Monday, December 14, 2009

Bing Maps Silverlight Control

This morning I upgraded the Where Was Dr. Neil and the Locus Activity Map web pages to use the released version of the Bing Maps Silverlight SDK.
The upgrade from the CTP took under an hour. There are some minor naming differences, for example the VirtualEarth namespace has been replaced by with a Maps namespace. It is now which makes more sense.
I believe you only have a few more days to perform the upgrade, and then the CTP service will be shut down.
You will need an account key for each web site on which you host the Silverlight map control. You can get your key by creating an account on the Bing Maps Portal.
Then the key needs to be placed in the XAML when you add a Map to your Silverlight app.
The Silverlight interactive SDK is pretty handy to get you started once you have downloaded and installed the SDK.

Friday, December 04, 2009

World's First Surface Book Released

I am pleased to announce the world's first Surface development book. Developing for Microsoft Surface has been created and compiled from the many training sessions I have delivered the world over, and focuses on crafting exceptional user experiences for Surface.

Guiding its readers on the complete journey from the initial unpacking of a Microsoft Surface unit, to the satisfying delivery of their first Surface application, Developing for Microsoft Surface deals mostly with the ideation of Surface application design. Along the way it is filled with plenty of hands on labs and practical exercises to help readers explore the adventure that is Microsoft Surface and hone their application development skills for this platform.

The book (rrp US $49.95) is available now in handy e-book format at the special introductory price of US $45.00. Click on the link below to get started now.

pzing Developing for Microsoft Surface

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Flat plugs, sleek, simple, smart

I have been to a few of hte RCA shows over the years, it looks like this year I missed out as one of the students showed off what has to be one of the best pieces of design I have seen in a while.
Find out more information here.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

6 Steps to 7

A recent acquisition the new 27" iMac presented me with a brief challenge when I went to install Windows 7 with Bootcamp; after the first stage of the install the screen remains blank.
A quick search on the internet presented a very concise solution on the UK PCPro site, thanks guys.

1. Run the Boot Camp Assistant in OS X as normal and create a partition when asked, then insert your Windows 7 disc to reboot and begin the process proper.

2. Windows 7 requires the NTFS file system, so once in the installer just select your new partition (labelled BOOTCAMP), click on Drive options (Advanced) and choose to format it. Then select the newly formatted partition and continue.

3. Windows 7 will begin installing, and once it gets almost to the bottom of its checklist, it’ll try to reboot. Now, if you leave it here, you’ll get so far and see the black screen. Any further attempts to reboot will bring you to the same dead end.

4. Instead, restart and press a key to boot from the Windows 7 disc when prompted. Rather than running the installation again, choose the little option at the bottom to Repair your computer. Decline any suggestions that pop up until you see a list of options with Command Prompt at the bottom. Choose that option.

5. At the Command Prompt, type DEL C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ATIKMDAG.SYS to delete the default ATI driver, then close the window and reboot.

6. This time, Windows should successfully initialise a more appropriate display driver, allowing you into the desktop. From here insert your OS X disc to install the relevant hardware drivers as you normally would, then run Windows update to clear up any leftovers.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The toll of too much, a life lesson.

This year has been hectic. I have been flying around the world every month. Teaching Surface developers, working with partners in Europe, attending conferences and meetings in the USA and occasionally getting to Sydney to see my colleagues and family.
In the last 2 weeks I have been in Sydney, Singapore, London, Amsterdam, The Hague, Paris, Lyon, Berlin, London, Washington DC and Seattle. Right now I am supposed to be in Los Angeles for PDC but events on Saturday have slowed me down. I felt tired and jet-lagged on Saturday and so instead of going out into the mountains for a hike (which I often do when in Seattle) I stayed in and watched some tv. Towards the end of the day on Saturday I was still feeling rough but thought nothing of it until I came around lying on the floor with my head covered in blood. I had passed out.
Things were somewhat surreal and not good. My friend took me to the emergency ward and there I learned how to jump the queue, I passed out again. The doctors were great, they got onto getting my blood pressure and pulse (both very low) and taking an ECG, blood tests and head scan (all very good results).
The prognosis, severe dehydration, low potassium, and not enough rest. They pumped 2 liters of liquid into my system at the hospital and prescribed some potassium tablets.
I am now taking a couple of days out to rest before heading down to LA for PDC. I am not going to be running around much at the conference. I will be chilling out and networking this week, I hope to see a bunch of friends and catch up with folks. I will have my video camera with me so if you want to do a quick 5 minute video cast that would be great.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Make me want to lick your gear

Once again Apple releases a new set of hardware that makes me salivate. Why is it that only Apple seems to get this so right most of the time?

I mean look at what Lenovo offers as their latest desktop solution.

Compare this with the latest offering from Apple,

It is not that the Lenovo solution is terrible, it looks pretty nice until you see what you can buy from Apple. Then check out the hardware specs, the screen sizes and resolutions. Then turn your focus to the attention to details, the new Apple mouse, the way the screen is made to go right to the very edge of the box, the slight taper in the stand so it appears to be thinner sitting on your desktop. Jon Ives and his team are totally rocking the world of computer design.
I would love to see some other competition in the desktop market place that pushes the boundaries of PC design and pushes the Apple team to newer heights!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Welcome back the Neil and Hugo show

Hugo Ortega from Tegatech has agreed to join me in a new series of videos in the nsquared studio on touch and mobile computing. I really enjoyed making this first video and look forward to plenty more to come.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

SyXPAC, Agile and time to change

Last night at SyXPAC I gave a short talk (lightening talk) on the last 10 years of Agile. The point of the talk was to say that Agile has helped raise the issues to the forefront of peoples minds but it hasn't really solved anything,
In software development we have seen cycles of approximately 10 years. In 1968 was the first NATO Software Engineering Conference, one of the aims was to drive the adoption of the practically unknown term "software engineering". The title of software engineering was decided upon to be deliberately provocative and spark discussion. At the time it did this and from this methods were invented to attempt to create predictability in software development cycles.
In 1980 the first version of SSADM (Structured Systems Analysis and Design Method) was released and the 1980's saw a far more rigorous approach taken to software development. In 1982 Roger S. Pressman released the first edition of Software Engineering, A Practitioners Approach. This book become the bible for software development methods and teaching.
In 1991 James Martin first proposed RAD (Rapid Application Development) as an approach to delivering software using a more light weight and iterative process. Other great authors such as Steve McConnell and Jim McCarthy adopted these ideas in different degrees and help publicize this new approach. In 1999 eXtreme Programming was first publicized, along with Kent Beck's book on the topic. Following this the Agile Alliance was formed and a collection of other agile approaches have been proposed and introduced.
From 2001 forwards the term Agile was used as a buzzword to ensure that what ever changes were made could be signed off by the big boss. A number of Agile methodologies were pushed in to the market, SCRUM, Lean, MSF agile etc... some good, some bad. Mostly they all missed the point that XP was a set of dev tools not a methodology, philosophy or religion. In many ways the Agile alliance, although good in theory, didn't help with this.
Recently I have noticed a new issue with Agile practices and specifically some of the XP practices. There has evolved a breed of Agile coach that has a 'do what I say not what I do' approach. This is with a valid reason. Many of the practices that XP preaches are really like scales when learning music or mental exercises when training the brain. As a developer becomes more adept at them they become embedded into the psyche of the activity and the props become less necessary. To the point that some really experienced developer can move away from the practices and deliver even more amazing software without noticeably paying attention to the core practices.

As it approached the chasm, like all things, XP got watered down to become acceptable to the stakeholders that need to buy in. I don't think that this watering down of XP actually hurt that much initially, it enabled XP to get a foot in the door. It was then up to the developer to implement the solution. Here-in lies the issue. Fundamentally most developers do not have motivation to improve the state of the industry. They need to get their paycheck so they can eat, be clothed and have a roof for themselves and their families. The real passion for most developers is not business focussed. The real passion is technology for the sake of technology.
Yet through all of these changes, the software industry has not improved its reputation for delivery of poor quality, over budget, bug ridden software. Each shift has brought some new thinking and new tools to the tool box of the software development team, yet the basic principles remain the same.

Back to the Point; Agile helps but it hasnt really solved anything, it is time for a change and we embrace change, right ?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Are you looking for a challenge?


You want:
1. to work on some amazing new technologies,
2. the rare opportunity to really improve the world with the software you build
3. to engage with some of the smartest brains on the planet (our customers)
4. the challenge (every day) to do something better than anyone else


You are prepared to commit to:
1. bringing your best to every project every day
2. demanding that your team mates bring their best to every project every day
3. producing outstanding software experiences that deliver more than our demanding customers expect
4. learning and improving every day


You will have the opportunity to :
1. engage with Microsoft Research, Microsoft Surface Product Group and the Microsoft Education Product Group
2. work with our leading global partners including Tricky Business and After-Mouse
3. develop with us
4. deliver greatness

You will be working with me. I am passionate about building great software. No ifs or buts: I am demanding. I want to be associated with excellence and will always ask for more. I believe in zero defect software that betters the lives of it users. I believe in crafting extraordinary software experiences. I believe in growing and learning. I bring my best to the team every day and expect you to do the same. If you’re still reading, chances are that you’re inspired and you should contact us to discuss the possibility of joining our team.

