The Midweek Download: Oct. 26th Edition–Shining a Light on Windows Phone Apps, plus Windows 8, IE10 and a Microsoft “Wizard”

In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got developer stories from Windows Phone, Building Windows 8 and Internet Explorer, plus a great profile on Microsoft “wizard” Steven Bathiche on the Next at Microsoft Blog.

Shining a light on your Windows Phone apps. Developers often ask us, “How can Microsoft help me promote my app?” Beyond looking at the best practices we published, we’ve heard you, and as a result have launched a program called “Your App Here”. The goal is to highlight great applications and give them a chance to shine. The program is available to developers in the United States. Read this Oct. 20th post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog for an overview on the new program. Below is a screenshot of the “Your App Here” program:

Windows Phone App Promo

Mobile devs: The Windows Phone team is looking for a few big ideas. The Windows Phone Marketplace continues to grow each and every day. Over the past few months, we’ve seen some great, innovative apps created by students. We know students have big ideas, and that contests can give them an extra push to take action. We recently kicked off something we’re calling “Idea of the Week.” We will select one winner each week, and give them a $50 USD gift certificate for Amazon.com (or one of its local sites like Amazon.co.uk). To find out more, read this Oct. 21st post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog.

More from Building Windows 8. Want to know more about what’s behind the development of Windows 8? Check out two new posts on Building Windows 8 – “Designing search for the Start screen” and “Optimizing for both landscape and portrait”.

Where wizards stay up late at Microsoft. Late last week, Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton wrote this profile of Steven Bathiche, who works in Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group. For those who don’t know, the Applied Sciences Group started back in 1999, and is responsible for technologies such as Surface 2.0. As Clayton reports, the group is “a big part of the Natural User Interface revolution that is underway.” Don’t miss it.

Connect your website to your Windows 8 app. Windows 8 Metro style apps let developers take their websites’ experiences to the next level. With Metro style apps, developers can build experiences that are more immersive, beautiful and better connected with other apps and the rest of Windows. Apps can utilize the Windows Runtime to deliver features beyond what’s possible in a browser alone such as seamless access to local files and folders, integrating with Windows 8 Charms for sharing and search, and interacting with locally-connected devices. The Windows Store will deliver a great end-user experience to browse, find, and get apps users care about. This Oct. 20th post on the IEBlog describes the features of Metro style Internet Explorer in Windows 8 that connect websites to apps. It also describes the mechanisms Web developers use to create that connection.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM delivers social productivity to customers. Microsoft announced on Tuesday the availability of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM November 2011 service update for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, as well as for on-premises and partner-hosted deployments. Delivering on its commitment to make sales, service and marketing professionals more productive, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM November 2011 service update brings customers new integrated social collaboration capabilities, as well as a unified Microsoft Office 365 experience and enhancements for enterprises using Microsoft Dynamics CRM in the cloud. For more on this story, read this press release on the Microsoft News Center.

The Internet of Things gives way to intelligent systems. Microsoft’s vision of intelligent systems is derived from the fact that most embedded devices are now connected to the Internet, or have the capability to do so. And to get the most business value, the company says that an intelligent system must contain the following attributes: identity, security, connectivity, manageability, analytics and user experience. Want to know more? Read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center for the rest of the story.

That’s it for this edition of The Midweek Download! Thanks for checking in!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog