Chris Alexander

On Engineering

Notes from The Guathon

29th March, 2010

Last Friday you may have noticed I took a day out and went to Birmingham for an event called “The Guathon”. Part of a 2-day series of presentations by Microsoft VP for the Developer Division, the event was an all-day series of presentations by Scott (hence “Guathon”) covering a wide range of topics, from new features of Visual Studio 2010, .NET4, ASP .NET MVC 2, Silverlight 4 and Windows Phone 7 Series.

I took literally pages of notes while Scott was speaking, and I want to write a lot of them up into posts that hopefully people who weren’t at the event will find useful. But there are a few titbits of information I’d like to share now, mostly surrounding Silverlight 4 and Windows Phone 7 Series.

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Scott did an on-stage demo of building a Silverlight 4 application for Windows Phone - which was pretty cool in itself. There is a built-in template in Visual Studio 2010 which will allow you to get started really easily with the app.

The great thing about the template is that there is a lot of support for nifty features out of the box - not only does the template look like a native app, but it already supports the rotation of the screen based on the orientation of the phone, and a couple of other cool bits and pieces.

Scott also mentioned that the phone will be targeted for “holiday season 2010″ - and went on to clarify that it would be available “several months” before Christmas as that is the holiday season in the mobile market - so look out in September and October for first availability of the devices. He also hinted that the release schedules in the US and the UK were pretty much the same, so no more waiting for it to arrive this side of the pond!

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One other interesting question was asked - what about Silverlight for iPhone? Scott highlighted that they can now run Silverlight smooth streaming through to the iPhone via the browser, making use of the HTML 5 video tag - pretty cool. He also said he had “nothing to talk about today” regarding getting the whole experience on the device. Time will tell.