A Scene from Today’s Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code

My LG Windows Phone 7, with "Smiles" displayed on the screen.A test version of Smiles running on my WP7 device.

In between chatting with developers who dropped by today’s Coffee and Code in downtown Toronto and getting some work done, I’ve been playing Smiles (pictured above), an incredibly cute and incredibly addictive puzzle game by London, ON-based development shop Sykhronics.

Here’s a video of Smiles’ gameplay in its “Drop” mode:

Mike Kasprzak of Sykhronics was kind enough to send me an early test version of Smiles to show off the Phone’s game capabilities as well as the level of “polish” that Windows Phone 7 developers should be aiming for in their apps. Mike’s got some pretty high standards and is working to make sure that Smiles for WP7 meets them, and it shows! Even in this test version, Smiles looks and feels like a polished arcade classic, and when it’s done, it’s going to be a must-buy.

Keep writing those apps, and aim high! We’ll do what we can on our end to help out, which includes:

  • Articles on Windows Phone 7 development in Silverlight and XNA
  • Articles on good mobile user interface design and marketing your apps
  • Announcements of upcoming Coffee and Codes and WP7 Deployment Clinics across Canada
  • Coverage of “Phone Heroes”: People building apps for Windows Phone 7 – and hey, you could be one of them!
  • Pointers to useful tools, resources and other things to help you build WP7 apps

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Talking XNA with Shawn Hargreaves and Charles Cox

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Can’t see the video? Download Silverlight or download the video in high-quality WMV, medium-quality WMV, MP4 and MP3 (audio only) formats!

XNA is the game development framework that makes it easier to develop games for Windows, Xbox and Windows Phone, and it lets you do it with managed code – that is, using C# instead of C++. In this video, Microsoft’s Shawn Hargreaves and Charles Cox talk about all things XNA, including:

  • XNA Game Studio
  • XNA Creators Club Online
  • Game Development for Windows Phone 7
  • XNA Game Studio and Silverlight – Games and Apps
  • GPU Acceleration
  • The History of XNA Game Studio
  • .NET Garbage Collection Tips for XNA Game Studio
  • Managed Code Performance Tips
  • DirectX 11 or XNA Game Studio – Making the Choice
  • Introducing Reach and HiDef Graphics Profiles
  • Visual Basic in XNA Game Studio
  • XAML and Event-Driven Programming in XNA Game Studio

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Scenes from TechDays Vancouver, Part 4: Go DevMENTAL

Go DevMental: Our event for students

What is Go DevMENTAL?

Since TechDays – Microsoft Canada’s cross-country developer and IT pro conference visiting 8 cities across Canada this fall – is a two-day event, we’ve got the venues for the entire 48-hour period, including evenings. Rather than have the session rooms (which are already set up for an audience, complete with A/V and seating) lie fallow, we decided to put them to good use and hold free community events in the evenings. One of these events is Go DevMENTAL, where we show college and university students what they can build using Microsoft’s tools and technologies and give them a lot of free stuff.

Go DevMENTAL is a two-track conference, with one track devoted to web design and development using WebMatrix, Expression Blend and Silverlight, while the other covers mobile development for Windows Phone 7 using Silverlight and XNA. At the end of the evening, we give the students a token for DreamSpark, our program that gives them free Microsoft development tools and operating systems and a DVD full of goodies so they can start coding right away.

If you’re a college or university student and would like to have an informative and entertaining evening where you learn cool new things, get free cool stuff, connect with industry people and get some help with your career, register for Go DevMental!

Where is Go DevMENTAL?

We’ll be hitting these cities on these dates:

City Where When
Edmonton Shaw Convention Centre October 5
Toronto Metro Toronto Convention Centre
South Building
October 27
Halifax World Trade Centre November 2
Ottawa Hampton Inn Ottawa
(200 Coventry Road)
November 9
Montreal Palais Des Congres November 23
Winnipeg Winnipeg Convention Centre December 7
Calgary Round-Up Centre
(Calgary Stampede Park)
December 14

What Happened at Go DevMENTAL Vancouver?

Go DevMENTAL Vancouver took place on Tuesday, September 14th in the West Building of the Vancouver Convention Centre, a gorgeous venue (for more, see this entry).

I was helping out with the Phone track, so I only managed to get photos for its sessions. My colleages in Microsoft Canada’s Developer and Platform Evangelism team, Christian Beauclair and John Bristowe, took care of the Web track, while Mark Arteaga of Redbit Development and I ran the Phone track.

Here’s Mark setting up for his presentation, as the students and a number of professors milled into the room. We had some drinks and snacks set up in the back; that’s what the line at the back of the room is all about:

Photo of the session room, with Mark Arteaga setting up his computer in the foreground

And we’re off! Mark did the first presentation, which focused on app development with Silverlight.

The audience in the Phone track at Go DevMENTAL Vancouver

By the end of his session, he had a working, skinnable Magic 8-Ball app that responded to the user shaking the phone. The app was flexible enough so that it would be really easy to repurpose it as a fortune cookie app, the Wisdom of Master Yoda app and so on, without having to touch any code.

Mark Arteaga makes his presentation

Mark’s session was followed by a break, which concluded with a quick accordion performance by Yours Truly:

Joey deVilla plays accordion at Go DevMENTAL

Followed by a quick word from Andrew Gottlieb, a Microsoft recruiter who works the UBC campus looking for the next great Microsofties. If you’re looking for a job at Microsoft and you’re a student in the Vancouver area, you’re going to want to drop him a line.

Joey deVilla plays his accordion at Go DevMENTAL as Andrew Gottlieb stands beside him

Then came my presentation, a live-coding exercise in which we start with “File –> New Project…” and in 45 minutes, put together a game in which you get to smack Justin Bieber around. Let it never be said that I let professionalism stand in the way of a good coding presentation‘

Joey deVilla makes his presentation, holding up a piece of paper

Live coding in front of an audience is not for the weak of heart, and you’d better really know your stuff. But when you do it right, it’s fun for both you and the audience.

In these photos, I’m holding up two pieces of paper as a way of explaining collision detection using bounding boxes. It’s not every day you see some goof in an ironic hipster trucker cap talking about videogame fundamentals!

Joey deVilla makes his presentation at Go DevMENTAL holding up two pieces of paper

After the student sessions, I made my way to the faculty roundtable where we chatted with the professors about what Microsoft could do for them.

It was great meeting the students and faculty – I had a great time, and also learned a lot from them. I’m looking forward to the upcoming Go DevMENTAL cities. See you there!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Get Your Game on with Windows Phone 7

It’s On!

When Windows Phone 7 was first shown to the public in March, we got a taste of the Games hub and were told that Microsoft was working with a number of big game developers to bring games to the new phone platform. Late yesterday, we got the announcement of the first games coming to WP7:

It’s one thing to see a slickly-produced ad showing the games, but it’s an entirely different thing to see actual games being played on an actual phone. Here’s Engadget’s video of the game experience on one of the prototype phones – the Samsung “Taylor”, which I have and which you might have seen at the last “Coffee and Code” event in Toronto:

Here’s what Engadget had to say about the experience:

We’ll preface this by saying that both the hardware and software we demoed was still unfinished (the latter being the Samsung Taylor dev phone and the LG QWERTY model we broke news of on the Engadget Show). Regardless, the gameplay for the arcade titles seemed excellent, with frame rates holding fast even during graphically intensive 3D sequences (such as the chaotic, scattered-pixel play of Rocket Riot). The Harvest, while a bit familiar to our eyes, still showed the graphic promise of the platform. Gameplay was definitely well suited to a touchscreen device, though Microsoft’s Kevin Unangst told us that developers could target controls for both touch and QWERTY-equipped phones (provided that a touch version was always present). The screen response seemed accurate and sensitive, reacting quickly to our input. Particularly in the Crackdown title — a tower defense game "set in the Crackdown universe" — pinch zooming, rotation, and finger tracking was excellent.

