Category Archives: Microsoft

Good day at Build

This was a good day. I’m at the //BUILD conference in San Francisco. Handful of really good things happened today.

One, I got to catch most of the keynote today and there were some really good surprises even for me in there.

  • Windows/Windows Phone is free for devices with screen smaller than 9”. I’m loving this. It greatly enhances our reach and all of the sudden it doesn’t matter that we’re buying Nokia to other device makers because they are getting the same price we’re giving Nokia…
  • Great new enhancements to Windows Phone. I’m not blown away by Cortana but it’s interesting. I’m LOVING the new notification center and all the little fit and finish with WP 8.1 and with IE11 on WP.
  • Great story around the “universal runtime” stuff unifying all the platforms development story. I think this is awesome and makes live much better for anyone trying to develop on any of our platforms.
  • Awesome store enhancements such as the being able to buy on WP and it just works on Windows as well and the like…
  • and a couple more things that are escaping me now. What was your favorite?

Two, I now have a CEO who stood on stage and fielded architecture questions about how to build a cloud solution. YES!!! This was awesome.

Three, I got to meet a ton of great folks and catch up with even more. Too many to name because I know I’d forget some. Leave a comment if we connected. 🙂

Four, I got to speak this year. This is actually the first tier one MS event I’ve ever spoken at. It went really well. I’ll link the video when it gets posted to Channel9.

I got to help launch the beta of http://status.modern.ie. This is a great site that will keep you up to date on Internet Explorer’s roadmap of features.

modern.IE

modern.IE I’m a Program Manager on the Developer Relations team for Internet Explorer. The core mission of my team is to help developers write interoperable web sites across all of the major browsers. To that end, we have put together a set of tools and downloads that will help you testing, especially for Internet Explorer but most of the tools help across app browsers.

modern.IE Scanner

The modern.IE Scanner is does a static scan of your web site looking for common issues on web sites. Currently, it looks for:

Fix common problems from supporting old versions of IE
Known compatibility issues
Compatibility Mode
Frameworks & libraries
Web standards docmode

Fix common problems from supporting old versions of IE
CSS prefixes
Browser plug-ins
Responsive web design

Suggested enhancement
Browser detection
Optimize the images on your page
HTML5 inputs

Suggested enhancement
Prerender + prefetch

Suggested enhancement

Compressed content

Consider building with some new features in Windows 8
Touch-first browsing
Flip Ahead Browsing
IE11 tiles + Notifications

Once you’ve scanned your site and reviewed the static results, you can take a look at how your site looks across a lot of browsers with the screen shot service by Browser Stack and also do a scan for code that’s no longer supported by current versions of Internet Explorer.

It will save you a bunch of time testing and looking for issues to scan your web site with the modern.IE Scanner.

Virtual Machine Downloads

The scanner is great but there’s nothing like looking at the real thing. To help here, the team has put up a large set of virtual machines to help you out here. These virtual machines are designed for you to do Internet Explorer testing.

We have virtual machines for folks running Windows, OSX and Linux across the following virtualization platforms (dependent on base platform):

Hyper-V (Windows)
Virtual PC (Windows)
Virtual Box (Windows, OSX and Linux
VMWare (Windows, OSX)
Parallels (OSX)

The virtual machines include a lot of different Windows OS and browser configurations.

Windows XP with IE6
Windows XP with IE8
Windows Vista with IE7
Windows 7 with IE8
Windows 7 with IE9
Windows 7 with IE10
Windows 7 with IE11 (Currently RP but soon to be release)
Windows 8 with IE10
Windows 8.1 and IE11 (Currently preview but soon to be release)

This is a lot of machines. If you count up all the variations of virtualization platform, OS and browser, it’s a little over 90 VMs that we’ve got for you to download.

These are 90 day VMs because they are not activated VMs. This means that in 90 days, you’ll need to come back and download a new one but that’s a good thing because we’ll be keeping them up to date with security patches and the like on the web site so you don’t have to think about it.

Offers

There are also partner offers that we give from time to time ranging from some percentage off of Parallels to a 3 month trial of Browser Stack (rather than their normal 1 month trial) and so on. These change from time to time so I’m not going to go through all of these here.

Summary

There’s a ton that the team is doing which is all aimed at helping web developers build an interoperable web. What I hope never happens again is a “Best viewed in X Browser” tag on a web site again.

Windows 8 Dev Training Opps in Ireland

Visual Studio 2011

We’ve got two events coming up on short order here in Dublin that will help you learn how to write Windows 8 Applications.

The first is an actual class called the Developer Introduction To Windows 8. That’s a two day course being run on March 20-21 (*Update – the dates here are moving due to unforeseen circumstances – will update when we have firm dates again.*) at Microsoft in Sandyford. The training will be done by the crack team at Black Marble who have been doing Windows 8 development for quite a while and are now some of the official trainers for Windows 8 across Ireland and the UK.

You can register at http://msirl.eventbrite.com/

The second event is a self directed learning opportunity called the Windows 8 Code Camp in Dublin. This is being run in conjunction with the good folks at Dublin Alt.NET. The idea is that there will be very short amount of lecture at the beginning of the day and then the rest of the day is for you to sling code with experts in the room to help you with any issues and questions as they come up… Imagine that it’s Stack Overflow in the room with you rather than waiting for an answer. 🙂

You can register at http://msirl.eventbrite.com/ for this event as well…

Looking forward to see you at one or both of those events in the near term!

Josh

Architect Evangelist Position in Dublin

There’s a Architect Evangelist position open on the DPE team here in Ireland for someone with the right mix of passion, technical and commercial experience.

Wilbour CraddockWilbour Craddock is returning to the icy tundra that forged and hardened him in Regina, Saskatchewan (yeah, I had to look it up too). Wilbour has really set the bar for this role and has left a very big hole to fill.

Despite rumor’s to the contrary, you don’t have to be a bald ex-DJ with a North American accent to be on the team these days.

Here’s the high level job description from the Career’s site:

The Architect Evangelist role is a senior role within the Microsoft Ireland Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) Group. The Architect Evangelist’s role is to help mould and implement the DPE Group’s strategy to ensure Ireland is a world showcase for next generation app and service development on Microsoft technologies. To be successful in this role the right individual must have an insatiable appetite for staying ahead of the curve both technically and commercially, in order to ensure our partners and customers are successful in an era of unprecedented rapid change. You must be able to build open trusted-advisor relationships between team members and with the technical decision makers inside our customer and partner accounts. In addition, you will be expected to lead initiatives for the cloud and developer tools business within the Irish market. This role requires a high performance individual who can demonstrate all of the above as well as a blend of passion, agility, persistence, curiosity and creativity.

If you are interested in learning more, check out the full description here:

https://careers.microsoft.com/jobdetails.aspx?ss=&pg=0&so=&rw=8&jid=71749&jlang=EN

Also, I’d be happy to field questions at [my first name].[my last name]@microsoft.com. And let me know if you apply and I’ll put in a good word for you with the boss… 🙂

Getting Started with Windows Phone

prod_nokia710colors_page[1]There’s a lot going on with Windows Phone development these days and the great news is that you’re not out in the cold on your own here. There are a ton of of great Windows Phone resources that will give you thoughts, ideas, code, sample images and much much more. This blog post is going to be a growing repository of resources that I have that are available to Windows Phone developers specifically in Ireland but many of these resources are available to anyone.

Groups

Windows Phone Ireland LinkedIn Group – this is the best way to stay informed about all of the events and promotions in Ireland!!! For example, we’ve got a number of testing sessions coming up as well as tons of training events.
Windows Phone Developer Users Group in Ireland – coming soon…

Windows Phone

Consumer site

Windows Phone YouTube Channel (Watch Social, App and Web videos)

WP Central – Independent Source on everything Windows Phone

Tools

Believe it or not, the tools are free.

Windows Phone Tools

Now, there are more complete versions of the tools (that do more than just phone stuff but everything that you need is free).

If you are in BizSpark or have MSDN – you get these more complete versions of the tools for free already as well. If you are a startup, sign up for BizSpark at http://www.bizspark.ie.

If you are a web consultant in a shop that’s less than 10 people, you can get these tools for free as well through WebsiteSpark at http://www.microsoft.com/web/websitespark/support.aspx?tab=ProgramDetails.

Twitter Accounts you should follow

Windows Phone
Windows Phone Design Team
Arturo Toledo – UX Designer Developer Experience
Corrina Black – Windows Phone Design Lead for Developer Experience
Josh Holmes – yes, shameless plug
Jeff Blankenburg – Developer Evangelist in the US
Susan Todd – Design Research Developer Experience
Windows Phone Design Twitter List
Mike Kruseniski

Education

Jeff Blankenburg has a fantastic couple of series on Windows Phone development.

31 Days of Windows Phone
31 Days of Mango

Design Resources

Windows Phone UX Guide MSDN

Design Templates for Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone Grid 

Silverlight Windows Phone 7.1 (Mango) Toolkit

Microsoft Design .toolbox Tutorials

Microsoft Design .toolbox Courses

Windows Phone Geek – UX Resources

Jeff Wilcox’s “Metro” design guide for developers, v1.00

Videos

Full Day Event Windows Phone Design Sessions

BUILD 2011

Windows Phone User Experience Design

MIX11

All Thumbs: Redesigning an Existing UI to Suit Windows Phone 7

Analyzing and Improving Windows Phone Application Performance

Application Design for Windows Phone

Windows Phone UI and Design Language (MIX10)

Design Talks

Mike Kruzeniski: Personal, Relevant. Connected: Designing Integrated Mobile Experiences for Apps and Web

How was CocktailFlow Designed? Creating a Beautiful Windows Phone 7 Application

Albert Shum Talking about Windows Phone

ReMIX South 2011 Keynote with Albert Shum and Arturo Toledo

Channel 9

Silverlight TV 81: Four Great Windows Phone UX Tips

Silverlight TV 69: UX and Perceived Performance of WP7 Apps

Silverlight TV 83: Using Wireframes to Visually Communicate a Windows Phone Experience

Silverlight TV 75: Quick and Dirty UX Testing (Design Tips Mini Series)

Silverlight TV 78: Designing Tiles and Splash Screens for Windows Phone (Design Tips Mini Series)

Inside Windows Phone #24 – User Experience for Windows Phone Apps

Windows Phone Design Studios Tour Decks

Windows Phone Design Deck
Metro Design Deck
Refine Design Deck
Think Design Deck

Webinar on Oct 20, 2010 with Microsoft/Zend

imageI’m looking forward to starting this new webinar series that I’m launching in partnership with Zend about running PHP in general and Zend in particular on Microsoft Azure.

My goal, as I’m writing the demos today after posting this, is to go through the Zend Guestbook quick start and then port that to run in Azure and leverage that platform. I’ll be posting the full technical write-up here once I get done.

From the Zend web site:

Join a webinar on Cloud Computing with Zend Framework and Windows Azure. In this session, we’ll take a technical overview of Windows Azure Data Storage which can be used both inside and outside of your cloud application and the Windows Azure computing which can be leveraged to scale your application horizontally. We’ll write a small application with the Zend Framework and get it up and running in Azure so that we can dive deep into the individual parts in future webinars.
Join this webinar to learn how to take your application to the next level.

Register

It’s important to note that this is the first of a series so we’re going to do an overview across the board this time and then we’ll dive deep into things such as the data access layers or architecting for scaling horizontally across multiple instances in the future.

Announcing the WebsiteSpark Program

image Building on the success of the DreamSpark and BizSpark program that we launched about 11 months ago Microsoft is now launching the WebsiteSpark program.

WebsiteSpark is designed for small web consultancies ranging in size from 1 to 10 people. With WebsiteSpark, you get a package of software specifically selected for a web consultancy to serve their customers better.

What does the program provide?

WebSiteSpark provides software licenses that you can use for three years at no cost.  Once enrolled, you can download and immediately use the following software from Microsoft:

  • 3 licenses of Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
  • 1 license of Expression Studio 3 (which includes Expression Blend, Sketchflow, and Web)
  • 2 licenses of Expression Web 3
  • 4 processor licenses of Windows Web Server 2008 R2
  • 4 processor licenses of SQL Server 2008 Web Edition
  • DotNetPanel control panel (enabling easy remote/hosted management of your servers)

The Windows Server and SQL Server licenses are for you to do both development and production work. Also, the production licenses can be leveraged in a couple of different ways. You can do 1 production server with 4 processors or 4 servers with 1 processor each. These servers can also be either dedicated hardware or virtualized offerings. If you want, you can throw the licenses on your own server with the “self-hosted” model or you can enroll with one of the hosters that have signed up as a Network Partner. As a Network Partner, they will pass the savings of the licenses on to you and only charge you for the infrastructure work. You can find all of the hosting network partners on the WebsiteSpark page.

But this program is not just about software. As part of the WebsiteSpark, the people that enroll are entered into the Microsoft Partner Program and into Microsoft Pinpoint. This will help result in customer referrals and more. There’s also 2 Microsoft professional support incidents per year and some free online training that will be provided. 

Who’s eligible for BizSpark?

WebSiteSpark is available to independent web developers and small web development companies.  The only two requirements to join the program are:

  1. Your company builds web sites and web application on behalf of others.
  2. Your company currently has less than 10 employees.

If you qualify and want to get signed up today, there are a couple of different paths.

You can always visit WebsiteSpark and sign up directly. During the enrollment, you can pick a network partner or you can pick one of your friends at Microsoft such as me as your contact to enroll and sign you up.

Or you can send mail to webspark@microsoft.com you can get a referral code quickly.  You can then use that code to enroll in the program on the WebsiteSpark website.  Once enrolled you can immediately download and use the software, as well as begin to participate in the network/partner opportunities.

If you run into any issues at all, email me at josh.holmes@microsoft.com and I’ll help you out.

Some quick Q&A
  • What happens after the 3 years?

There is a $100 exit fee when you leave the program whether you leave at the end of 1 year or you leverage all three years. However, there’s no obligation to continue using any/all of the software once you exit the program. If you so wish, you can pay the $100 exit fee and wash your hands of the whole deal. Obviously, the play here is that at the end of the three years you will find our platform and tools valuable enough to purchase.

That said, there are some interesting incentives that are being put in place right now to help you with that decision. WebsiteSpark participants can optionally choose to purchase all of the software in the WebsiteSpark program via a $999/year package. And yes, that includes all of the software involved from the tools to the production licenses.  

Or you can just leverage the production licenses through a stellar $199 a year offer that includes both 1 Windows Web Server processor license and 1 SQL Server Web edition processor license.  You can buy the quantity you need of this package at $199/year each. 

  • What’s the role of the Network Partner?

Similar to the BizSpark program, the Network Partners are selected because they are active in supporting the ecosystem that the program is intended for. In the case of hosters it’s obvious. They host the websites that WebsiteSpark participants are building. There are others who work with the community in advisory roles and want to help out as mentors and coaches.

Couple of examples:

Cal Evans is another example of a great network partner as he’s working with PHP shops all over the world and helping them to be successful again as a mentor and as a coach. As a network partner, he is adding one more offering into the portfolio to help his mentees be successful.

Steve Smith from Nimble Pros who wanted to be involved as a network partner because he’s active in working with other consults to help them be successful through support, advice, mentoring and sometimes sub-contracting. He’s proven this by being a Microsoft Regional Director and an MVP for many years. His role as a network partner in the program only furthers that goal of helping the ecosystem.

Ben Henderson from Firefly Logic, Harper Reed from Threadless and John Alexander and Jeff Julian from Geeks With Blogs hold similar positions in the community as influential bloggers, coaches, mentors and advisors to many companies.

