Windows 10 will get its next major update on April 11, Microsoft announced Wednesday. Already in preview for a number of months, the Creators Update contains features aimed at creative professionals as well as the average user, and will roll out in waves to the general public via Windows Update.
What’s In It
The Creators Update is the first version of Windows 10 to include the Windows Mixed Reality interface, which will ultimately allow users to purchase relatively affordable VR headsets and use them with the operating system. While many of the promised headsets have yet to hit the market, developers have already begun tinkering with prototypes provided by Acer and other partner companies.
A new 3D Paint app that comes with the operating system will allow users to create three-dimensional objects.
Microsoft has also included new gaming features, including Game Mode–a setting that optimizes performance for gaming–and Beam streaming.
Users will see improvements to Microsoft Edge, including tabs with image previews and better security. And a new Cortana-guided setup process will give users more control over their privacy settings.
Stack Overflow has released results of its 2017 Developer Survey, and they paint an interesting picture of the languages developers love and abhor.
Developers are crushing on Mozilla’s Rust, which earned top honors as the most-loved programming language among the 64,000 coders worldwide who answered the annual survey by Stack Overflow, a social network and job board. Respondents also enthusiastically embraced Python, calling it the language they most wanted to work with in the coming year.
Want to earn big bucks as a developer? Learn Google’s Go or Scala. The two topped the list of best-compensated programming languages in the United States, with experts earning an average of $110,000 a year. Worldwide, developers skilled in Clojure—a Lisp dialect—earned the most, averaging out at $72,000 per year. Dev ops specialist and machine learning specialist were the most lucrative specialties.
While the overwhelming majority of developers said they were highly satisfied with the career paths, most also felt they were underpaid.… Read more
On Thursday Wintellect held a live hand’s-on webinar on Xamarin mobile development for building cross-platform apps including IOS, Android and Windows Devices. The agenda included an interactive and coding presentation from Jason Bell, including the mobile landscape and development options, the Xamarin development platform, Xamarin application architectural options and building shared application components.
Microsoft Playable Ads is a new solution for Windows developers looking to draw more engaged users to their applications. The company recently launched Playable Ads, a type of in-app ad that allows potential users to experience a new app before installing it.
Currently in preview, Microsoft Playable Ads allow customers to stream and interact with a new app or game for up to three minutes, without leaving the app they’re currently using.
That’s in contrast to traditional in-app ads, which take users out of their current app to the Windows Store, where they have an opportunity to install the new app. This diagram illustrates the difference between the two types of ads:
Microsoft claims Playable Ads are more likely to attract engaged users than traditional ads: They’re less annoying, since they don’t take the potential customer out of the current app. And they give a more realistic sense of what an app is actually like, ideally increasing the number of people who actually use it after installation, rather than uninstalling it.
Developers subscribed to the preview can create Playable Ads by beginning a new ad campaign from the Windows Dev Center and selecting a call to action option called ‘Try Now.’ The option is available for ads targeting PCs and tablets running Windows 10.… Read more
A new game developer program from Microsoft allows for fast, simultaneous publishing of Xbox Live-enabled games to Xbox One and Windows 10.
Announced at this week’s Game Developer Conference, the Xbox Live Creators Program is currently in preview. Developers who sign up gain access to the Xbox Live Creators SDK, and can integrate the following features into their games, according to Microsoft:
Xbox Live sign-in and profile, including gamertag.
Xbox Live presence, recently played and activity feed.
Xbox Live social, including friends, Game Hubs, clubs, party chat, gameDVR and Beam broadcast.
Xbox Live leaderboards and feature stats.
Title Storage and Connected Storage.
Participating developers can build games using Construct 2, MonoGame, Unity and Xenko, then ship them to either Xbox One, Windows 10 or both. Games built under the program will appear in a special ‘Creators’ section in the Xbox Store.
The new program aims to simplify the process for getting games into the Xbox Store without the need for a lengthy certification or concept approval. Developers can apply here and start building, with Microsoft saying publishing will be available in the near future.