The New New Xbox Experience

The “New Xbox Experience” or “NXE” – the revamped Xbox user interface that introduced avatars – comes along for the ride on Windows Phone. You can access your Xbox Live account on WP7, check out your gamerscore and achievements, and like Xbox-based games, your avatar can also be used within WP7 games and apps.

In this Engadget video, we see avatars being used to give a little twist to some standard smartphone apps such as “flashlight”, “spirit level” and “coin flip”:

Here’s another video showing more avatar action as well as some of the social networking features of Xbox Live, as done on WP7:

The Games

The games that have been announced for Windows Phone 7 so far:

  • 3D Brick Breaker Revolution (Digital Chocolate)
  • Age of Zombies (Halfbrick)
  • Armor Valley (Protégé Games)
  • Asphalt 5 (Gameloft)
  • Assassins Creed (Gameloft)
  • Bejeweled™ LIVE (PopCap)
  • Bloons TD (Digital Goldfish)
  • Brain Challenge (Gameloft)
  • Bubble Town 2 (i-Play)
  • Butterfly (Press Start Studio)
  • CarneyVale Showtime (MGS)
  • Castlevania (Konami Digital Entertainment)
  • Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst (MGS)
  • De Blob Revolution (THQ)
  • Deal or No Deal 2010 (i-Play)
  • Earthworm Jim (Gameloft)
  • Fast & Furious 7 (i-Play)
  • Fight Game Rivals (Rough Cookie)
  • Finger Physics (Mobliss Inc.)
  • Flight Control (Namco Bandai)
  • Flowerz (Carbonated Games)
  • Frogger (Konami Digital Entertainment)
  • Fruit Ninja (Halfbrick)
  • Game Chest-Board (MGS)
  • Game Chest-Card (MGS)
  • Game Chest-Logic (MGS)
  • Game Chest-Solitaire (MGS)
  • GeoDefense (Critical Thought)
  • Ghostscape (Psionic)
  • Glow Artisan (Powerhead Games)
  • Glyder 2 (Glu Mobile)
  • Guitar Hero 5 (Glu Mobile)
  • Halo Waypoint (MGS)
  • Hexic Rush (Carbonated Games)
  • I Dig It (InMotion)
  • iBlast Moki (Godzilab)
  • ilomilo (MGS)
  • Implode XL (IUGO)
  • Iquarium (Infinite Dreams)
  • Jet Car Stunts (True Axis)
  • Let’s Golf 2 (Gameloft)
  • Little Wheel (One click dog)
  • Loondon (Flip N Tale)
  • Max and the Magic Marker (PressPlay)
  • Mini Squadron (Supermono Limited)
  • More Brain Exercise (Namco Bandai)
  • O.M.G. (Arkedo)
  • Puzzle Quest 2 (Namco Bandai)
  • Real Soccer 2 (Gameloft)
  • The Revenants (Chaotic Moon)
  • Rise of Glory (Revo Solutions)
  • Rocket Riot (Codeglue)
  • Splinter Cell Conviction (Gameloft)
  • Star Wars: Battle for Hoth (THQ)
  • Star Wars: Cantina (THQ)
  • The Harvest (MGS)
  • The Oregon Trail (Gameloft)
  • Tower Bloxx NY (Digital Chocolate)
  • Twin Blades (Press Start Studio)
  • UNO (Gameloft)
  • Women’s Murder Club: Death in Scarlet (i-Play)
  • Zombie Attack! (IUGO)
  • Zombies!!!! (Babaroga)

…with more on the way, as big game dev companies sign up and Microsoft’s Mobile Games Studio kicks into high gear.

How Do You Get in on Some of That Action?

windows phone 7 If you want to just play Windows Phone 7 games, it’s easy – the phone comes out in the fall, in time for the holiday shopping season.

