Windows Phone 8 Features Detail Leaks

If you have not seen the features list, check them out here.  I think the most important items from that list is the tight integration between Windows Phone and Windows, the desktop version.  According to various leaked info this layer will contain the kernel, networking stacks, security model, multi-core processor, and multimedia.

It would be interesting to see how much of it is true later this year.

Windows Presentation Foundation Host Has Encountered a Problem

Every now and then we run across a weird deployment issue where certain XP machines are not able to run ILINX Content Store with the weird exception below

The issue is caused by either an incorrect/corrupted permissions set on the user working folder or the registry key.  The fix is to run the tool below from Microsoft.

Phong Hoang
ImageSource, Inc. 


Dynamically Generating A TableLayoutPanel

The TableLayoutPanel in .NET is a great control for organizing other controls on a Windows form.  We here at ImageSource use it all of the time.  Most developers just generate all of the rows and columns from designer and never mess with the control again at runtime.   Unlike the ListBox and ListView controls,changing the Rows and Columns at runtime is not immediately obvious in the TableLayoutPanel. The following set of code will demonstrate will demonstrate a way to accomplish this non-intuitive task.

Continue reading

Pinning Apps to the Task Bar in Windows 7

In Windows 7, it is possible to “pin” an application to the TaskBar so you can open it with just a single click. To pin something, simply drag the icon to taskbar and click on the “Pin this program to the Taskbar” popup menu item.
I do this with my Visual Studio shortcuts to save time hunting on my desktop or in the Start Programs menu.



Thoughts on Windows Mobile 7

InfoWorld published an interesting article last week where the author predicted the death of Windows Mobile 7, scheduled to be available later this year, and the author concluded that Microsoft should give up chasing the mobile space.

Continue reading

The death of Windows Forms and the rise of XAML

A little history

Microsoft technologies move in decades.  Every 10 years or so Microsoft introduces a better way to write Windows applications.  My programming experience goes back to Win32 APIs and MFC in the 90s and .NET in the 20th.  (Yes, I know Java come before .NET and I actually work with that platform for a numbers of years, but let’s just leave Java out of this discussion.)  So here we are in 2010, starting a new decade, is there a better way to write Windows apps?

Windows Forms

Windows Forms for .NET dominate thick client applications in the last decade and Microsoft has said that they will continue to support Windows Forms for the foreseeable future.  However,  three technologies/application types that would put Windows Forms to bed are rich internet apps, cloud apps, and phone apps.   The main problem with Windows Forms is that you cannot easily adapt those apps across different devices/app types and that is where XAML shines.


Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) simplifies creating a UI in .NET.  Both WPF and Silverlight use XAML, but the biggest promise for XAML is that XAML-based apps can easily be adapted to different devices.  Microsoft has indicated that they want to control 3 screens: PC, TV and phone.  Whether or not they will succeed that vision is another story, but I believe that XAML will be the delivery mechanism for these next generation apps.


I don’t see Win32, MFC and Windows Forms for .NET apps going away anytime soon.  In fact, I don’t see them going away at all because that’s what Windows is built on.  That said, XAML is the better way to write Windows apps for this coming decade.  If you are a Windows developer and don’t get to work with XAML in your day job, you should learn it at night.

Installing Windows 7 on a Netbook?

Below is an awesome tool to use if you are planning on installing Windows 7 on a machine that does not have a DVD drive.  This tool allows you to put Windows 7 on USB drive and run Windows installation from there.

If you got one those netbook with XP on it and the machine has at least 1GB RAM and 1.6 GHz, I would format it and install Windows 7 on it.