The Midweek Download: Sept. 26th Edition – Tips & Tricks for Windows 8 App and Windows Phone 8 App Developers

In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on tips and suggestions for developers creating Windows Phone apps and Windows 8 apps, how the Cincinnati Reds are using cutting edge technology to enhance the fan experience at the Great American Ballpark and more.

Windows Phone tips from MSDN Magazine. We have a team of talented programming writers here who are always eager to help you build Windows Phone apps faster and better. Besides the developer documentation work they do for the Windows Phone Dev Center, they also occasionally write about Windows Phone in other notable outlets, including MSDN Magazine. This Sept. 20 post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog has a great list of articles for developers.

Make your HTML/JavaScript app accessible. One of the hallmarks of a Windows 8 app is that accessibility is built into the platform. You can use accessibility features to widen the reach of your app with very little effort. We have received positive feedback on this approach from both developers and users and have refined the platform. In this Sept. 19 post on the Windows 8 App Developer Blog, we walk you through how to think about accessibility in your HTML and JavaScript apps during the design phase, show how to implement and test accessibility for some of the common UI patterns, provide some best practices we used when creating custom UI controls, and discuss the opportunity you have in reaching the full spectrum of Windows users by addressing accessibility.

New Exchange addresses changing landscape of security. Monday marked the kick-off of Microsoft Exchange Conference 2012 (MEC), the first time in 10 years that Microsoft has held the event. To take a look at how the communications landscape has evolved in the last decade, Microsoft worked with Harris Interactive to conduct a study of 450 IT pros. This infographic provides a look into some of the most interesting results from the survey. Among them, IT pros report the need for better compliance and security as their companies expand, the variety of devices used in the workplace grows, and security attacks become more sophisticated.

From the ExploringIE Blog. Yesterday Google released its latest micro-benchmark, RoboHornet, in which Internet Explorer 10 scores rather well. While we appreciate the gesture, members of our engineering team took a look at the benchmark and found that RoboHornet isn’t all that representative of the performance users might encounter on real-world sites. Like all micro-benchmarks, RoboHornet is a lab test that only focuses on specific aspects of browser performance. We decided to take the RoboHornet micro-benchmark and run it in the context of a real-world scenario. Head on over to the ExploringIE Blog for the rest of the story.

Cincinnati Reds keep their IT on the ball. A day at the ballpark generally involves hot dogs, beer, the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd. Probably the last thing on anyone’s mind is software and IT systems. That is, anyone except Brian Keys. Keys is vice president of technology systems for the oldest team in Major League Baseball (MLB), the Cincinnati Reds. He says fans by and large don’t realize the role technology plays all around them when they attend a game, and that’s probably the way it should be. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center to get the rest of this story.

Ten ways to be more efficient in the new Visio. The new Visio has a variety of improvements designed to make your diagramming experience easier and more fluid. The Visio Blog has a list of 10 new ways you can be more efficient in the new Visio. Give them a try the next time you create a diagram and see how much time you save.

From the IEBlog: Evolving input events for multiple devices. On Monday, the W3C accepted and published Microsoft’s member submission describing a new way for websites to support multiple pointing devices such as mouse, pen and multi-touch. Our proposal for a new Pointer Events Web standard is based on the APIs available today in IE10 on Windows 8. You can read more about it over on the IEBlog.

Open sourcing POSH-NPM. Two weeks ago we released a .NET library for NPM. On Monday, we released a small utility that will make easier for Windows developers to use NPM in Powershell. Posh-npm is a set of Powershell scripts that enable tab completion on the Powershell console for all NPM commands. For instance by typing npm ins<tab> in Powershell will complete the command by listing all available commands that starts with ins. More information is available over on the Interoperability @ Microsoft Blog.

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

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog