A few weeks ago I published a Windows Phone 7 related interview with Charlie Kindel, Partner Group Program Manager for the Windows Phone Application Platform & Developer Experience @ DevDays 2010, Netherlands on the MobilityMinded website.
DevDays 2010 is a large two-day event for developers on the Microsoft platform(s), and in this article I will share some information about the Windows Phone 7 related sessions.
Interview with Charlie Kindel, discussing Windows Phone 7 @ DevDays 2010
I was both fortunate and honored to have a 30 minute one-on-one interview with Charlie Kindel, Partner Group Program Manager for the Windows Phone Application Platform & Developer Experience, discussing various aspects of Windows Phone 7 (development).
It was an unforgettable and awesome experience, not only to interview someone who is completely responsible for the developer side of the Windows Phone 7 ecosystem, but also to feel and experience the persistence, commitment and determination of Charlie Kindel to make Windows Phone 7 a huge success.
As you can read in the interview I was fortunate to learn from Charlie Kindel about the underlying concepts and building-blocks of the upcoming Windows Phone 7 operating system. Some specific usage- scenario’s were still under research- or development (updates, copy-paste), which combined with the excellent media training of Charlie Kindel, left me with some open questionmarks.
However the close “private” demo got me really excited, especially Metro and the idea’s of content aggregation from different services or different locations on the phone. Also the productivity and efficiency improvements, like support for multiple Exchange accounts was great to see. Finally during one of the MIX 2010 keynotes I was simply blown away by the Xbox Live Game called The Harvest!
Charlie Kindel was one of the keynote speakers during the second day of DevDays 2010 as well, and I would like to recommend the recording of the session “Windows Phone 7 Application Platform”, which is available via Channel 9:
“Get a high-level overview of the new application platform and a complete picture of the developer story. Learn about the developer tools, the application frameworks, the support for Silverlight, and the support for XNA.”
Windows Phone 7 Development – Rob Miles
“Rob Miles is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and a lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Hull, United Kingdom.”
Rob Miles is shown in his full glory in the picture above, while the description comes straight from his own website robmiles.com – Rob Miles on the web. And why not? Rob Miles is an experienced lecturer, with an awesome style of teaching, that is relaxed and funny. However he keeps you focused and has a great and deep understanding about developing in Silverlight and XNA.
You can find the complete video of the Windows Phone 7 Development session with Rob Miles on Channel 9, which again I can highly recommend. Matthijs Hoekstra, Developer Evangelist @ Microsoft Netherlands , who I meet at the DevDays 2010 as well, announced this session on Channel 9 as:
“Watch this show with the very funny Rob Miles. He talks about the new Windows Phone 7 tools, shows how you can emulate your accelerometers for your WP7 with an XBox 360 controller and much more.”
I will briefly discuss some of the demo’s that Rob Miles discusses and uses to explain the development concepts for Windows Phone 7.
PatternMatch Silverlight Game
The picture above shows the Silverlight based PatternMatch game, with a great summary at the bottom of the slide: “Silverlight makes “form based” games really easy to create.”
Rob Miles first shows us the code and its simple structure for the PatternMatch Game, and illustrates the Game works like it is intended. In the second part of the demo is the PatternMatch used to illustrate the navigation on a Windows Phone 7 device (including the start menu- and the back buttons, defined by the hardware specs).
Rob Miles finally briefly discusses the advantages and differences of Silverlight in comparison with the XNA design language.
StarLight XNA Game using XNA Accelerometer Emulation
Rob Miles grabs his Zune HD for this demonstration and elaborates a little on the background of why he wrote the StarLight game. In the Microsoft MSDN Library you can find even more extensive information in the article: StarLight: Writing a Space-Shooter Game for Smartphones.
“This article describes how to generate moving star fields, animated sprites, and scripted movements for game objects. A space shooter game illustrates how to develop these features for Smartphones.”
StarLight is ported to the Zune HD by Rob Miles to illustrate how to develop these concepts in XNA and even make use of the accelerometer if you like. However the educational purpose of this game is brilliant, and despite it was Rob’s joke I really do hope we can push him to bring the StarLight game to Windows Marketplace for Mobile or the Zune Marketplace. 🙂
Windows XNA “Game” Serving Gamepad accelerometer
An Xbox 360 controller is used in this demo, where Rob Miles shows of a Windows Phone XNA game that reads the position of the controller in X, Y, Z coordinates.
“Windows Phone programs can consume web services and read web pages. I connect the Windows Phone program to an XNA program that serves out X, Y and Z values read from the Gamepad.”
Despite I don’t have a formal background in computer science, you can think of some cool scenario’s or even business models that build upon the concept to read web-pages and web services.
WP7 Phone XNA Multi-touch Piano
The last demo that I would like to discuss is a multi-touch piano, build in the XNA design language and running on a Zune HD. In other words you could play the piano on the go on your Zune HD, however the educational reasoning is to learn embedding multi-touch into your Windows Phone 7 application.
You can find all the demo code samples on the website of Rob Miles in the article: “Devdays 2010 Windows Phone Game Development Talk“
Making the Social Connection – Tony Krijnen, Daniel van Soest & Charlie Kindel
The video above was the introduction of the “making the social connection keynote”, with the music of Fatboy Slim – Right here right now song sounded impressive in the auditorium of the World Forum in the Hague.
I have seen Tony Krijnen and Daniel van Soest before when they provided a similar interesting technical session during TechNet_Live Netherlands, when I attended the new efficiency keynote with Steve Ballmer. Below you can see a brief overview of the mind-blowing demo’s of Tony and Daniel:
- Facbook on XBox 360 in addition to Facebook in Browser and Facebook for Windows Phone;
- Microsoft Outlook Social Connector in Microsoft Office 2010, that brings social networks like LinkedIn or Myspace into your Microsoft Outlook 2010 / 2007 environment;
- Building a game level for Xbox 360 in a plug-and-play way, without seeing a single line of code;
- Windows Phone 7 overview, and demo-time with Charlie Kindel;
Jeff Wouters, Certified Microsoft Professional, has written an excellent story on his personal blog about the “making the social connection” keynote. So please check it out, and it was awesome to watch this session. Tony and Daniel keep up the good work, and I love the Windows Phone part ! 🙂
Miles, R., 2010, Slides Giving Robots Life with the .NET Micro Framework, DevDays 2010, p.18
Giving Robots Life with the .NET Micro Framework – Rob Miles
Rob Miles introduced himself and Oscar briefly on his personal blog, and you certainly need to watch the video on Tweakers.net as well:
“This time I’m taking my little robot Oscar and a bag full of sensors and bits and pieces. We are going to create some embedded devices on the fly and have some good old .NET Micro Framework fun and games.”
Rob Miles first shares his knowledge and experience to answer the questions “What is the .NET Micro Framework?” and “What can you do with the .NET Micro Framework?”. Both the software- and the hardware parts of these questions are addressed.
In summary: The .NET Micro Framework is designed for embedded applications (build in C#), that gives you the ability to control a wide variety of hardware from simple embedded controllers to connected data terminals.
The grand finale – Oscar, the Mini Robot rocks the stage !
The grand finale of this session is controlling a robot with the .NET Microframework based on the system architecture shown in the screenshot above. The Windows Phone 7 device interacts with the Robot Control Webserver, which communicates with the wireless modem in Oscar, the Mini Robot.
Please have a look at the Flickr Photostream, where you can see the hardware setup and the grand finale where Oscar bows to the public @ DevDays ! This was really an awesome session, and reminded me of the good old times when I played around with Lego Technic (which probably has been one of the first identifiers for my mechanical engineering education). 🙂
Overall conclusion and wrap-up
My compliments to Microsoft Netherlands for the excellent organization of such a large-scale event like DevDays, which was comparable with the Microsoft TechNet_Live event for IT Professionals and Technical Decision Makers. I think it is a great opportunity to learn, broad your horizon and expand your value network by getting in touch with colleague developers.
Second I learned a lot from the sessions about the development side of Windows Phone 7, despite I don’t have a formal background in computer science. I was possible to get a deeper understanding of the possibilities of the Windows Phone 7 platform in a kind of high-level conceptual way. Please don’t ask me to write code, but I could grasp some of the underlying logic. Thank you Rob Miles for the brilliant way of lecturing !
If you ever plan to visit DevDays or TechNet_Live you definitely need to visit the keynote with Tony Krijnen en Daniel van Soest. They really bring excellent live demo’s and show you some very cool real scenario’s for a wide range of Microsoft products (from Xbox 360 to Windows Server 2008 R2) with a lot of passion and energy. The “guest-appearance” of Charlie Kindel and an extensive Windows Phone 7 demo made it even more special.
It was very special to meet a lot of awesome, highly interesting people, and I had some excellent conversations with the people from Microsoft Netherlands on topics like Innovation and (corporate) Entrepreneurship !!Finally the interview with Charlie Kindel, Partner Group Program Manager for the Windows Phone Application Platform & Developer Experience, was an unforgettable experience. A great many thanks for the time and awesome demo !
I love Windows Phone !
About Microsoft DevDays 2010
DevDays 2010 is the largest Microsoft event in the Netherlands for software development and software architecture. Thousands of professionals yearly visit DevDays in order to get fully up-to speed about recent developments in their professional fields in two (Dev)days.
With lots of interesting keynotes, sessions and high quality speakers from all over the world this is definitely an event you need to attend if you are interested in developing on Microsoft platforms.