Microsoft’s TechRewards Program Will End in January

Microsoft is shutting down TechRewards, its program that allows developers to earn points toward new products by completing challenges and quizzes. The company announced Thursday that all challenges have been discontinued, and members have until January 6, 2017, to redeem any points they have collected. Microsoft inherited the program, once knowns as DVLUP, when it…

End-to-end Testing Electron Apps with Spectron

You’ve built a really awesome Electron application, but you want to include a few automated tests to make sure a regression doesn’t occur? Spectron is here to help! Spectron is Electron’s end-to-end testing library. Let’s see how it we can set it up to use in our own Electron projects. If you want to go straight…

Microsoft Reorganizes, Focuses on AI

Microsoft is forming a new research group focused on artificial intelligence, the company announced Thursday. Led by Harry Shum, a former corporate VP for Bing with 20 years of Microsoft service under his belt, the 5,000-strong AI and Research Group will bring an AI emphasis to all the company’s platforms and services. It will incorporate…

A Brief Tour of Azure IoT Hub

I’m preparing some material for a webinar on Azure IoT in mid-October (you are signed up, aren’t you?) and thought I’d do a quick intro to the basic concepts and moving parts. Azure IoT Hub is a cloud-scale service for managing and securely communicating with large numbers of field devices (potentially millions at once); communication…

A More Secure Microsoft Edge, and Other News from Ignite 2016

In the wake of highly publicized cyberattacks on big companies, Microsoft on Monday rolled out new security features for its Edge browser. Windows Defender Application Guard, developed for the company’s enterprise customers, will use Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization technology to isolate potential security threats. “The threat landscape has changed significantly in recent years,” reads a Microsoft…

Answers to Your Burning Xbox Dev Questions

How do I protect my Xbox in dev mode? Can I publish my non-game app to Xbox One? Now that Microsoft is further opening up the Xbox platform to developers, you might have questions about either bringing an existing UWP app to Xbox, or developing directly for the gaming console. Microsoft’s recent live video training…

How to Try Microsoft HoloLens for Free

Not sure yet if you want to spring for a $3,000 HoloLens Developer Kit? If you haven’t yet gotten to try out Microsoft’s augmented reality headset, you’re in luck: The company is taking its HoloLens Roadshow to select Microsoft stores in the United States and Canada beginning this month. Pre-register online to try out a…

From Muggles to Holograms: What’s On Tap for This Year’s DevIntersection Conference

DevIntersection, a cross-discipline conference for Microsoft developers, has been growing in size, and this year’s event will include keynote speeches from Microsoft execs Scott Guthrie and Steve Guggenheimer as well as presentations from journalists covering Redmond like Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley. But of course, the highlight of the event, which takes place Oct.…

Microsoft’s ‘Skype Teams’ Could Go Head to Head With Slack

In just over two years of existence, messaging app Slack has become an indispensable communication tool for many work teams, especially of the creative variety. Now, Microsoft—which was rumored to be interested in purchasing Slack at one point—is developing its own Slack-like collaboration tool under the Skype platform, according to Microsoft PowerUser. Like Slack, Skype…

Paid Extensions Added to Visual Studio Marketplace

Microsoft’s Visual Studio Marketplace, home to hundreds of extensions for Visual Studio, VS Team Sevices and VS Code, will now offer paid as well as free extensions, the company announced earlier this week. Software companies will be able to sell their extensions to developers that use the Visual Studio integrated development environment under monthly licenses…

Submit Your UWP App to Xbox One, and Other New Windows Dev Center Features

Developers who’ve built apps and games using the Windows 10 Anniversary Update SDK can now offer them in the Xbox Store. The change is part of a number of Dev Center updates announced Monday by Microsoft. Games submitted to Xbox One will still be subject to concept approval. “This ensures games on Xbox deliver the…