If you want to build Windows Phone 7 games, it takes a little more work, but it’s worth it. You’ll need to:

  1. Get your hands on the development tools. They’re free-as-in-beer and you’ll get:
    • The IDE, Visual Studio for Windows Phone Express (and if you have Visual Studio 2010, the necessary parts to do WP7 development)
    • Windows Phone emulator
    • Silverlight for Windows Phone (app-building framework)
    • XNA 4.0 for Windows Phone (game-building framework)
    • Expression Blend for Windows Phone (UI-building tool)
  2. Learn XNA development. There are a number of good tutorials out there, including:
  3. And finally, keep an eye on this blog. As a Windows Phone 7 Champ, I’ve got a direct line to the WP7 team, I always point you to the good stuff, and I’ve got some surprises in store!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Windows Phone 7 Session Videos and Slides, Organized and Explained

Windows Phone 7 @ MIX10: Reports on the new hotness from MIX10 in Las Vegas

The Videos are Up!

It’s only been a couple of days since MIX10 wrapped up, but as promised, we recorded videos of all the sessions and they’re now available online. It doesn’t matter if you missed a session or missed the entire conference, you can now catch (or re-catch) them all. The videos are all “two-shots”; that is, they feature two views: one of the speaker, shown in a window on the left, and one of the current slide, shown in a view on the right. They’re all in Windows Video (WMV) format, and for many of the presentations, the speakers have also made the slides available in PowerPoint (PPTX) format.

The Windows Phone Videos

I’m biased – I’m one of the evangelists designated as a “Windows Phone 7 Champ” – so naturally I consider the Windows Phone 7 Series announcements made at MIX10 to be the most important ones of the conference. (Don’t worry, I’ll talk about the other things I saw at MIX in a later article.)

I’m a believer in “The Power of the Obvious”. Sometimes, there’s great power and utility in taking information that’s already out there and rearranging it in a way that makes it even more useful. That’s why I decided to take the listing of all the MIX10 session videos, pick out the ones applicable to Windows Phone 7 development and rearrange them into the three lists below:

I’ve listed each session with:

  • Its code and title – not the title that appears in the program, but the title that the presenters actually used (some were changed at the last minute)
  • A brief description of the session
  • A “You should watch it if” list to give you an idea of whether the presentation is relevant to you
  • Links to the video of the presentation, and if available, the slides

All told, there’s more than 18 hours’ worth of Windows Phone video.

Windows Phone – General Design and Development

Title Video Slides
KEY01: Day 1 Keynote

The Day 1 keynote started with Silverlight and finished with the first complete announcement Windows Phone and its development environment, as well as where you can download  all the goodies to get started immediately.

You should watch it if: You want to get the “feel” of this year’s MIX conference, you’re new to developing for the Microsoft platform (or haven’t done so in a long time) or if you’re a completist.

WMV n/a
CL01: Changing Our Game – An Introduction to Windows Phone 7 Series

This was the very first breakout session following MIX10’s Day 1 keynote. In it, Joe Belfiore, Corporate VP Windows Phone, covers the Windows Phone 7 strategy and philosophy, runs through a lot of demos (which make up the lion’s share of the session) and talks about the hardware spec and the partners who will build the phones.

You should watch it if: You haven’t read any of the news about Windows Phone 7 prior to MIX, you’ve never seen the Windows Phone 7 user interface or applications in action, or you’re a business or technical decision-maker wondering wondering if your company should build apps for Windows Phone 7.

WMV n/a
CL13: The Windows Phone Application Platform

It’s my main man, Charlie Kindel, PGPMWPAPDE (Partner Group Program Manager for the Windows Phone Application Platform and Developer Experience) giving us the “100-level” overview of what’s available for developers who want to build Windows Phone apps.

You should watch it if: You’re a developer who wants a high-level overview of Windows Phone 7 development or if you’re a technical decision-maker wondering if your company should build apps for Windows Phone 7.

CL14: Designing Windows Phone 7 Series

Albert Shum (“That Dude” behind the design of Windows Phone 7), Michael Smuga (Studio Director) and Chad Roberts (UX Design Lead) talk about the “design language” of Windows Phone 7, which comprises its design principles, metaphors, conventions, “look and feel” and target audience as well as how to design apps that have their own identity and still “speak” Windows Phone 7’s design language.