Send an email to jobs_at_

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Another video in the learning and technology series

Today another video in the nsquared series on Education and technology went live. I talked to Maridee about how cross-disciplinary education benefits students. We discussed how technologies such as Surface, Semblio, and MultiPoint can help create great learning experiences.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Less is More with nsquared

Yesterday we had some fun in the nsquared office recording this video about how less is more...

Today we decided to release the 'more' version of this video, enjoy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Microsoft Surface Shell

Time for another nsquared Surface discussion. This time we talk about the Microsoft Surface Shell.
We explain the components of the shell and how Microsoft Surface applications can integrate with the shell.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Iceland; mountains, glaciers, deserts and forests

Over the last week I have been trekking by foot in Iceland. Iceland is an amazing country on so many levels. The geography is simply stunning.
Here are a couple of movies I have put together from photos taken on the trek.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Surface Video Series

This month I have started working on a series of videos with the team at nsquared on Microsoft Surface. We are discussing a number of the topics I cover in my Surface development training courses. You can see the whole series on YouTube.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Your child is ugly!

I was recently asked what tools a team should have to support SCRUM.

  1. As many big whiteboards as you can make space for in the developer area
  2. Lots of whiteboard markers, never be in a position where it is hard to find a marker
  3. Open communication channels.
  4. A developer ego extraction utility ( this is the hardest tool to find IMO)
  5. A developer passion insertion tool ( somewhat easier to come by)

4 is important, let me expand on this.

Software creation with passion becomes very personal, the creation is a child of the developer. Flaws found and pointed out in peoples children are often not taken well by the parents. Developers often take suggestions for improvement very personally because they see it as an attack on their ability.

The product created needs to be an output of the team. A team that works great together will deliver great software. Often the weakest part of a team is the team member with the biggest ego. If you find you have a team where certain members of the team are not performing as well as they could it be, you often find the ego of another team member blocking their growth. The team member that wants to be the hero in the team is commonly blocking the growth of others, as it helps them feel more important.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Microsoft Surface in the Spring

You may remember in February I was in Munich delivering Surface Training. I was back in Munich again this week delivering more Surface Training and it is a very different place in the Spring. I think I was lucky as the weather was fantastic.
Here is a picture of the same train station that was covered in snow last time I was here.

This month Surface Service Pack 1 was released and so in addition to all the usual goodness in the Surface Training I now have a session dedicated to the features in Service Pack 1. The course outline looks like this:
The Surface Vision
The Architecture of Surface applications
Setting up a Surface device and the out of the box applications
Working with the Simulator
Integrating with the Surface Shell
Designing Surface experiences
Using the Surface Controls
What is new in Service Pack 1
Vision Recognition with Surface
End to end building a Surface application


I received an email from someone telling me I was just teasing them and I should divulge what I cover that is new in Service Pack 1. These are some of things in Service Pack 1 that we cover in the training:

  • Richer feedback of touch input, the built in visualizations that now indicate when the Surface receives input
  • Object Routing, how to launch an application by placing a tagged object on the Surface 
  • Single Application Mode, running only one application on the Surface and hiding the launcher and access points
  • Library container WPF controls, Library Bar and Library Stack. Discussion about what these are good for and how to use them
  • Element Menu WPF control, putting the GUI into NUI, why this control is useful and why it is not always a great idea. How to code this control.
  • Drag and Drop support, how to add drag and drop to your multi touch and (more importantly) multi user Surface application.
--- / insert ---

If you would like some help building amazing Surface applications please let me know. We are providing consulting and support services to help you bring out the magic in your Surface applications.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Technology information for those that do not care

I recently reinstalled Vista on my laptop and I keep finding little things that I don't have installed. Today it was Windows Live Photo Gallery. I like Photo Gallery because of the photo stitching feature to create panoramic photos.

I went to the download page to get Photo Gallery I am confronted by this screen telling me about the scary technology being installed as part of this application. Why should a consumer care about this? Instead this space would be better used informing the user of some great things they could do with this application or a tip on how to get more out of the application.
Come on Microsoft you are not some little garage software start up anymore.

I am a switcher

Time to confess.
OSX is my OS of choice.
I am fed up with windows that say (not responding) in the title bar. Microsoft Entourage supports multiple Exchange accounts and it works like a dream and fast, unlike Outlook.
When I close the lid of my MacBook Air it is asleep, when I lift the lid it is awake. No waiting, no messing around. Last month I spent 4 weeks on the road and I never rebooted my MacBook Air once.
I now have a second machine (Mac Book Pro) running Windows Vista 32 bit (the only platform supported for Surface dev) that I use for Windows dev and I hate having to use it. It feels like some prehistoric slowed down museum artifact.
If I had XAML dev tools on OSX I would probably give up with Windows altogether.
If Microsoft wants to win back customers like me it needs to:
  1. Make Windows feel more responsive. Yes I have tried Win7 RC and no I am not happy, it is still slower than OSX (IMO)
  2. Make Office run better on Windows than it does on OSX, IMO Office is currently better (faster, easier to use, more functional) on OSX than on Windows
  3. Ensure Windows remembers the different monitors I have connected my machine to as a second monitor and restore the settings last used with that monitor.
  4. Always, without fail, find an external monitor or projector and allow me to project to it without messing around for 15 mins in preferences and settings.
  5. Ship a rich suite of applications (iLife) on Windows that work well with each other and do 80% of what a consumer wants to do with music, photos, email, and calendar.
Windows 7 feels like a big leap forward from Vista, for me it is not enough (yet).

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Last night I slept in Eva Longoria's bed!

Over the years I have stayed in a lot of hotels and often I wonder 'who else has slept in this bed'. Well apparently the bed I slept in last night was slept in by Eva Longoria the previous night. So while the attention grabbing headline may not mean what you think, it is kind of true.
I wonder who else I have shared a bed with over the years!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Where Is Dr. Neil?

This question is being asked so much at the moment I decided to recreate the Where Was Dr. Neil web page. As the Virtual Earth team removed support for the older (less than 3 years old!) version of Virtual Earth, the old site was broken and I have not had the energy to repair it.
In the last month I received more than a dozen emails asking where I am, so I decided to rebuild the page using the new Virtual Earth Silverlight control. the Virtual Earth Silverlight control was announced (again for the third year) at Mix09 last month. It took less than a couple of hours yesterday evening to put this page together. 
One of the things that I have always seen as very important is the ability to customize the experience with the map. I feel that, while the Silverlight Virtual Earth control lacks some of the functionality I might like to see in a full GIS system, it does provide a great new opportunity to build rich mapping experiences.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Open for Cloudy reasons

The latest buzz in the Cloud computing blogosphere seems to be on the Open Cloud Manifesto. This is a strange document, which at its core seems to be based on the fact that a bunch of companies do not want to pay for the effort of others in order to gain their own business advantage. 
Suggesting that all the software that supports cloud computing needs to be open source, leaves no room for a business that wants to innovate and capitalize on IP created to enhance the cloud computing effort.
It seems that IBM is one of the key players behind this manifesto. IBM has long been a strong proponent of Open Source as, for a consulting and services company, software is a cost in their business model. Reducing this cost to closer to zero is something they must strive for. As a software developer I like to get rewarded for the software I create and innovate. 
Reading the manifesto it seems to be a very limiting concept; blocking innovation of new programming models, blocking innovation of new protocols and blocking the independent innovation of cloud technologies.
While I can see advantage in defining some standards for protocols I think we already this with W3. It is not clear to me what this manifesto adds to the cloud computing world.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Europe Surface Training Round Two

I landed nice and early in London Heathrow this morning in order to finish the final setup for the Surface training in the UK this week. I am delivering two courses this week, each one is two days long and today (Monday) is setup day. I was so excited to get in early and have my reserved rental car actually ready and waiting for me, thank you National. I am so pleased I switched from Hertz, who have been useless the last few times; reserve a car online a week ahead and then wait an hour an half for the car to be ready.

Anyway having the car ready was nice, spending 2 and half hours sitting in (mostly) stationary traffic on the M4 was somewhat average. There was a BIG smash on the M4 motorway between London Heathrow and Reading, where I am delivering the training. I guess it was a good welcome back to the UK for me, a reminder of why I don't live here.

