Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WinPhone Webinar Series in February

windows-phone-7-logo-phone Interested in improving your skills (or getting started with) with Windows Phone 7? Then the Telerik WinPhone Webinar Series is where you want to be during the month of February. All month we will be offering special WinPhone focused webinars that help get you familiar with the WP7 platform and Telerik's newest tools designed especially for the new mobile operating system.

To help deliver a well-rounded, world-class set of webinars, we've invited two Windows Phone industry experts to host two of the events: WinPhone trainer extraordinaire Shawn Wildermuth and WinPhone fanatic Mark Arteaga. They will join Telerik Developer Evangelist and XAML preacher Evan Hutnick to host three info-packed, free, online events:

  1. Using RadControls to Build Windows Phone 7 Applications
    A primer on Telerik's new tools for WP7
    REGISTER: FEB 10th with Evan
  2. Developing for the Third Screen - Windows Phone 7
    A primer on Windows Phone 7 in case you're just getting started with the platform
    REGISTER: FEB 16th with Mark
  3. Consuming OData in Windows Phone 7
    A "next level" talk about working with data in WP7 apps
    REGISTER: FEB 23 with Shawn

All events start at 10 AM Eastern (here's a convenient time zone converter) and all will be recorded so you can re-watch them on Telerik TV. Register today so you don't miss-out on our month of Windows Phone webinars!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vote for my MIX11 session

300x250_Mix11_011011_US_b One of my favorite Microsoft conferences takes place every spring in Las Vegas, and this year I may have an opportunity to speak at MIX11. If you've never been to MIX and you are a web developer (particularly, a "Microsoft web developer"), then you're missing-out on a great conference experience. Personally, if I had to choose between Microsoft-run events, I'd pick MIX over TechEd and PDC almost every time. It's not as big as some events, but it's high-energy, focused, and a great place to talk about all things web and design.

This year, I have the distinct honor of getting a session in to the MIX11 Open Call. As MIX goes, this is your chance as attendees (both physical and online, alike) to vote for the sessions you want to see at this year's event. So, if you're interested (or even if you're not), I'd love to have your vote for my session:

Doing More with LESS for CSS

It's a cool CSS3 talk with lots of practical tips for managing the ballooning CSS rules modern browsers offer. Picked or not, I appreciate your support and can't wait to see some of you in Vegas this April!

[By the way, voting ends February 4th, so cast those votes today!]

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Two New Microsoft MVPs at Team Telerik

MVP_FullColor_ForScreenI don't often get to brag about the accomplishments and hard work of the outstanding members on the Telerik Evangelism Team, but with the recent round of Microsoft MVP selections and renewals (thanks, by the way, Microsoft!), I thought I'd take a minute to recognize two people.

First, I'm proud to announce and introduce the newest Telerik Evangelist, Chris Eargle. Chris joins the Telerik Team as a well respected and prolific speaker in the .NET community, and an active holder of a Microsoft MVP award. Many of you probably already know Chris, but if you don't, be sure to say hi when you see him at your local DNUGs and check him out on his blog, KodeFuGuru, and on twitter, @kodefuguru.

Next, I'm also excited to announce that our very own XAML Evangelist, Evan Hutnick, has just been awarded a Silverlight Microsoft MVP. Congratulations to Evan on working tirelessly in 2010 to serve the XAML community (in addition to the Telerik community!). You can pat Evan on the back on his twitter, @evanhutnick.

Telerik has one of the most generous and hard working teams in the industry, and I'm happy their efforts are recognized by all. With more than 5 Microsoft MVPs and several Microsoft RDs on staff, Telerik stays well connected so that we can deliver the best possible products to you, our customers. If you ever need support for your community events, or have questions for our Microsoft experts and MVPs, don't hesitate to reach out. We're here for you and we have the awards to prove it!

Monday, January 03, 2011

5 Tech Predictions for 2011

Happy New Year! It's January 3rd, the first working day of 2011 for most of us, and a time of year when we can count on weight loss commercials to run like political ads on TV, and the Internet to collectively "predict" the major trends for the upcoming year.

I don't usually blog "predictions," though I do regularly make them. In reality, posts like this are little more than "permalinks" for debates that can be pulled-out to "prove" your infallible foresight in the world of tech when you make an even marginally accurate prediction. And much like industry analysts and their expert opinions, there are few consequences for guessing wrong. So, why not.

I will focus my predictions on developer related technologies and trends, especially in the Microsoft space. That is, after all, the audience for this blog, and hopefully an area I can lend the most perspective to help guide you towards the hot topics of 2011.


  1. Standards-based web development will resurge on the back of HTML5
    I don't have to be much of a prognosticator to make this prediction, but there are definitely people I respect that would disagree. If you look at the wave of HTML5 browsers that will finally ship official versions in 2011 (specifically, IE9 and FF4, joining Chrome 9+ and Safari 5+), there were be a large, uniform foot print for HTML5 (and its related technologies, like CSS3) to blossom. Even the expanding usage of mobile internet will drive HTML5, as it provides the one and only "available everywhere" rich platform.
    I'm not predicting the death of plug-ins, but I do think they will take their battle to the desktop and leave the web to browser-driven standards.

  2. Silverlight will be rebranded as the defacto Windows APPlication platform
    To be clear, I don't think Microsoft will overtly rebrand Silverlight, but with the release of Silverlight 5, Windows 8 beta, updates to Windows Phone, and rumored Silverlight on XBOX in 2011, Microsoft will stop fighting to "light-up the web" with Silverlight and instead focus on its benefits as a rich, universal "app" platform for Microsoft environments. Along with this, WPF will get pushed even further to the back of the bus, remaining relevant for specific types of development, but not part of the "mainstream" conversation. Microsoft will push Silverlight as "the app platform" to help reduce the WPF/Silverlight confusion that has lingered for the last couple of years and simultaneously spur developer interest in creating apps for Phone and XBOX.

  3. Windows Phone will be 4th place by the end of 2011
    Windows Phone will be 4th by measure of market share by the end of 2011, driven largely by Enterprises interested in the familiar app development model and willing to give-up Blackberry for keyboard- and Outlook-equipped WP devices. We've already seen companies like Dell push in this direction (granted, they have a commercial motivation), and many others are reportedly re-evaluating their dependency on Blackberry.
    The powerful weapon Microsoft brings to this fight, one that Android lacks, is a mature, well-entrenched Enterprise sales team. Microsoft knows how to sell to Enterprise, so assuming the Phone can catch-up with critical features, they'll win many head-to-head battles with Google's alternative.
    And since I've opened the door with rankings, Android will be first, iOS will be second, RIM will be third (with a declining share), Microsoft will be fourth (with a rising share).

  4. The search for a "universal mobile app platform" will be a raging debate by mid-2011
    With Windows Phone, Android (and its fracturing), iOS, Palm OS, Nokia's MeeGo, Blackberry's upcoming QNX OS, and a handful of other "device" operating environments proliferating in 2011, developers and companies are going to finally start questioning the logic in creating custom versions of "apps" for every device. Think about it. It's worse than the "desktop wars" of nearly 20 years ago that originally spawned Java and ultimately gave rise to web applications. Three competing approaches to solve this problem will emerge in 2011: 1) Tooling will attempt to abstract the platforms for developers, producing native variants of a single app for multiple platforms, 2) Frameworks, like MonoTouch, will attempt to create an abstracted runtime layer that can be deployed to multiple platforms, and 3) a push for a return the rich web browser for many app types will move some app development back to HTML5 that works on all platforms. I think options one and three hold the most short-term promise, but more on that later this year.

  5. Mobile web development will be a must for all websites by the end of 2011
    Creating optimized versions of websites for mobile browsers today is already common for major websites, but by the end of 2011, it will be common practice for all websites. Aided by a better understanding and usage of CSS media queries, and driven by an unignorable volume of mobile traffic, web developers will be forced to provide some level of targeting for mobile devices for all websites they maintain.

Ultimately, I think it will be a good year for HTML5 and Silverlight in the developer space, and that mobile (whether that's tablet, phone, or something in-between) will be a big part of the conversation. What do you think? What's coming in 2011 in the developer space that I've overlooked? Speak now and claim your "told you so" link for 2012.

Also, check-out some 2011 predictions from my esteemed colleagues, Stephen Forte and Joel Semeniuk.