Cobi went to the Microsoft Dev Day in Cape Town on 24 May at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The keynote speech that started it off was quite interesting – MS giving us a nice overview of new features to help developers, nice IDE plugin management, showing off their new Azure web servers, and how they are going to help us move onto the cloud in the future. My main interest was to see their new WP7 development, so Steve Asherson and I decided to attend their morning lectures introducing the WP7 development cycle.
Rudi Grobler from BB&D took us through creating a beer-brewing recipe app – something very simple showing us how to piece together a menu system with a details page, linking up to a local database. WP7 development looks good, the platform looks good, and from this initial introduction, the tools look easy to use.
Of particular interest to me was the device emulator used during development. Those who know me would know that I really dislike most of the emulators that the manufacturers have given us. The iPhone one is so far the best out there – stable and loads really quickly. This new WP7 emulator also seemed to load up fast (of course depending on the laptop running it), but it also has some nice location-spoofing tools. Finally a way to test GPS code on an emulator easily – Android & BlackBerry, take note.
On the platform side, WP7 has some stringent requirements, the chip must be running at 800Mhz. Coupling that with the fact that only one app runs at any one time, means that the UI experience looks great, smooth and slick. Unfortunately, coming from an Android fan, I am a bit disappointed that there is such limited multi-threading, but that can of worms can be opened on another day.
Otherwise, the conference was very well run, the food was great, drinks readily available, conversation on tap at every corner – I could do this everyday. Oh, and there was a raffle for an X-Box 360… I can’t help thinking that if I’d put my entry in after Steve did that I would have won it. Well done, Steve, for winning – get those dancing shoes on!