Connect(); 2016 – Announcement Recap

Azure, Conferences, Events, General News, TFS 2017, Visual Studio 2017, Visual Studio Team Services, VSTS, Xamarin
The second day of Connect(); 2016 wrapped up today. While there is one more day left, it is dedicated to on-line training. This means that pretty much all the planned announcements have been, well, announced ;-)If you’ve been watching Connect(); over the past couple of days you have likely come to the realization that, wow!, there was a lot of stuff demoed and talked about and a TON of announcements! To help you sort through some of the announcements, I’ve attempted to capture most of the highlights and related links below. If you were too busy watching and digesting all the cool things Microsoft was demoing and talking about rather than taking notes, you’re in luck!While I doubt I was able to capture every single announcement in the list below…
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Open Live Writer–It’s Alive!

General News, Open Source (OSS)
Like many other bloggers out there on the interweb I have been using Windows Live Writer for many years. If you are also a Windows Live Writer user, then you also likely know that the product has not been updated for several years (the latest version is from 2012). Although the current version works it has grown stagnate in its feature set. That’s why I am excited to find out that Microsoft has open sourced Windows Live Write as Open Live Writer as of December 9th, 2015! You can find the official announcement here on the .NET Foundation web site.From here on out, Open Live Writer will be maintained and expanded by the open source community. What this means is that if there is a feature you’d like to help…
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Microsoft Connect() // 2015; Year Two!

Conferences, General News
Last year, Microsoft held it’s first Connect(); event (I wrote about it here). Well, they’re back for another go! If you make use of Microsoft’s development tools and/or any of the open source software that Microsoft has provided (e.g. ASP.NET) then you will want to check out this free, on-line, two-day event! Join us this year to hear directly from Scott Guthrie, Brian Harry, and Scott Hanselman on what’s next in this exciting journey. Get deeper insights into our exciting announcements with over 30 on-demand sessions. Interact with the engineering team members behind Microsoft tools and technologies to help you get started. The event will be held on-line on Wednesday, November 18th and Thursday, November 19th. As of the time of writing this post the agenda had not been published.…
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Blog Issues

General News
For anyone that follows my blog at all, you have likely noticed that over the past few days (weeks?) it has been a bit unstable. At first, it was a minor annoyance but it eventually escalated to the point where the site was down more than it was up. I finally contacted my hosting provider (Arvixe) and they informed me that they had a corrupted InnoDB (storage engine for MySQL) that needed to be recovered and that they were working to get everything back up and running. I was happy to wake up this morning with this link informing me that this particular issue had been resolved and is now closed! Why am I telling you this? Well, firstly just because I’m happy to have my blog (hopefully!) be stable…
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It’s a Cross-Platform, Microsoft World!

Cross Platform, General News
If anyone would have suggested to me a couple of years ago that Microsoft was not only going to release one of its major cash cows (e.g. Microsoft Office) on both iOS- and Android-based platforms, but would also provide developers with some amazing tools to help them also build for and publish to non-Microsoft platforms, I would have likely questioned their sanity. However, in the past couple of years, we’ve had a changing of the guard with a new CEO, Satya Nadella, and we now have a brand new Microsoft playing in the new (read: current) world. With this in mind, I thought I’d walk through some of the paths that Microsoft has taken to play nicely with others in the cross-platform world that we all live in today… Commercial…
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MSDN Subscriptions and Pluralsight

General News
As announced at Microsoft’s Connect(); event last week, MSDN subscription benefits now include access to Pluralsight training. Depending upon your MSDN subscription level, you get a set number of curated Pluralsight courses, for 12 months, as follows: MSDN Subscription Level Pluralsight Courses Professional 10 Premium 20 Ultimate 30 You also get access to the more advanced Pluralsight features such as offline viewing via mobile apps, pre- and post-course assessments, downloadable course exercise files, and course discussion forums. To sign up for your Pluralsight benefits using your MSDN subscription, go to: http://aka.ms/mymsdnbenefits. Once you sign in, you’ll be greeted with a page similar to the following: Click on Activate your Pluralsight benefits and you will be taken to Pluralsight’s landing page for MSDN benefits. Under Course Catalog you will see the…
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Microsoft Connect(); What’s Up Microsoft’s Sleeves?

Conferences, General News
Do you make use of Microsoft’s developer tools and/or Azure – or, are you simply interested in what Microsoft might have up their sleeve for up-coming releases? If you answered yes then you definitely do not want to miss this week’s (FREE) Connect(); on-line event! Connect(); is a cloud-first, mobile-first, code-first virtual event focused on current and future technologies for developers creating applications across a variety of platforms. Build on your current skills, unleash your creativity, and expand what's possible to deliver unprecedented innovations. The event will be held on-line this Wednesday and Thursday, November 12th & 13th. Here is the full agenda (times are in Eastern Standard Time): Visit http://aka.ms/connect for full details where you can also add each day’s sessions to your calendar.
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Build 2014–Quick Links

Conferences, General News, Visual Studio, Windows Phone
The Build 2014 conference ended just over a week ago and many of us are still sifting through the various announcements and downloads. This post provides a list of some of the various links to sessions and downloads that you might find handy. Sessions You can find the links to all the session videos and slide decks here. Visual Studio / .NET .NET Foundation – There were several open source announcements at this year’s Build event. The .NET Foundation will be the steward of a growing collection of open source technologies for.NET, Microsoft’s comprehensive development framework. Here is a snapshot of what’s currently available (completely open source) on .NET Foundation: Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 Release Candidate – this is a “GO LIVE” version of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2.…
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Time for a Blog Makeover

General News
Since my first blog post nearly 8 years ago, I have been using blogspot.com as my one and only blogging engine. For the most part, it has served me very well. Although the web-based editor isn’t bad, I’ve always preferred to use Windows Live Writer as my authoring tool of choice. The drag-n-drop customization features within blogger.com made customizing my blog site a snap and there were more templates available than I could possibly ever need. All in all, I’ve not had much to complain about over the past several years of blogging. However, I have been having an issues for a while now that I can’t seem to find a resolution for. For some reason, over the past couple of months, any time I attempt to make changes to…
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MSDN Improved

General News
Today, Microsoft launched an updated and improved version of its Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) site. Although many developers rely upon web-based search results to get them to the content they need within MSDN, the site is also used by many (sometimes newer) developers as an entry point into the vast set of developer resources provided by Microsoft. You may also visit MSDN simply to catch up with what’s new in development technology.With that said, there were a few things that Microsoft targeted with this update (as taken from Brian Harry’s post on this subject):Simple:   We designed the site to help developers get started with Microsoft more easily, and get them to the information that they need.  We heard from the community that finding the right information, often spread between different…
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