The Midweek Download: March 23rd Edition – News for Windows Phone 7 Developers, a behind-the-scenes look at IE9 and Ben the PC Guy

Welcome back to the Midweek Download!

This week, we’ve got Ben the PC Guy, a few bits of news for Windows Phone developers and a few tidbits on LightSwitch and Convergence 2011, among others. Happy reading…

PC personalization on a whole new level. Want to personalize your laptop beyond desktop backgrounds and screensavers? Ben “the PC Guy” Randolph highlights the new line of Dell Inspiron R with SWITCH by Design Studio laptops on the Windows Experience Blog. “What’s really amazing is the new switchable lid option which gives the SWITCH lineup its name. Just pop off the lid whenever you feel like a change and swap it out with one of 25 eye-catching colors and designs,” Rudolph reports. Also, check out this new video of Rudolph giving his first impressions of the new Samsung 900x.

Meanwhile, down in the IE9 laboratory. The folks on the Internet Explorer team have been busy bees blogging their hearts away on topics such as how IE9 can play HTML5 video in both the industry-standard H.264 format and the newer WebM format, IE9 network performance improvements, ways to prepare a website for IE9 and new insight into the IE9 team’s design process that looks at a tab pinning improvement shipped in the IE9 Release Candidate.

A few examples of Windows Phone apps using panoramic control. In this March 15th post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, blogger Alfred Astort provides WP7 developers with a few examples of apps that use panoramas, or “a unique way to view content by using a long horizontal canvas that extends beyond the confines of the screen.” Some of those apps include Facebook, Twitter, Flixster and Fandango.

And in other Windows Phone developer news. Struggling with using bit.ly or logging on Windows Phone 7? Then you might want to learn about Phoney, a new open source project by Shawn Wildermuth that will be at Open Source Fest at MIX11 on April 11th. Check out the video below on the new Windows Phone 7 open source project, courtesy of Silverlight TV:

Springboard Series Tour returns in May. The Springboard Series Tour – a series of workshops that provide resources to IT professionals to help deploy, optimize and harness the full power and potential of Windows 7 and Office 2010 – will resume on May 2. Check out this video on the Springboard Series Blog for a quick preview.

Visual Studio LightSwitch Beta 2. In this March 18th post on the Silverlight Blog, it was announced that the Visual Studio LightSwitch Beta 2 is now available for download. LightSwitch provides developers with a simpler and faster way to create high-quality Silverlight business applications for the desktop and the cloud.

Convergence 2011. Convergence 2011, which runs from April 10 to April 13 in Atlanta, is the premier Microsoft Dynamics event where you can experience first-hand how you can optimize your business and improve your bottom line. At Convergence, the CRM Research and Development team will host a series of discussion groups and forward-looking research sessions at the Atlanta Convention Center. Read this March 16th post on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Blog for more information.

That’s it for this week’s edition of the Midweek Download. See you back here next Wednesday! Thanks for reading.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog