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TheStreet Open House

Microsoft Showcases Developer Opportunity On Windows Azure, Windows Devices

Guthrie also highlighted Microsoft's continued enterprise cloud momentum by demonstrating several platform advancements, including previews of improved auto-scaling, alerting and notifications, and tooling support for Windows Azure through Visual Studio. In addition, he previewed how Windows Azure Active Directory provides organizations and ISVs, such as Box, with a single sign-on experience to access cloud-based applications.

Developers can go to the Windows Azure site today for a free trial: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial/?WT.mc_id=AE37323DE.

Spanning from the cloud to devices

Guggenheimer announced the availability of the Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Release Preview, which extends Windows 8.1 technologies and provides additional flexibility to meet the needs of industry devices. Onstage, Guggenheimer demonstrated the Avis Select and Go app running on a Windows Embedded 8 Industry tablet and a Windows Embedded 8 Handheld device to illustrate the opportunity for developers to capitalize on the shared Windows codebase and enable industry-specific branding, peripheral support (such as mag stripe readers and barcode scanners), and lockdown capabilities.

Through a series of partner demos, Guggenheimer demonstrated the common core of the Windows platform spanning PC, tablet, phone and embedded devices.

  • Khan Academy has released a major update to its Windows 8 app, now live in the Windows Store. Using Khan Academy's website code, Microsoft demonstrated how developers can easily take HTML5 and JavaScript code from the Web and easily port to a Windows 8 app.
  • Foursquare previewed an exclusive, uniquely designed Windows 8 tablet app that goes beyond check-ins to use location data in a way that helps users find interesting places and things to do around them.
  • Adobe Systems Inc. is bringing its Digital Publishing Suite product to Windows 8.1 devices in late 2013. Publishers and brands will be able to design and publish content to multiple devices with interactive and inspiring reading experiences. 
  • Guggenheimer announced the availability of OpenTable, Rockmelt and Rhapsody apps for Windows 8 in the Windows Store and previewed five Disney games. Details on these applications can be found on the Windows blog.
  • Finally, Guggenheimer highlighted a few of the popular apps available in Windows Phone Store today, including ABC News, Xfinity by Comcast, TV Remote, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Walgreens, as well as the live push-to-talk and multimedia messaging app, Voxer.

"People want to experience and explore the world around them, and the Foursquare for Windows 8 app helps them do that. It makes it fun to search for a place for dinner or to go out, and it helps people discover new experiences. We've worked with Microsoft on a bunch of initiatives over the years, and this product is another example of the great things we can do together," said Dennis Crowley, co-founder and CEO at Foursquare.

New third-party offerings

PayPal's software development kit, now generally available, allows developers to integrate the payment experience for 128 million account holders into a Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 app. In addition, Unity Technologies, one of the industry's most popular game development platforms with nearly 2 million community members, announced a strategic collaboration with Microsoft to make it easier for developers to bring popular games, entertainment and apps to Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox 360 and Xbox One for Microsoft Studios publishing partners.

New enhancements and services

Microsoft also demonstrated the developer productivity enhancements of the .NET 4.5.1 runtime that enable developers to build the next wave of modern applications that run across devices and cloud, while also extending their existing line-of-business applications. The updates include improved coding, designing, testing and optimizing of XAML applications in Windows 8.1.  Microsoft published a white paper providing guidance to .NET developers.

Finally, Microsoft showcased how Bing as a platform can extend across a broad set of devices and client app experiences using Bing Developer Services. Guggenheimer demonstrated these platform capabilities by showing Microsoft translation technology in Twitter for Windows Phone, which now provides instant, single-click translation of tweets.

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