The Midweek Download: April 4th Edition–Adding Dazzle to Live Augmented Reality with Kinect, SQL Server 2012 is Released, plus Windows 8, Windows Phone & a Silicon Valley News Roundup

In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on SQL Server 2012’s general availability, touch hardware and Windows 8, Windows Phone and the latest news from the Silicon Valley. Check ‘em out.

Live augmented reality with Kinect. Technology, Entertainment, Design released this video earlier this week and it’s circulating widely on the Web now. It shows Marco Tempest employing a Kinect sensor to deliver a live augmented reality presentation and it’s pretty dazzling stuff. It’s not immediately clear from the video what is going on but some photos from the TED blog help to explain – Marco is presenting on the TED stage and the AR tricks are projected on a screen behind him. Check out this Monday post on Next at Microsoft for the full story.

SQL Server 2012 now available. Microsoft announced on Monday the general availability (GA) of SQL Server 2012 for purchase and download. SQL Server 2012 has already been deployed for production use by hundreds of global, industry-leading customers, such as Volvo Car Corp., Revlon, the HSN, Klout and LG Chemical. SQL Server 2012 delivers a powerful new set of capabilities for mission-critical workloads, business intelligence and hybrid IT across traditional datacenters and public and private clouds. Read this Monday post on the SQL Server Team Blog for the rest of the story.

Touch hardware and Windows 8. The Windows team has continued to work in lock step with external hardware partners to fully embrace the experience we want for Windows 8. New Windows 8 PCs are coming, and while that is not a topic for this post, we at Microsoft are excited with what our hardware partners have in store for you. It’s worth reinforcing that Windows 8 will run on the hardware available today, and we are committed to making sure that happens. So you should feel confidence in installing the Consumer Preview on the machines that you own today. However, as much as we value compatibility, we also have to balance this with making Windows 8 really shine on new Windows 8 PCs. We’d like to provide you with some perspective on our efforts and how we will achieve this. Read this March 28 post on Building Windows 8 for more detail.

Windows Phone developers: optimize startup time. Fast startup is an essential component of any mobile application. It is the first impression a user has of your app and is the first chance you have to either impress or frustrate your users. If you’re wondering just how fast your startup time can get on Windows Phone, use the VS Project Templates as a starting point. Create a new project, deploy it to the device, and experience how quickly the app starts up. Read this Tuesday post on The Windows Phone Developer Blog for more detail. Also, don’t miss this Monday post on globalizing and localizing a Windows Phone app or this March 28 post on Marketplace opening in 13 new markets.

Silicon Valley Roundup: Microsoft hosts Churchill Club forum on startups. With easier access to funding, technology and mentorship, the barrier to launching a startup has never been lower. However, creating a successful company and breaking through the noise has grown infinitely harder. Last Wednesday, Microsoft hosted the Churchill Club, Silicon Valley’s premier business and technology forum, for a discussion about the current startup environment. Read this Tuesday post on The Official Microsoft Blog for the latest quarterly roundup of Silicon Valley news and check out video from the event below.

Windows Azure Community News Roundup. Don’t miss the latest edition of the Windows Azure Community News Roundup, which features articles, blog posts, events and user group meetings.

That’s it for this edition of The Midweek Download! Don’t forget to stop by again Friday for another edition of Weekend Reading.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog

Tags: , , , , , , , ,