Finally I made it the Microsoft campus in the UK and was very pleased to discover the MTC team here are as efficient as ever and the room was mostly setup. The lab machines and Surface units were all waiting for me. I have loaded up the hands on labs and some new demo applications and now the room is ready for 4 days of intensive Surface training. Should be a lot of fun.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

MIX'd up in the economy

Coming way from MIX I have a nagging feeling that all these great new technical previews (CTPs) that Microsoft has released and announced will not get used as much as they might have in the past.
It is clear that the economy is in trouble, attendance at the MIX event seemed to be down and many of the attendees I spoke to told me that last year their company paid for the trip to the event and this year they had to fund it themselves. Some thought it was worth it, other attendees less so.
With the less stable economic situation software developers need to focus on creating software that they can sell. The CTPs announced and released do not have a license which would allow the software created to be sold or commercialized. I am sure that for special cases Microsoft will do one off deals, for the majority of developers this technology is useless until it ships with a license. 
So what should Microsoft do? I think they need to keep the transparency and show case where they are going with the technology. It would be great if they could provide more solid ideas of timeframes in which the technologies will have a license, along with the pricing models.
In the mean time I expect most of the software developer community will focus on building solutions that they can actually sell and use for commercial benefit.

Friday, March 06, 2009

MVP Summit thoughts

This week another MVP summit has started and finished. I spent time with various groups and got the chance to catch up with a number of old friends. For me there was a very different feel to this MVP summit. It is something that I have felt was coming for a while.
Many of the MVPs I spoke to felt that the product groups were not be open with them or telling the MVPs the whole story. Personally I think this is the right thing for the product groups to do. People are now awarded MVP status because they have blogs, twitter too much (more than not at all) and are generally loud mouths in the online world. If I had something secret I wouldn't share it with this group either. During the evenings when MVPs of different technology areas gathered I overheard many conversations between MVPs where they were sharing the things they had learned that day. The point of signing an NDA as an MVP seems most questionable. I would suggest that the MVPs really need to be reminded of the meaning of the NDA.
I have also been doing some _real_ work this week and having meetings with some of the Microsoft product groups. This is the first time that when a Microsoft employee asked if I was here for the MVP summit I cringed as if I felt I didn't want to be associated with the MVP group. MVP status used to be something I was proud of, something that helped differentiate me as a person that adds value. Now I feel that being an MVP associates me with a bunch of Microsoft fan-boys (and some girls) who want to be the first ones to break the news that Microsoft is releasing product XYZ. Of course there are still many MVPs who do the right thing, and understand the business value. Yet I do not get the impression that MVPs overall are perceived to be adding great business value, and in some cases are presenting a hindrance to the progress of Microsoft products.
This is a great challenge going forward and I really hope there are some folks within Microsoft thinking through how to address these issues.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

NICTA/Microsoft Innovation Day

I have only been back in Sydney a few days and I have crammed a lot of activities and catching up into a few days, including a short sail on the harbour, dinners and the obligatory run on the beach followed by a splash in the sea.
On Thursday, at the Microsoft Sydney office, was the NICTA and Microsoft Innovation Day. I was there with some of my friends from nsquared to present the work we have been doing to improve social learning activities. We have a stand with two touch screens; one running Windows 7 and one running Windows Vista highlighting some of the single touch, multi touch and multi mouse software we are building. We were also fortunate enough to have access to a Surface unit to demonstrate some of the educational software we have been prototyping for Microsoft Surface. It is always great to get a big crowd around your exhibits and we certainly had that, thanks for dropping by and the great questions and feedback.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Motivate me to YES

I have been thinking about the reasons we end up saying 'no' to tasks, possibilities, options and opportunities. For me at all boils down to motivation. The motivation is nearly always in the form of energy; time, excitement, fun, money.
This is especially true when applied to software development. With enough energy you can achieve almost anything with software do you have the motivation to achieve those things?

If you find me saying 'no' it is because you are not motivating me to say 'yes'.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Microsoft Surface in the snow

I am on the last leg of the European Microsoft Surface training tour. Delivering the first round of external Microsoft Surface training to partners. I am getting to enjoy learning to be a commuter in the different parts of the world. this morning I got the train to the Munich MTC. The train station this morning was interestingly quiet and serene.
Today we discussed the vision behind Surface and how to build better Surface applications, all the attendees get to build a Surface application in the two day course. the course outline looks like this:
  • The Surface Vision
  • The Architecture of Surface applications
  • Setting up a Surface device and the out of the box applications
  • Working with the Simulator
  • Integrating with the Surface Shell
  • Designing Surface experiences
  • Using the Surface Controls
  • Vision Recognition with Surface
  • End to end building a Surface application