You should watch it if: You’re a designer, information architect or user experience person who wants to build Windows Phone 7 apps, or if you want a clearer idea of the philosophies behind Windows Phone 7’s user interface and design, direct from the people responsible for creating it.

CL18: Windows Phone 7 Series Architecture Deep Dive

Istvan Cseri, who holds the position of Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft and now works with the Windows Phone team, provides a closer look at the technological features of Windows Phone 7. He covers the hardware foundation, the underlying operating system, the application model, the page-based UI model and cloud integration services. 

You should watch it if: You’re a developer or developer manager who wants to build apps for Windows 7 and wants to know more about the platform.

CL20: Making Money with Windows Phone Applications and Games
We’ve got a suit (Todd Biggs, Director of Program Management) and a geek (John Bruno, Lead Program Manager) talking about how you can sell your Windows Phone 7 apps on the Windows Phone Marketplace, the source of all Windows Phone 7 apps. They’ll go over what the Marketplace looks like from the customer’s point of view, the plans to make Marketplace’s policies very detailed and clear so you know what apps will pass muster, “Trial Mode” and how you can use it, and of course, how you make money with Windows Phone.

You should watch it if: You’re planning on making some extra spending money (or even paying the rent/mortgage) with Windows Phone apps and are curious as to how Windows Phone Marketplace works.

CL23: Designing and Developing for the Rich Mobile Web

This one’s not about building “native” Windows Phone apps with Silverlight or XNA, but for that third mobile platform: the web. Joe Marini, Principal Program Manager for Windows Phone, explains the web’s mobile context and why it’s different, walks through do’s and don’t for building usable, engaging and rich mobile web sites and the general principles of designing and developing for the platform that fits in your pocket.

You should watch it if: You’re a developer or designer who wants to build websites that work well for mobile devices (and yes, that includes Windows Phone).

WMV n/a

Windows Phone and Silverlight

Title Video Slides
CL02: Blend 4 for Windows Phone 7 Series, Silverlight 4 and WPF 4

Christian Schormann and Pete Blois of the Expression Blend team talk about the upcoming version of our tool for building and designing user workflows, interfaces and experiences. There are 4 major demos: an introduction to Blend for Windows Phone, the “Ready for Business” capabilities of Blend 4 and Silverlight 4, the creative side of Blend and its new take on layout, game design for Windows Phone with Blend.

You should watch it if: You’re new to Expression Blend, you’re a developer or designer planning to build Silverlight applications for Windows Phone, you’re an interaction designer wondering about Sketchflow, or you’ve asked the question “Why Blend? Doesn’t Visual Studio already come with an interface designer?”

CL15: An Introduction to Developing Applications for Microsoft Silverlight

This presentation was scheduled just before the Building Windows Phone Applications with Silverlight series for those developers who want to build apps for Windows Phone, but have never built a Silverlight application before. Think of it as “Silverlight 101”. It’s presented by Silverlight Program Manager Shawn Oster, who like me, spent some time away from .NET in the world of PHP and Ruby on Rails before joining Microsoft. Shawn will walk through building user interfaces in Silverlight using both Visual Studio and Expression Blend and how you can use the same code for both Windows Phone and the web.

You should watch it if: You’re a developer or designer planning on building apps for Windows Phone 7 but have never touched Silverlight before.

CL16: Building Windows Phone Applications with Silverlight, Part 1
Mike Harsh, Program Manager for Silverlight, does the first of a two-part series on building Windows Phone apps with it. In this session, Mike introduces the Windows Phone version of Silverlight, talks about how input and output work with Silverlight on the phone, the new integrated web browser control (which differs from the one in Silverlight for the desktop) and how Silverlight applications can take advantage of the goodies in Windows Phone 7’s OS.

You should watch it if: You’re a developer or designer who’s familiar with Silverlight and want to use it to build Windows Phone apps.

CL17: Building Windows Phone Applications with Silverlight, Part 2

Pete Torr, Program Manager for Windows Phone, continues where Mike Harsh left off in part 1 by covering application structure, controls and how to apply themes to them and how to make use of connected services in Silverlight on Windows Phone 7.

