Even a chimp can write code

Thursday, March 15, 2012

High performance UI without compromises

In my last post I left a teaser about more information forthcoming on XAML-DX interop. Wait no more. Jesse Bishop on my team has a post on Combining XAML and DirectX over on the Windows 8 app developer blog.

This feature is especially dear to me. Its one of the handful of things I had in the first deck outlining what the new XAML platform in Windows 8 was going to be. We spent the couple months preceding the release of the Developer Preview working on a brand new graphics stack with independent animation support, and it was only once that was in place that we could expose the niceties of this interop feature set.

Together with our web interop story, surfaced via the WebView control, the XAML-DX interop feature set represents our beliefs that app developers shouldn't have to pick between reuse and new code, nor between high performance and high productivity. Your feedback is appreciated.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Maps and Ads controls for Windows 8 Metro style apps

I wanted to highlight a couple controls that developers authoring Metro style apps will find useful. The Bing team recently announced a beta of their Bing Maps SDK with controls allowing you to integrate maps into your apps. The control targeted at XAML apps is especially neat. It relies on new XAML-DX interop features we added after the Developer Preview, and available in the Consumer Preview of Windows 8. More on that soon. Meanwhile I hope you try out the Maps app in the Consumer Preview to get a good feel for how great rendering performance can be achieved without compromises. The Bing Maps Portal has docs and other assets for your development.

At about the same time, the Microsoft Advertising team announced a beta of their Ads SDK for Windows 8 allowing developers to integrate ads into their apps.

Each is a custom control authored in a way as to provide a familiar programming model to HTML/JavaScript, XAML/C# and XAML/C++ developers alike. This is also a testament to the custom controls story in the XAML platform in Windows 8 and I hope to see others - controls vendors as well as folks with interesting web services - package up their functionality for use by the surge of Windows 8 apps to come.

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