Windows 8. A first glance of the Consumer Preview.

Ok. So tonight I downloaded the consumer preview of Windows 8 and gave it a go. I just wanted to share some thoughts here.

Fish
The first thing I noticed was the fish. What’s up with that? It’s on the boot screen for some reason, and when you’ve got your tile desktop in front of you, it also sits in the “Desktop” tile. I really have no clue on what it’s doing there and frankly, I’d rather see it belly up somewhere. So much for the fish.

Tiles
I already saw the tiles in many, many demo’s, so no real surprise there. In this new version, there are some working app previews like photo’s, calendar and music. Unfortunately, not all of those are available to us European users, as we allways have to wait longest for things for some reason. One example is the music app which doesn’t connect when you’re outside the States (I guess, don’t exactly know where it does work).

Windows
The apps behind the files are window less. This looks good, but I do question how well it works for users who love to multitask. And more importantly; if there won’t be any windows in the future, what will Microsoft do with the name of it’s new pretty OS? Windows seems a bit… irrelevant?

So once in an app, there is no window. This imposes another challenge: how the hell do I close this thing? There is no little cross anymore, no way to minimize. Untill now, I haven’t been able to find out the trick, other then using the Windows key to return to the start screen. Of course there’s something I missed and I probably have to read the f*cking manual. But still, these things should be intuitive. It’s not. My parents won’t understand it, pretty sure of that.

Win7 mode
The bigest pain of them all is what I shall call “Windows 7 mode”. Microsoft has a challenge here, a real big one. Of course, when 8 launches, there will be tons of apps incompatible with the new Metro interface. And lot’s of those might not even get a Metro interface, who knows. So Microsoft needs a way to get those apps into their new OS, and it’s done this by keeping the old one pretty much intact. So when you open a legacy Windowed app, it switches to “Windows 7 mode” and it’s back to basics. This might be conveniant for users, it’s not for the OS experience. It feels like 2 OS’es struggling with each other. There is no other way to do it, I get that. But Microsoft should make more effort in styling the Win7 mode to at least look a bit like Win8. It’s too much like the old one, which will probably confuse users.

Conclusion (for now…)
Ok. Let’s not be too critical. It’s also pretty awesome. Microsoft is taking a bit step ditching their old approach based on principles from way back. That’s challenging, daring and a touch cookie. It’s a vision which hasn’t been fulfilled quite yet. And I don’t expect it to be in Win8. Win9 will probably be what they imagined all along, but a transition period is unevitable.That period I’ll be using Win8 to get started. Bring it on!

Whoops!

Judging by that stats, it seems like my blog was offline for a while. I assume my hosting party is going to let me know what went wrong here, so we can prevent the same from happening in the future. Apologies for the inconvenience!

On a more positive note, I visited TechDays in the Netherlands last week and got some nice new SharePoint tips & tricks I wanted to share with you guys. So stay tuned for that, a new post will follow shortly!

I need your votes (again)!

Since I’ve been working on SharePoint Online, and thus Sandboxed Solutions, I noticed a lack in the development tools. Where the CKS extensions for Visual Studio offer the option to choose “Upgrade” as a development method, this doesn’t work on sandboxed solutions. The upgrade process for sandboxed solutions is different; you need to upload your new solution with a different filename, upgrade and then delete the old solution.

So. Wouldn’t it be nice when Visual Studio could do this for you, so you can also use Upgrade as a deployment method for sandboxed solutions? Right, thought so too. So please vote on my suggestion, so the CKS guys can pick this up: http://cksdev.codeplex.com/workitem/7713. Thank you!

Patents and bitching

Today I stumbled upon this post @ Engadget, telling a story about Google and Microsoft, bitching towards each other about patents and why their competitors are unfriendly and playing unfair.

Earlier this week, I saw this video on Youtube, which claims to be a Microsoft video meant to ridicule the way Gmail places context aware ads on each page. I must admit the video made me laugh, although it’s kind of childish to attack your opponent in way like this. The absence of Microsoft logo’s (apart from the Contoso building they’re in) and legal statements make me wonder if this is actually made by Microsoft, or by some company wanting to feed the flaming a bit.

Anway, it seems as though the big ones (Microsoft, Google, Apple) are in a proper bitchfight around all the new stuff they’re releasing like cloud solutions, phones and mail apps. Not a week goes by without new articles about lawsuits being started and others getting settled for bizarre ammounts of money. The result of this seems to be that the money is shifting round and round, they’re all spending enormous ammounts of time on these issues and the consumers have to wait longer for more new stuff to come out (altough I’m not particularly dissapointment by the release rate of current products).

Guys, if you have that much money to burn (Apple actually has more money then the USA does… proof), do something usefull with it please. I don’t know, build a spaceship, irrigate Africa, send me some; all fine! But quit the bitching and start doing what you’re supposed to do: amaze and help people getting to a proper 21th century. Thanks.

Migration done!

That’s that. I moved out my entire homepage to another hosting provider, which provides me with some more options for other sites I plan to launch soon. As far as I can see, everything was moved nicely and works ok again after some tweaking. But if you notice any problems, feel free to report them as comments on this post, thanks. Normal blogging will resume quickly 🙂

Moving out… again…

After moving this blog to my own site a couple of weeks ago, it seems I’ll be moving again real soon. My hosting company is either on a really long vacation, or they decided not to answer to their customers any more. Anyway, I’m moving to a new hosting provider soon hopefully, so that’ll probably go along with some downtime and other inconvenience.

I’m sorry and will definitely try to do better after moving. That goes for posting too, it’s been to quiet, I know!

Welcome to my new 2011 blog!

Following up on http://wp.me/p6iHx-3N, welcome to the new location of my blog!

I moved my blog to my personal webspace. Needed to install some plugins and you cannot do that for a wordpress.com site. So in 2011 my blog will remain to exist at: http://blog.repsaj.nl. I’ve exported / imported all posts so nothing is lost. A new theme freshens things up a bit and all new posts will automatically be posted on Twitter as well. Nice!

Enjoy reading!

My blog in 2010

Great service at WordPress! I received an e-mail with my blog stats for 2010. I wanted to share those with you, since my readers are responsible for those stats 🙂 For 2011, I intend to up the number of articles and content, because I’ve labeled 2011 as my SharePoint year. SharePoint 2010 will get more important for me and my work and that’s going to reflect here. So I hope you all have a good 2011 and keep on reading my blog. Thanks!

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Crystal Reports webpart for sale

Because a lot of people keep e-mailing me about the code I wrote for the Crystal Reports webpart, I decided to make it available for purchase. Unfortunately not for free, since my boss seems to think I have to get paid for the work I do.

If you are interested in buying the webpart (it’s currently going at $500 for an unlimited licence), please contact me at jsiegmund_at_datamex_nl (if you can’t figure that out, you can’t buy the webpart either ;)).

The package will contain (still have to create it):

a ready-to-go solution for installation
a seperate zip with the stuff you need to run the ImageHandler outside of SharePoint
a document to guide you through installation and usage

And offcourse I will be available for supporting any problems which might arise.

Movin’ on

Always looking out for better things, I decided to move my blog. Not that anyone would care since I really have no visitors yet (I think). So it’s all just in my advantage, because this new one at WordPress is a bit easier to manage as opposed to the old one at BlogSpot (no offence…). Just to let you know 🙂

Hey, this one even has instant smileys! 😀