We will be doing another set of Surface training in the coming months around Europe. If you would like some help building amazing Surface applications please let me know. We are providing some consulting and support services to help you bring out the magic in your Surface applications.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Global Catastrophe

There is no doubt we as a global population are in some serious trouble. The ecology of the planet is in jeopardy, the capitalist concept is proving to be fundamentally flawed and the foundations of our government systems seem to be broken.
This year I have been in Australia, Canada, the USA, Iceland, the UK and France. It is clear many people are going to be in way more trouble in the coming months than I think they realize. Many high streets have stores closing, or empty. 
Yesterday I took a snowy walk down the Champs-Élysées, this is one of the worlds must see roads. The architecture is stunning. The walk from the Arc de Triomphe down to the Louvre down the tree lined avenue is designed to leave the pedestrian in awe. 
It is with great disappointment then, that as I perambulated along the route I was in awe of the realization of Idiocracy. The tourists were not taking photos of the statues along the road, the architecture of the the magnificent attractions. Instead the real attraction is now the Gucci store and the Louis Vuitton store. With an attitude like this it is clear why we have so many global problems; the desire to own things that you don't need while ignoring the real magic of your surroundings.
Please think about your actions and pay attention to what you might normally consider as the background. Lastly, what are you doing to create real value to the world.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

où est le Dr Neil

cette semaine Dr Neil prestation formation Microsoft Surface à Paris.

Pardon my French, it is not as good as it used to be and I am sure this is a horrible translation, and yet here I am in Paris delivering the first round of development training for Microsoft Surface. This is the first time training has been provided to external Microsoft partners in Europe and I am extremely excited to have been chosen to deliver the training.
There are many aspects to building great Surface experiences for developers to get their heads around and nothing beats a deep dive hands on Surface training workshop.
I am really looking forward to see what the attendees end up building in the next few weeks.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Collaborate and learn

It's been a busy two weeks for me, traveling from Sydney to Seattle last week and then from Seattle to London this week.
Last week I spent some time with the Surface team reviewing and testing the software I have been working on for social learning experiences. Eric Havir pulled me aside to record some of the work we have been doing.


Then this week I have been at BETT talking about collaborative and social learning with technologies such as Surface and MultiPoint.
There were some interesting innovations at BETT. It was great to see the table top computing solution from SMART. I am looking forward to building some software to run on the SMART Table.

Next stop, Iceland.....

Friday, January 09, 2009

Silverlight For Mobile at We-Dig

Last night at WE-DIG Amit and Anand gave a great overview of the new Silverlight for Mobile bits Microsoft is currently working hard to ship.

To my surprise they also demonstrated this wonderful Real Estate application running on Silverlight for Mobile.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

2009, what will happen

Happy New Year, welcome to the new year.

With 2008 already disappearing into the distance it's time to think about what will happen in this fresh new year.

No doubt the _recession_ is going to play a strong part of the activities this year. It will be used an excuse for getting rid of staff, not delivering on projects, and the general failing of all things that would have failed anyway.

I expect Apple will release a new iPhone that will solve all those little grumbles currently seen in the devices and software and this will leave no choice in the phone market. It is clear that none of the competing companies are even coming close to the iphone in terms of consumer _must have_ factor.

Microsoft will release more CTP and beta software than any sane person will know what to do with. some will be good, some will be awesome and some should have been taken and shot before being allowed out to fester in the open.

I expect that I will be travelling through more countries this year. I already have 6 countries on my itinerary to visit before the end of February, and yes some of them more than once.

Another year will pass where the software industry allows people to call themselves computer programmers when they have never programmed a computer in their lives. These fake abstract layer manipulators will continue to be overpaid and under deliver. Software will still, mostly, suck.

Microsoft Surface devices will start to be found in more and more locations in North America and western Europe. The rest of the world will wait impatiently.

Microsoft Outlook will crash. Microsoft Entourage will continue to run really well with multiple Exchange accounts. With some luck Microsoft will realize that they are software company and stop trying to drive up PC sales and start driving up sales of fantastic software.

nsquared will continue to grow and to hire great computer programmers. Yet, it is the knowledge that it is hard to do well that will keep nsquared looking for only the best of the best and driving the quality bar of software ever higher.

The year go so fast that before I know it, I will be writing the 2010 version of this blog post....

Be divine in 2009!