You should watch it if: You’re a developer or designer who’s familiar with Silverlight, want to use it to build Windows Phone apps and have seen Part 1 (see above).

CL59: Unit Testing Silverlight and Windows Phone Applications

Jeff Wilcox, Senior Software Development Engineer and the guy hwo wrote the unit testing framework for Silverlight, provides a quick introduction to unit testing (yes, lots of people still don’t do it) and leaps into the new Silverlight unit testing framework, which works on both your development machine and right on the hardware phone (once it comes out).

You should watch it if: You’re a developer who plans to build Windows Phone applications with Silverlight and you want to do the right thing and incorporate unit testing into your application development process.

CL60: Silverlight Performance on Windows Phone

Seema Ramchandani has an interesting job title – it’s “Silverlight Performance and Graphics for Windows Phone 7 Series”. In this talk, she talks about how to get the most performance out of you Silverlight-based Windows Phone apps, from “less is more”, to taking advantage of the render thread and GPU and going easy on the UI thread, to other optimization tricks.

You should watch it if: You’re a developer who plans to build snappy, responsive Silverlight applications for Windows Phone.


Windows Phone and XNA

Title Video Slides
CL19: Development and Debugging Tools for Windows Phone 7 Series

This one’s presented by Cullen Waters of the Advanced Technology Group, who works on the Xbox 360. This presentation covers XNA Game Studio 4.0, the new free-as-in-beer Visual Studio Express for Windows Phone, the Windows Phone emulator and his favourite tools for game development (and how you can use them for building Windows Phone games).

You should watch it if: You’re a developer planning to build games for Windows Phone using XNA, you’re familiar with game development with XNA and you’re trying to squeeze as much performance out of your games as possible.

WMV n/a
CL21: Developing Games for Windows Phone 7 with XNA Game Studio 4.0

Michael Klucher, Lead Program Manager, provides a high-level overview of the latest version of Microsoft’s game development framework and toolset, XNA, which supports building games for Windows, Xbox 360 and now, Windows Phone.

You should watch it if: You’re a developer planning to build games for Windows Phone using XNA, and you’re new to game development with XNA.

CL22: High Performance 3D Games on Windows Phone 7 Series

Shawn Hargreaves has been an XNA go-to guy since the XNA’s start, and in this session, he talks about bringing the Xbox 360 3D gaming experience to Windows Phone, how you can get blazing performance out of a managed language like C#, and all sorts of ways you can get the most performance out of XNA.

You should watch it if: You’re a developer planning to build games for Windows Phone using XNA, you’re familiar with 3D game development with XNA, you’re trying to squeeze as much performance out of your games as possible, or you’re interesting in what makes C# and .NET so blazingly fast despite the fact it’s not truly compiled.

WMV n/a


This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Counting Down to Seven: XNA Game Studio 4.0!!!!

Welcome to another installment of Counting Down to Seven, a series of articles about mobile app development that I’m writing as we count down the days to MIX10, when we reveal more about the up-and-coming Windows Phone 7 Series.

Xbox 360 Achievement: "Achievement Unlocked: New Version of XNA!"

"Counting Down to Seven" badge

The Game Developers Conference is a good time to make game development announcements, and that we did: version 4.0 of XNA Game Studio, Microsoft’s framework and toolset for easier game development. Here’s what it means in a nutshell:

  • No matter whether you develop with managed or unmanaged code, it’s what you’ll use for game development on Windows Phone 7.
  • You’ll create better mobile games faster, thanks to a powerful and comprehensive set of tools.
  • Xbox LIVE comes to mobile, meaning that you can take advantage of the Xbox’s popular gaming social network.
  • For those of you already building games with XNA, you’ve got a brand new platform, and it’s one that you take everywhere you go.

Games pages on Windows Phone 7

You’re going to see all sorts of details about XNA Game Studio 4.0 over the next couple of weeks, and here are some of the best places to get them…

Follow the “Seven Samurai”

By “Seven Samurai”, I’m referring to the Windows Phone 7 Series development team:

Check Out These Sites

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Counting Down to Seven: The Windows Phone Sessions at MIX10

Explore the software that powers the Windows Phone 7 Series. Free development tools and support for all MIX10 attendees.

