wednesday when the company announced it’s joining the Linux Foundation.
The company that once sought to build a wall around its proprietary software kingdom will now join corporations like Intel, Huawei and Samsung as high-paying Platinum Level members of the foundation, according to TechCrunch. The Linux Foundation supports the scaling of open-source projects including Node.Js, drawing on the 25-year history of the most popular open-source operating system.
Microsoft has been cozying up to the Linux community under CEO Satya Nadella, surprising developers by adding Linux command lines to Windows 10 and bringing SQL Server to Linux. Redmond has also open-sourced Visual Studio Code and the entire Xamarin SDK, among other company resources.
As Microsoft shifts its focus to the cloud, company leaders have realized that shared software development is the key to success in that arena.
“As a cloud platform company we aim to help developers achieve more using the platforms and languages they know,” Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Group, said in announcing the Linux Foundation membership.
Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin noted Microsoft’s evolution on open source: “Microsoft has grown and matured in its use of and contributions to open source technology,” Zemlin said.… Read more
In a month of many surprises, Microsoft has one more for developers everywhere: It’s finally bringing Visual Studio to Mac.
A preview version of Visual Studio for Mac will debut at this week’s Connect conference, according to a blog post the company published and later deleted. (Thanks to our friends over at Engadget for saving a cached version.)
Based on Xamarin technology, the Mac version of Microsoft’s integrated development environment is primarily designed to support development for iOS, Android and Mac, as well as server development via .NET Core. It’s powered by C# and includes F# support.
With Mac and Windows versions of Visual Studio available, developers working on different platforms will be able to collaborate on projects without converting files. Microsoft is also promising a companion Mac version of Visual Studio Code, the streamlined version of VS for quickly editing source code.
The move to make Microsoft’s integrated development environment available to Mac users is the latest sign of the company’s new platform-agnostic, cloud-focused strategy.
“This is an exciting development, evolving the mobile-centric Xamarin Studio IDE into a true mobile-first, cloud-first development tool for .NET and C#, and bringing the Visual Studio development experience to the Mac,” reads the blog post.… Read more