Summary

I’m really excited about WebsiteSpark because I remember when I was an independent consultant and then a partner at SRT Solutions getting our first dedicated server. It was a great feeling to have the freedom to do whatever we needed to do with the server from installing different types of software to configuring the redirects the way we wanted.

For more details – read Scott Guthrie’s blog post at Announcing the WebsiteSpark
Program – ScottGu’s Blog

Again, if you want to get involved, feel free to contact me at josh.holmes@microsoft.com. Either I can sign you up directly or get you in touch with the right network partner to help you in your situation.

Too much to see at the MDC Detroit

I’m not normally overly excited about the large Microsoft events, however, I’m really looking forward to the MDC Detroit next week.

The idea behind the show is that it’s taking the most critical sessions from PDC and repackaging them in a one day format.

I’ve had a chance to go through a lot of the content and see what all is going to be show. The cool part about it is that the vast majority of the talks are doing a demo. This is a big departure from a lot of the multi-city roadshows that Microsoft puts on and it’s a good thing. You’ll actually get to see code running. You’ll see applications being built. The other thing is that these demos are real world. It’s not hello world style demos. In my talk, I’m actually building a full line of business HR application that reads and writes from the database.

The talk that I’m doing is the Silverlight talk. Those of you who know me are not shocked by that. 🙂 The cool part is that there are two parts to the talk. First, I’m going to show what you can do with current and shipping technologies. Then I’m going to show you what’s coming next.

Web technologies not your bag, there’s still plenty to see. Specifically, there are three different tracks. I’m in the Client and Presentation track. I’m just happy that there’s a lunch between me and Billy Hollis. That’ll give the audience to forget how awesome he was before coming and hearing me.

AGENDA

Time Table Azure Services Platform for Cloud Computing Client and Presentation Tools, Languages and Framework
7:00-8:30 Registration and Breakfast
8:30-10:00 Ron JacobsThe day starts off with a keynote presented by Ron Jacobs. If you’ve not heard Ron speak before, you’re in for a treat. He’s a dynamic and engaging speaker on any topic.
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-11:30 Brian PrinceA Lap Around Windows Azure and the Azure Services Platform
Brian Prince
Jeff Hunsaker
Jason Karns
ASP.NET and JQuery
Jeff Hunsaker
Jason Karns
Bill WagnerThe Future of Managed Languages: C# and Visual Basic
Bill Wagner
11:30-12:30 lunch
12:30-1:45 Jennifer MarsmanDeveloping and Deploying Your First Azure Service
Jennifer Marsman
Billy HollisDeveloping Data-Centric Applications Using the WPF DataGrid and Ribbon Controls
Billy Hollis
Delbert MurphyA Lap Around “Oslo”
Delbert Murphy
Darryl Hogan (note that Darryl didn’t send in a photo.)
1:45-2:00 Break
2:00-3:15 Jeff BlankenburgA Lap Around the Live Framework and Mesh Services
Jeff Blankenburg
Josh HolmesBuilding Business-Focused Applications Using Silverlight 2
Josh Holmes

Randy Pagels
Tony Jimenez
A Lap Around VSTS 2010
Randy Pagels
Tony Jimenez

3:15-3:30 Break
3:30-4:45 Chris WoodruffDeveloping Applications Using Microsoft SQL Data Services
Chris Woodruff

Carey Payette
Jeff McWherter
ASP.NET 4.0 Roadmap
Carey Payette / Jeff McWherter

Jay WrenAn Introduction to Microsoft F#
Jay Wren

Microsoft BizSpark

It’s an exciting time here at Microsoft. Last week we announced Microsoft BizSpark!

Microsoft BizSpark is a global program designed to accelerate the success of early stage Startups. Microsoft has realized that most startups have more time than money. This means that in an attempt to save some cash up front, many will pursue free technology paths rather than spending the money on a more complete solution. The issue is that even though they have more money than time, if they don’t get to revenue quickly, they will fail. To help out here, Microsoft has taken cost off the table as an issue for the startups adopting any of the Microsoft technologies in their products and offerings.

