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Windows 8 - Developer Preview

BUILD2011 is a Microsoft Conference (from 13-16 September at the Anaheim Convention Centre) intended to show hardware and software developers how to take advantage of future versions of Windows.

Windows 8 has been tagged as 'Windows Re-Imagined'  and has been designed to provide better security features, faster startup, and longer battery life. It will run on a wider choice of devices and chipsets and has a  a new touch-optimized interface. Windows 8 also provides the platform to create a whole new generation of full-screen apps that are based on modern web standards and (will be) available through the new Windows Store.

Watch the keynote by Steven Sinofsky,  President of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft from

You can see details of what's new in Windows 8 in the downloadable guide at

During the conference keynote, Microsoft announced their intention to give prototype PCs built by Samsung to 5000 lucky attendees. ( watch this bit ~1:59 into the keynote )

The Samsung Windows 8 Developer Preview PC, (not intended for commercial release) is a touch screen tablet PC and consists of an 11.6 inch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of memory. It comes supplied with a stylus (or to be more precise an electromagnetic, pressure sensitive digitizer) and includes a dock and Bluetooth keyboard which allows you to use it as a more traditional 'laptop' type PC.

The package includes a years 3G service with 2GB download per month, from AT&T and is bundled with a variety of sample applications and the tools necessary for building and testing your own applications.

See a video of  this device from Channel 9

For lesser mortals, the Windows Developer Preview software is a pre-beta version of Windows 8 for developers. You should note this is pre-release software intended for developers

These downloads include prerelease software that may change without notice. The software is provided as is, and you bear the risk of using it. It may not be stable, operate correctly or work the way the final version of the software will. It should not be used in a production environment. The features and functionality in the prerelease software may not appear in the final version. Some product features and functionality may require advanced or additional hardware, or installation of other software.

and the additional  important note that

You can't uninstall the Windows Developer Preview. To reinstall your previous operating system, you must have restore or installation media.

More details about the Windows Developer Preview can be found at  the Windows 8 developer web-site

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Qualcomm Augmented Reality (QCAR)

by Mick 2 Comments

The Qualcomm Augmented Reality (QCAR) SDK helps to create Augmented Reality (AR) applications for mobile devices and is now available for iOS devices.

It can be downloaded from the Qualcomm Developer Portal (although you will need to register first if you don't already have an account) at

The SDK enables applications to superimpose virtual 3D objects onto the view displayed from the camera of the mobile device providing the ability to mix virtual 3D objects with real world images.

It includes support for image targets, frame markers, multi targets and virtual buttons. An Extension for Unity is also provided.

To get an idea of what this is all about, you can watch a video of a simple application developed using this SDK


Find out more about Augmented Reality at Qualcomm from the developer portal at


PhoneGap is an open source development framework for creating mobile applications using HTML and JavaScript.

As simple as HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Software development is hard work. Device integration should be simple so you can focus on the application you are building instead of authoring complex compatibility layers. PhoneGap aims to solve device integration by web enabling devices native functionality with open standards.

It enables you to build mobile applications for a number of devices while still taking advantage of the core features available in the iPhone, Android, Palm, Symbian and Blackberry SDKs.

There is a 'Wiki' of information available at:

PhoneGap can be downloaded from

where you can also obtain a device simulator application.

Concurrent Programmers Speaking a New Language

Nick Benton and Gavin Bierman, scientists from Microsoft Research in Cambridge, have designed an experimental research language that extends C# with new features for writing concurrent programs. A compiler for the language, called Cω (C Omega), is available to the public.

An article talking about C Omega, by the authors, is available at Microsoft Research