"Counting Down to Seven" badgeWelcome to another installment of Counting Down to Seven, a series of articles about mobile app development that I’m writing as we count down the days to MIX10, when we reveal more about the up-and-coming Windows Phone 7 Series.

For the longest time, the sessions listed under “Windows Phone” at the MIX10 conference (taking place in Las Vegas from March 15th through 17th) have had no details – just a “more details coming soon” message. That changed yesterday, and now the sessions have full names and abstracts, which I’ve listed below in chronological order.


Changing Our Game: An Introduction to Windows Phone 7 Series
Joe Belfiore
Monday, March 15th
11:30 a.m.
Major changes are coming to Windows Phone! This session goes in-depth on the design and features of Windows Phone and gives a comprehensive picture of what’s coming in this exciting new release.

Joey’s note: Joe Belifiore is the VP Windows Phone 7 Program Management and the guy giving Laura Foy a walkthrough of the features in Windows Phone in that first Windows Phone video that got released during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Overview of the Windows Phone 7 Series Application Platform
Charlie Kindel
Monday, March 15th
2:00 p.m.
The new Windows Phone is coming! Get a high-level overview of the new application platform and a complete picture of the developer story. Learn about the developer tools, the application frameworks, the support for Silverlight, and the support for XNA.

Joey’s note: Charlie isn’t exaggerating in his Twitter profile when he says that the future of application development for Windows Phones is in his hands.

Windows Phone UI and Design Language
Albert Shum
Monday, March 15th
3:30 p.m.
Windows Phone constitutes a dramatic new user experience paradigm. This session will provide prescriptive guidance, tips, and techniques on how designers & developers can build beautiful, compelling user experiences that are consistent with the built-in Windows Phone 7 Series experiences.

Joey’s note: Albert Shum is Director of Microsoft’s Mobile Experience Design Team. If you want to find out more about him, check out my article Albert Shum on Windows Phone 7.


Microsoft Silverlight “Media”: Moving at 60fps
Eric Schmidt
Tuesday, March 16th
11:00 a.m.
From HD delivery to dynamic advertising models, Silverlight has rapidly become the industry leader for enabling rich, interactive media scenarios. This session will review the media focused technology strategy behind Microsoft Silverlight, Microsoft Silverlight Media Framework, IIS Media Services, Microsoft Expression and Windows phone. Highlights for this session include: efficient media player development, 3-d rendering, real-time ad injection, leveraging multi-cast, managing large media delivery farms, choosing the right content protection strategy, real time media pipeline monitoring and a drill into what’s new in Silverlight 4. If you are building or want to build video based Silverlight applications this session will provide technical guidance and give you an opportunity to voice your needs about the future of media and Silverlight.

An Introduction to Developing Applications for Microsoft Silverlight
Shawn Oster
Tuesday, March 16th
11:00 a.m.

New to Silverlight? This is the session for you. This session will cover: how to get started building your first application, tooling, extensibility and deployment. We’ll also highlight the capabilities of Microsoft Silverlight on the PC, as well as support for Windows Phone.

Joey’s note: Shawn Oster is a Program Manager at Microsoft who works on Silverlight. One of his current projects in the Silverlight Toolkit, a way to give users new controls, fixes and updates at a rapid pace.

Building Windows Phone Applications with Silverlight, Part 1
Mike Harsh
Tuesday, March 16th
1:30 p.m.
Together with part 2, these sessions give an overview of the functionality for Silverlight applications that is unique to the Windows Phone application platform. Part 1 will cover new input paradigms including multi-touch, software keyboard, accelerometer and microphone, as well as the APIs to leverage phone applications like email, phone dialer, contact list and more.

Joey’s note: Mike is a Program Manager at Microsoft working on Silverlight.

Unit Testing Silverlight and Windows Phone 7 Applications
Jeff Wilcox
Tuesday, March 16th
2:05 p.m.