I’ll get to the details of the software offering in a moment. But first I want to point out that this is not just cheap software. There are three key areas that Microsoft has identified where it can help startups. Startups need, in addition to the technology, support and marketing. This is accomplished in a couple of different ways. BizSpark Startups receive professional support from Microsoft as well as community-driven support from Network Partners, active organizations in the entrepreneurial space, who can provide guidance, mentorship and resources to Startups.

By virtue of their participation in BizSpark, Startups can also gain visibility with potential investors, partners and customers.

BizSpark provides software, support and visibility to high-potential Startups:

Software

  • All the software included in the Visual Studio Team System Team Suite (VSTS) with MSDN Premium subscription Expression Studio (Version 2), plus VSTS Team Foundation Server Standard Edition – for the entire development team
  • Production license use rights, to deploy, host and support Startup’s “software as a service” applications for delivery over the Internet, using the following products: Windows Server (all versions), SQL Server (all versions), BizTalk Server, and Office SharePoint Server for hosting; and Systems Center for managing hosting server operations.

Support

  • Guidance, resources and mentoring provided by Network Partners, active members of the global software ecosystem who are qualified to provide support and advice to Startups
  • Access to MSDN Premium: managed newsgroups, online library, online concierge, etc.
  • Two technical support Incidents per Startup

Visibility

  • Each BizSpark Startup will have the opportunity to profile their company in the BizSparkDB, an online Startup directory, hosted on the Microsoft Startup Zone web site. Startups will get exposure to potential investors, partners and customers around the world.
  • Opportunity to be highlighted on the BizSparkDB as a featured company and be promoted as BizSpark Company of the Week on the Microsoft Startup Zone website.

Costs – on exit of the program (read three years after you sign up), the participants will be invoiced a $100.00 fee. This means that there are no up front costs for the startups.

Who’s Eligible?

An eligible Startup must have the following characteristics at the time of joining:

  • Actively engaged in development of a software-based product or service that will form a core piece of its current or intended business. This means that the startup must be producing software or services as the means to them getting paid. Either selling or leasing the software and/or service.
  • Privately held.
  • In business for less than 3 years.
  • Less than US $1 million in annual revenue. This varies slightly by country but here in the US it’s $1 Million.

To be eligible for Production License rights, Startups must also be developing a “software as a service” solution (on any platform) to be delivered over the Internet.

Examples:

Does Quality:

  • An Independent Software Vendor (ISV) that is producing software for sale.
  • Producing a service such as a claims processing services that you lease to other companies so that they can outsources their claims management.
  • A combination application that sits on the clients machine and calls services that you have produced with any form of monitization be it leasing or for sale to third parties.

Does Not Qualify:

  • If you are developing an internal claims processing system solely for your own company.
  • Developing a web site for your company as your marketing presence.
  • Are a pure consulting agency with no products.

To break it down, if you are getting paid through the software and/or service that you are producing then you probably quality.

If you think you are qualified and are interested in signing up – Anand Iyer has a great walk-through that explains how to sign up at http://tr.im/joinbizspark

Network Partners

Our Network Partners consist of University Incubators, Government Agencies, Entrepreneur Organizations (incubators, business angels,…) and Investors themselves depending on the volume of startups that they deal with. These Network Partners are able to offer a lot of services to the startups than Microsoft ever could because they are in the trenches and offer a lot of different services.

Depending on the network partner, some of the services could include office space, access to funding sources, introductions to potential clients, legal advice, business plan mentoring and tons of other support.

If you are interested in joining BizSpark, you can do so easily by contacting one of our network partners. Or you can contact me and I’ll get you in touch with a local network partner that can help you out.

If you are interested in being a Network Partner, sign up online or reach out to me.

techtown-logo

One of my first Network Partners, who actually offers almost all of the services listed above, is TechTown. TechTown, Detroit’s research and technology park, was established in 2000 when Wayne State University, General Motors and the Henry Ford Health System convened to create an engine of economic growth with both local and statewide impact. TechTown stimulates job growth and small-business creation by developing companies in emerging high-technology industries including advanced engineering, life sciences and alternative energy.

