The Midweek Download: Oct. 5th Edition–A Look at the Start Screen in Windows 8, plus Windows Phone 7.5 Developer News, Internet Explorer 10 and Windows Azure

In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got new stories from Building Windows 8, a few news bytes for Windows Phone developers, plus more on BUILD, Internet Explorer 10 and Windows Azure.

The Start screen in Windows 8. Earlier this week, the Windows team kicked of a series of posts on Building Windows 8 focused on the evolution, design and reimagining of the Start screen. Check out this Monday post and this Tuesday post on Building Windows 8 to get the whole story. Below is a screenshot of the Metro-style Start screen in Windows 8:

Windows 8 Start Screen

Developers get more with Windows Phone 7.5. Windows Phone 7.5 started rolling out on Sept. 27th, spurring a rash of related news for Windows Phone developers. Read this Sept. 27th post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog that lays out in detail a laundry list of new opportunities for developers on the new mobile platform. Just one day later, the phone team announced the availability of the Windows Phone SDK 7.1, which consists of seven additional release languages, final finishing touches to the tooling experience, a handful of bug fixes and additional upgrade logic to provide a better installation process for users coming from earlier tools. Finally, there’s this Sept. 29th blog post on how the Windows Phone team is taking a tougher stance on bulk app publishing in the Marketplace.

More BUILD reflections: The touch language of Windows 8. Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton continued to profile sessions from BUILD that struck his fancy this past week. It should come as no surprise to anyone who reads the Next at Microsoft Blog that Clayton, who covers natural user interfaces a great deal, focused this Tuesday blog post on a BUILD session entitled “Designing Metro style apps that are touch optimized.” Check it out.

Speaking of BUILD… All Windows Azure sessions from the BUILD Conference are now available for on-demand replay. Read this Sept. 30th post on the Windows Azure Team Blog for a list of sessions, including the Day 2 keynote with Server & Tools Business President Satya Nadella.

Text shadowing in IE10. IE10 in the Windows Developer Preview introduces support for hardware-accelerated CSS3 text-shadow. Text-shadow is one of the top requested features from Web developers. It enables text effects that were previously difficult or impossible to accomplish in a standards-friendly way without resorting to inline images of text. Read this Sept. 29th post on the IEBlog to learn more. Also, the IEBlog team published this reminder for developers that SVG Open 2011, the 9th International Conference on Scalable Vector Graphics, is just over two weeks away. SVG is the declarative vector graphics format for Windows 8 Metro style apps built using HTML. Below is a screenshot of the Windows Developer Preview of IE10, which debuted at BUILD:

IE10

That’s a wrap for this edition of The Midweek Download! Thanks for reading!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog