Consumer-focused Windows 10 preview may launch in early 2015

Windows 10 preview

We won’t get any more new builds for Windows 10 Technical Preview this year, but it looks like Microsoft is cooking up a host of changes for the first preview of 2015. WinBeta has learned that the first Consumer Preview of the OS is likely to debut early next year, which may include Cortana for the desktop, a new Start screen, access to the desktop-to-tablet UI switching mode called Continuum and more.

With regards to Cortana, WinBeta says:

“Many are awaiting the appearance of Cortana, the Microsoft personal-assistant which currently runs on Windows Phone. It’s currently unclear when Cortana is set to appear in public builds, we know that Cortana is working in internal builds of the operating system, we just don’t know when Microsoft plan to release her publicly. It’s possible that Microsoft will unveil her alongside the Consumer Preview, but hold off on her release until BUILD in April, but now we’re treading into the speculation zone.”

We may also get to see Live Tiles on the desktop, along with enhancements to the Notification Center and the overall user interface. Looking at the number of changes, it is likely that all the features may not make their way into the first preview build of 2015. Also, seeing as how any of this isn’t official, we suggest you take the information with the obligatory grain of salt.

What do you guys think of the upcoming changes to Windows 10?

Installing Xamarin for Visual Studio 2015 Preview

By now you probably got the blurb of last week’s Microsoft announcements:

Microsoft Takes .NET Open Source And Cross-Platform

TechCrunch – Frederic Lardinois “Unsurprisingly, the company plans to work with the Xamarin-sponsored Mono community, which already produces a cross-platform open source .NET framework based on C#. “We will announce this and then take the next few months working with the Mono community,” Somasegar told me. “We are working very closely with the Xamarin guys on this.”

With .NET turnaround, Microsoft wants to create ‘one big family’ with open-source community

GeekWire – Todd Bishop “Miguel is still the man!” said an enthusiastic S. “Soma” Somasegar, the corporate vice president in charge of Microsoft’s Developer Division. Somasegar made the comments in an interview discussing the company’s plan to open-source .NET and make it possible to use Microsoft’s developer technologies to make software for — you guessed it — Mac, Linux, Android and iOS. Microsoft is working on the initiative with the Mono community and the startup Xamarin, which de Icaza co-founded.”

Microsoft open-sources server-side .Net, launches Visual Studio 2015 preview

InfoWorld – Simon Bisson “This doesn’t mean the work on cross-platform client-side .Net will stop. “We’re going to continue partnering deeply with Xamarin,” Somasegar says. That’s borne out by the upcoming release of Visual Studio, which will make it easier to add Xamarin tools to support iOS and Android development alongside Windows apps.”

As a testament of our close collaboration with Microsoft, we shipped same-day support for Android Native C++ projects in VS 2015, as well as deep integration with Microsoft’s Hyper-V based Android Emulator.

The experience basically is that now in VS 2015 you have two new templates for Android and iOS:

New Android App

New iOS App

Launching any of those two templates will create a project that is like an introduction to the product and links to download it (similar to what the Azure templates do when you don’t have Azure SDK installed):

Install Xamarin

Now you can just click that download button, and get the new integration for 2015!

If you happened to have a previous version of Xamarin for Visual Studio installed, please keep reading as you may not have gotten the 2015 bits installed by default (it’s something we’re fixing shortly).

Ensuring 2015 support is installed (only for previous Xamarin users)

By default, Windows Installer will just update the components you have previously installed, when applying an update. Since you previously didn’t have 2015 components installed, then by default you won’t be getting them installed right now. (we’re fixing that soon-ish).

Don’t worry, you don’t have to go download anything again, here are the easy steps to ensure you turn the bits on for 2015:

1 – Go to Add/Remove programs and search for Xamarin:

Add/Remove Xamarin

2 – Click Next on the installer window and select Change on the next screen:

Change MSI

3 – Finally, make sure you check and install locally the Visual Studio 2015 feature:

Install 2015 Feature

After the installer is done applying your changes, the old “starter” templates will be gone and you’ll be greeted with a bunch of template that you’re surely familiar with already (since this section applies to existing users only ;)).

In a future post I’ll delve a bit more on how we’re integrating with Microsoft C++ Android Native projects (hint: you can just add a project reference! ;)).


Just a few days far from the Italian Xamarin event!

Yeah, that’s right, we are just a few days left from the Italian Xamarin event (14/11/2014, Milan), and I couldn’t be any more excited than this! 🙂

Why so? Well, Xamarin is actually the best way for us, C# programmers, to easily port our Windows Phone apps to the Android and iOS platforms without having to learn insiders Java and Objective-C/Swift languages. Should that not look awesome enough on its own, just head to this page to be even more amazed.

Yeah, you got it right, Xamarin is offering their Indie license free to any student in the world! As long as it may look for US-only students, just compile all the fields in the page (remember using your university e-mail) to get started in the Xamarin world.

The only main lack of the Indie version is the support to Visual Studio, but you can cope with that as it’s anyway a free product, after all! 🙂

Want to easily get started coding with Xamarin? Check out the resources available following the link below here:

They all belong to the Xamarin event of the year, Evolve. Just watch some of them to get ready to the upcoming Italian event!

See you in Milan on the 14th of November, then! 😉