TechTown is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is the Woodward Technology Corridor SmartZone.

In the years since its inception, TechTown has developed into an epicenter of high-tech business creation by equipping new companies with the services, support and resources they need to grow and thrive. The 12-block park is poised to become a critical source of job growth in Michigan.

Highlights:

  • TechOne, the 100,000-square-foot business incubator facility, now hosts 40 growing companies.
  • More than 30 high-tech startups have enrolled in TechTown’s business accelerator programs.
  • NextEnergy, an alternative energy incubator founded to encourage the commercialization of emerging energy technologies, opened its $12 million research facility in TechTown.
  • Asterand, a biomaterials bank and TechTown’s first tenant, has become an international, publicly traded company on the London Stock Exchange.

TechTown Detroit

SRT Solutions 

Microsoft BizSpark

Meet the Principal Group Manager of VSTS Test!

MarkMydland2We’ve got a fantastic opportunity for you here in the Heartland district. Visual Studio 2010 is the next generation of tools for building .NET applications of all varieties. One of the things that we are taking to heart is testability and testing tools. You can come meet the guy that’s in charge of building all of those tools. Do you want to know how they test the testing tools? Do you want to know how to use those tools to the best of your abilities? Do you have any questions at all? Come meet Mark Mydland!

Mark Mydland is the Principal Group Manager of the Visual Studio Team System Test Edition team (that means that all program managers, developers, and testers on VSTS Test in Redmond report up to him).  He is touring through Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee for a short time in November.  Mark will be visiting companies during the day and speaking at user groups in the evenings.  The user group talks are open to the public – this is a fabulous opportunity to speak directly with someone who created Visual Studio (and in fact runs the entire Test Edition team). 

At the user groups, Mark will be delivering a technical talk on the new features coming in VSTS 2010, codenamed “Rosario”.  This talk encompasses “some architect stuff, some dev stuff, some cool research stuff for concurrency and for bounds checking, 3-tier execution and data recording (aka Tivo for debugging).”  I purposely planned this tour to take place after PDC so Mark can discuss any new announcements made there. 

This is also his team’s work: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10052412-56.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20.  Cool, huh? 

Want a preview of VSTS 2010?  Mark is doing a number of user group talks that are open to the public.  And did I mention that there will be free dinner and giveaways?  Please stop by:

Grand Rapids, MI – Tues 11/11 at 6pmvsts
Watermark Country Club, 5500 Cascade Rd, Grand Rapids, MI 49548

Ann Arbor, MI – Wed 11/12 at 6pm
SRT Solutions, 206 S. Fifth Avenue, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Cleveland, OH – Thurs 11/13 at 6:30pm
Sogeti office, Beacon Place Office Building, 6055 Rockside Woods Blvd, Independence, OH 44131

Columbus, OH – Fri 11/14 at 6pm
Microsoft “Polaris Parkway” office, 8800 Lyra Dr, Columbus, OH 43240

Cincinnati, OH – Mon 11/17 at 6pm
MAX Training, 4900 Parkway Dr, Suite 160, Mason, OH 45040-8429

Louisville, KY – Tues 11/18 at 6:30pm
Muhammad Ali Center, One Muhammad Ali Plaza, 144 N. Sixth Street, Louisville, KY 40202

Nashville, TN – Wed 11/19 at 6pm
Microsoft Nashville office, MPR room, 2555 Meridian Blvd, Suite 300, Franklin, TN 37067

Memphis, TN – Thurs 11/20 at 6pm
New Horizons, 4775 American Way, Memphis, TN 38118

Knoxville, TN – Fri 11/21 at 6pm
Edfinancial Training Center, 120 North Seven Oaks Dr., Knoxville, TN 37922

For all the updates along the way – make sure you watch Jennifer Marsman’s blog at Meet the Principal Group Manager of VSTS Test!