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Kevin Hoffman

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Top Stories by Kevin Hoffman

One of the biggest problems about this year's PDC is the sheer volume of new stuff that has been unleashed upon us. Some clickbaiters like Joe Wilcox are in "Bash Microsoft" mode and are calling the Azure platform "vaporware" (yes, despite the fact that we've been able to actually build AND DEPLOY Azure apps since Tuesday), but a lot of people have genuine concerns like "What's the difference between all these new cloud stacks?!?" That's a perfectly valid question and so the first comparison I'm going to address here is Live Mesh and Windows Azure. Technical Differences between Live Mesh and Windows Azure As you can see from the above diagram, Windows Azure resides at the lowest level of the Azure Services Platform. Windows Azure has the moniker 'Windows' because Microsoft is branding it the "OS in the Cloud" and a lot of that makes sense. Windows Azure provides clou... (more)

Will Silverlight Be DOA?

Kevin Hoffman's Blog Lately there seems to be a lot of buzz around the whole Flex, Flash, Apollo environment for creating extremely powerful, cross-platform RIAs (Rich Interactive Application). In the interest of fairness and objectivity, I've been reserving judgement until I got a chance to really play more with Flex. Likewise, I hadn't really made any judgements about WPF/E yet, either. So, when I read today that Microsoft had changed the name of WPF/E to Silverlight, I got a little excited. Why? Because by changing that name, it sounded a little bit like Microsoft had finally d... (more)

Silverlight and Astoria - First Impressions

Kevin Hoffman's Blog As you know, Silverlight is a new RIA enabling technology from Microsoft. Slightly less publicized but no less impactful is another technology from Microsoft - Astoria. Astoria is a tool that combines the power of the ADO.NET Entity Framework with the new enhanced power of RESTful POX services using WCF. In short, an Astoria service is a WCF service that sits on top of an Entity Model that allows you to hit services with URLs that look something like this: http://server/service.svc/Customers/Orders[TotalAmount>25.50] This will return a bunch of XML correspondi... (more)

iPhone Keyboard and How to Use It?

The other day I was chatting with a friend and he was taking notes about some things using his iPhone. I commented on how unbelievably fast it seemed he was able to type using the keyboard. Up until recently, I've been "OK" at using the keyboard but I never really considered the iPhone as a device on which I could take notes - I have been so abused by smartphone keyboards (virtual and physical) that I just assume that the typing experience is going to suck. This is saying something, considering my last SmartPhone was a PPC 6700, which has a full, backlit, slide-out keyboard that... (more)

Microsoft Windows Azure Distilled

As I spend more time with the CTP I will be posting more detailed, in-depth walkthroughs of the technologies as well as code samples (hopefully I'll get approved for my Azure hosting account soon *hint* *nudge* *wink*!!). For now, I'm just going to do a high-level breeze-by of the main aspects of Azure. Windows Azure Put simply - Windows Azure is a technology that will allow developers to build applications in the cloud. The GUI for the application is in the cloud, the back-end processes that are running are running in the cloud, and the central data store for the application is i... (more)