Learn how to create and maintain Silverlight and Windows Phone 7 Series applications using the Silverlight Unit Test Framework. See what tools are available to easily validate controls and application interfaces, add automatic testing to builds, and gain a solid understanding of test principles to deliver great experiences for your clients and customers.

Joey’s note: Jeff is a Senior Software Development Engineer at Microsoft, working on the Silverlight Toolkit. He is the creator of the Silverlight Unit Test Framework.

Building Windows Phone Applications with Silverlight, Part 2
Peter Torr
Tuesday, March 16th
3:00 p.m.

Together with part 1, these sessions give an overview of the functionality for Silverlight applications that is unique to the Windows Phone application platform. Part 2 will cover the new application model, updated control templates, themes, and services available to applications, including new Windows Phone web services.

Windows Phone Application Platform Architecture
Istvan Cseri
Tuesday, March 16th
4:30 p.m.

Windows Phone 7 Series represents a significant change from the past. The entire stack, starting with the operating system, user experience, and the application platform have been engineered to build a new class of phone that users will just love. This session will go under the covers and describe how to think about applications and games from the perspective of user experience, security, packaging, cloud services and performance. Details on the new application model, device capabilities, location, sensors, and other platform capabilities will be covered.

Silverlight Performance on Windows Phone
Seema Ramachandani
Tuesday, March 16th
4:30 p.m.

Learn how to optimize your Silverlight code for Windows Phone. This session will discuss common bottlenecks using the graphics and managed stacks, and will highlight how to optimize startup and reaction time.


Development and Debugging Tools for Building XNA Games for Windows Phone
Cullen Waters
Wednesday, March 17th
9:00 a.m.

This session covers tools available to the developer for building XNA games including debugging, emulation, and performance. Special emphasis is placed on best practices for managed code performance and .NET profiling tools you can use to optimize your games for Windows Phone.
Distributing and Monetizing Windows Phone Applications and Games
John Bruno and Todd Biggs
Wednesday, March 17th
10:30 a.m.

Windows Phone Marketplace will revolutionize distribution of Windows Phone applications, games, and content, and is designed to solve the two largest problems of the Windows Phone consumer-focused developer community: distribution and monetization. This session will provide application developers with the insights, tools, and processes necessary to begin distributing and monetizing their applications on the Windows Phone platform.

Building Windows Phone Games
Michael Klucher
Wednesday, March 17th
12:00 p.m.

With the release of Windows Phone, game developers will be able to create amazing content rapidly through the power of Silverlight and the XNA framework. This talk will outline the basic application model of Windows Phone, enumerate Windows Phone core device characteristics, and walk through highlights of Silverlight and XNA Frameworks on the phone.

Building a High Performance 3D Game for Windows Phone
Shawn Hargreaves and Tomas Vykruta
Wednesday, March 17th
1:30 p.m.

This session will detail how to use XNA to develop 3D games for Windows Phone, with a special eye towards the special characteristics of Windows Phone application platform. Special attention will be placed on optimizing high-performance managed code games for the platform, to help you squeeze out every last drop of performance.

Joey’s note: Shawn’s a developer on the XNA team and a character-at-large in the XNA Creators Club forums. Tomas is a Senior Software Development Engineer with Microsoft’s Advanced technology Group and a Senior Xbox Engineer.

Designing and Developing for the Rich Mobile Web
Joe Marini
Wednesday, March 17th
3:00 p.m.

The Mobile Web has been a long time in coming, and now that it’s here, it’s a force that you and your business can’t afford to ignore. What has made all of this possible is the combination of ever-more-powerful devices, fast network connections, and highly capable mobile browsers. In this session, you will learn how to build sites that work well and look great on Windows Phone and across mobile devices. We’ll cover the core mobile Web scenarios, preparing content for mobile, and tips and techniques for debugging and testing your sites.

Joey’s note: I would argue that the mobile web has been around for a couple of years now, but it’s nice to see it done properly on a Microsoft platform at long last.


This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.