However, the Xbox Live features available under the Creators Program are limited. Anyone who wants to take advantage of the full set of Xbox Live features, plus marketing and development support, will still need to join Microsoft’s existing ID@Xbox program.… Read more
If you don’t follow the tech Twitter-verse as obsessively as we do, you may not be aware that a major data breach at Cloudflare has put user passwords, messages and other information at risk all over the internet.
Cloudflare provides web security and performance services for companies like Uber and OkCupid, among many, many others. A significant chunk of web traffic flows through Cloudflare, and the data breach now known as Cloudbleed dates back to last September, according to New York magazine’s Select All blog—though Cloudflare didn’t disclose it publicly until Thursday.
While all the typical security advice applies in this situation—it’s probably a good idea to update your passwords, and enable two-factor authentication on your accounts when possible—what strikes us about the Cloudbleed debacle is how so much havoc was wreaked based on what Gizmodo describes as a simple, one-character coding error.
Apparently, the company’s switch to a new HTML parser led to what’s known as a buffer overrun vulnerability. Instead of being stored temporarily in a buffer, user data from some sites was leaked into another, insecure location. It could then be returned under certain circumstances in response to an HTTP request, including from search engines.
“I’m finding private messages from major dating sites, full messages from a well-known chat service, online password manager data, frames from adult video sites, hotel bookings,” wrote Tavis Ormandy, the Google security expert who discovered the breach, in a bug report. … Read more
In this week’s Introduction to GraphQL & Relay webinar attendees learned how GraphQL could help improve upon Rest Services by allowing them to view data as a graph. This data can also be queried to serve data in the shape and amount needed by the consumer. Relay was also introduced showing how it is a great framework for React applications to consume GraphQL services.
Through polling we found most attendees hadn’t used GraphQL so it was a very informative session for the audience to understand the benefits and how to use it. After reviewing the GraphQL code there was a live demo to experiment with the code followed by a demonstration of Relay and a final code review. We ended the session with a live Q & A so the audience could ask any questions regarding the topics discussed.
Microsoft is debuting a lightweight version of Skype made for locations where internet connectivity is spotty, and India is its first test market.
Announced Wednesday at Microsoft’s Future Decoded event in Mumbai, the Skype Lite Android app weighs in at 13 MB, is optimized for 2G networks and supports eight languages. It also includes chatbots for services like Expedia and Skyscanner and is available on Google Play now.
In other nods to market conditions in India, Microsoft says the app will perform well on older Android devices and offers a reduced data usage mode for customers who want to make video calls while conserving data. Users can also send SMS messages from the app.
For business calls and other communication when security is important, the app will be integrated with India’s national identification system, Aadhaar, by June 2017. Users will be able to log in to the system to verify their identities, and the information will be wiped from the app once the call completes.
India is one of the fastest-growing markets for technology worldwide. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella referred to “how India is reshaping technology” in introducing Skype Lite, according to ZDNet.… Read more
Eric covered the differences between Angular 1 and 2 as well as a live coding session for the essentials of building components, building templates, data binding and handling events.
Tickets went on sale for Microsoft’s yearly Build developer conference Tuesday, and the registration website was immediately flooded with takers–so much so, that users trying to sign up experienced technical problems throughout the morning.
Though many devs reported on Twitter that they had successfully registered, some posted complaints that they experienced long waits or needed to refresh the page repeatedly.
By midday, however, the problems seemed to be abating. So if you want to attend Microsoft’s biggest developer event, don’t delay: Build 2016 sold out the same day tickets were released.
Priced at $2,195, the conference will take place May 10-12 in Seattle. Along with technical trainings and hackathons, past conferences have included major announcements about new Microsoft projects and products.
A Microsoft blog post promises Build 2017 will cover the following topics:
Cutting edge, intelligent cloud apps
Simplified end-to-end dev ops experiences
Mobile experiences for nearly any device
Apps that make your customers more productive
AI-powered apps we have yet to imagine