The Midweek Download: Oct 24th Edition – Custom Tiles and Internet Explorer 10 on Windows Phone 8

In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on Windows Phone 8 marketing tools for website and app developers, determining your organization’s Windows 8 adoption path, and taking monsters from scary to terrifying using Kinect for Windows.

Creating a custom Tile to link to your website. This Oct. 18 Windows Phone Developer Blog post guides you through the process of creating a custom pinned Tile that links to your website. This helps you control your brand when users pin your site to their Windows Phone Start screen. This works on phones running Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8. Check it out and start creating your custom Tile in five easy steps. And while you’re at it, grab the refreshed Windows Phone Store badge (see below) to help market your Windows Phone app and help customers find it.

Getting websites ready for Internet Explorer 10 on Windows Phone 8. As we announced in June, Windows Phone 8 will ship with Internet Explorer 10 – the same advanced Web browsing engine that powers Windows 8. We’ll have much more to say about Internet Explorer 10 soon. This Oct. 17 Windows Phone Developer Blog post provides guidance to help developers start getting their sites ready for Internet Explorer 10.

Identifying your unique Windows 8 adoption path. Over the past year, the Windows commercial team has met with hundreds of business customers to discuss their Windows 8 plans. From large to small businesses, customers are telling us that they are planning to adopt Windows 8 for many scenarios that will give them significant benefits. For example, most customers are eager to deploy devices that provide employees the convenience of a tablet with the productivity of a PC, while many are developing apps to help improve specific business processes. This post on the Windows for your Business Blog outlines considerations that will help you determine the best Windows deployment path for your organization. Take a look.

Monsters come to life with Kinect for Windows. It all started with a couple of kids and a remarkable idea, which eventually spawned two terrifying demon dogs and their master. Read about the concept that’s transforming the haunt industry and could eventually change how theme parks and other entertainment businesses approach animated mechanical electronics (animatronics). See its debut in this episode of the Travel Channel’s Making Monsters that aired on Sunday and read the behind-the-scenes story in the Kinect for Windows blog. Below, Todd Van Nurden prepares to install the Kinect for Windows sensor in the demon’s belt.

Zeta: scheduling interactive services with partial execution. Sharing a resource, such as a computer processor or disk drive, requires the system to make decisions about which user’s task gets to use the resource and for how long. When one person’s task is running, another’s may be idling in a queue, awaiting its turn on a processor. The process of making these resource-allocation decisions is known as scheduling, and it has long been one of the most important aspects of system design, as a poor scheduler not only wastes resources but also can ruin a user’s experience. The Inside Microsoft Research blog gives a summary of this Microsoft Research paper that focuses on an important type of cloud service: time-bounded interactive services.

Interoperability elements of a cloud platform: technical examples. Two years ago, we shared our view on Interoperability Elements of a Cloud Platform. Back then, we talked to customers and developers and came out with an overview of an open and interoperable cloud, based on four distinct elements: Data Portability, Standards, Ease of Migration and Deployment, and Developer Choice. Since then, we have been laser focused on the quest for an interoperable and flexible cloud platform that would enable heterogeneous workloads. To see how far we’ve come, head over to the interoperability@microsoft blog.

Professional, flexible & beautiful UML content. In the new Visio, we have re-envisioned our Unified Modeling Language (UML) templates in a fresh, modern way. In an earlier post, we talked about our whole new approach to the UML templates. We updated our five most popular UML diagrams with all new shapes to make it easier and faster to create beautiful, professional diagrams. Our new UML templates allow you to create class, sequence, state machine, activity and use case diagrams that match the UML 2.4 standard. Head over to the Visio Blog for an intro to the new UML diagrams and tips on how to use them.

Top 5 reasons developers will love the new Word. Developers have long been able to leverage Word’s programmability model to extend the functionality of Word and deliver amazing results. On Oct. 17, the Word Blog team highlighted five new features that make the new Word better than ever for developers.

In case you missed these earlier this week, two great videos… Bill Gates on Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Surface and Xbox introduces a new entertainment experience.

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

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog