This was an editorial for the Australian MSDN newsletter that got bumped for various reasons so I’m posting it here for your edutainment.


By now you’ve no doubt heard that both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 have been released to consumers and I’m sure many of you are looking forward to getting your hands on the exciting new Windows 8 tablets and ultrabooks or checking out the awesome new Windows Phone 8 handsets. When you do, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

You may also have seen that attendees at //BUILD were given a Microsoft Surface RT and a Nokia Lumia 920 to build applications for. Having used both devices extensively for the past few days you can colour me impressed! These are wonderful pieces of kit! I’ve also spent time with some of the other offerings from Microsoft’s hardware partners and these devices have some serious competition.  Check out Steve Ballmer’s keynote to see some of these other devices in action.

I’m also confident that the prophets of doom in the press predicting the end of the world as we know it will be proven wrong in time. I say this because I visited one of Microsoft’s retail stores in Bellevue a number of times this week to watch how “average consumers” interacted with the new Windows offerings. The store crowded every time I visited, which was great, though my confidence comes from seeing people pick up devices with some initial trepidation, play with them for a few minutes before cracking into a grin as they got how Windows 8 worked and then handing over their cash and walking out of the store with newly purchased devices!

What this means is that the consumer demand is here, now and it’s huge! The question you need to ask yourself now is “what apps can I build to meet that demand?”. You already have the development skills you need; just learn the specifics of building Windows Store and/or Windows Phone apps and you’re all set to go.  Nothing is stopping you.

Oh, that isn’t all that has happened this week either. There have been a slew of announcements from the ‘other’ Windows (Azure). Windows Azure web sites now support .NET 4.5, there are updates to Windows Azure Mobile Services, the Azure hosted Team Foundation Service has RTM’ed and it was announced that Halo 4 will be using Azure to scale out and meet the demands of the millions of gamers all wanting to frag each other.

This week the Windows ecosystem has taken an evolutionary leap forward and the future is bright so if you haven’t already done so, go and check out the session recordings at Channel 9 and then get started building great apps for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 today.

Finally, if you want learn about building modern apps using Visual Studio 2012 tooling then you should definitely check out the Microsoft and Readify Modern Apps, Modern Processes road show happening this month.

Happy coding!