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As a developer it’s very common to “google” for code samples, when you’re set out to write code that you have either forgotten or if you’re not quite sure how something works. I always use Google for this, because I believe they have the best results. And frankly because I haven’t given Bing a fair chance.

Now, Microsoft has released a new extension for Visual Studio 2013; Bing Code Search for C#. The extension does exactly what its name implies. But, it does it in a fashion that is incredibly clever. Your search result is displayed inside Visual Studio and it only shows the working Code Sample, as opposed to Google, where you have to pick out several results. Or when searching StackOverflow.com where it’s very likely that 10 people answer the same question with variations of the same answer.

Here’s how it works.

Install the extension from the Visual Studio Gallery.

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Click on the  Bing Logo and the text “How do I …”.

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Enter your query in the search field.

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In this example I got 8 results, which I can browse between. Click on the Accept-button to insert the script to your code file.

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Beautiful, Microsoft!

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I’m so excited. In the first week of April I will attend the Microsoft BUILD Developer Conference in San Francisco. For a Microsoft Developer, this is the most influential event where you connect with thousands of other great developers from around the world, and get the Latest News from Microsoft’s Developers.

The venue for this event is the Moscone Center, where also last year’s BUILD event was held. Companies like Google and Apple also held large events here.

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BUILD 2014 was opened for registration on January 14 at 18.00 (Swedish Time). I reserved my ticket just three minutes later, and it didn’t take long before the event was sold out. So, on April 1 I will be on location and connect with some of the world’s greatest Microsoft Developers, to learn and share for several days. Hopefully Steve Ballmer will be there to hold a keynote before he steps down as CEO of Microsoft.

The sessions hasn’t been revealed yet, but there will be over a hundred sessions to pick from. I’ve watched a few sessions from BUILD 2013 on Channel9, and my expectations are high. Attending this event will put Mindbite even more in front of our local competition.

My trip will start a little earlier with a flight to Los Angeles on Wednesday the week before BUILD. There I will meet up with my old Mindbite-colleague Johan, that works for NetRelations in Los Angeles. Very exciting!

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On Sunday I plan to travel the coast by car from Los Angeles to San Francisco. If everything goes as planned I will arrive in San Francisco on Monday afternoon to check in at Hilton, which is located just 10 walking minutes from the Moscone Center.

I will post more details regarding this trip before, during and after. So check out this blog for breaking BUILD News in April!

If you’ve booked your ticket to BUILD, send me a message and we’ll connect in San Francisco! If you come in early, as I do, maybe we could go sightseeing together before the event.

// @robinmansson /

Are you a Web Developer, interested in working with the latest technology? Well… We’re hiring!

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Mindbite AB is a Microsoft Gold Certified Web Agency located in Vimmerby, Sweden. Our company was founded nearly 14 years ago, and we have clients from a huge span of businesses. From Small Business to the Swedish National Police Board.

Our Team is now looking for a Web Developer with skills in design, web and programming. We work with the latest tools from Adobe and Microsoft. All developers are equipped with a Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, Microsoft Windows 8.1, and Microsoft Visual Studio Premium 2013.

We build all of our solutions with our main product SiteFactory CMS which is Gold Certified for Microsoft Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft SQL Server.

We offer a great workplace with focus on new technology and personal development.

Read more about the job, and apply for it here (in Swedish).

Pun intended, actually.

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Today we received a shipment of Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktops to our company. Expectations are high.

I’ve been using keyboards with ergonomic layout since 2000, and the last time I actually bought a new keyboard was in 2005. So for the last 8 years I’ve been using a Logitech Cordless Desktop Pro. That keyboard has become quite the bacterial culture.

Switching keyboard is one of the hardest things to do when you’ve grown so accustomed to a particular one. Now, it’s time commit in a real switch.

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The package contains three items; keyboard, mouse and a separate numeric keyboard. All items look really good and innovative and they have a great build quality. The battery lids on all three components are attached by magnets, which is more cool than useful. But it sure adds up to the overall build quality.

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Unboxing.

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This is the Swedish layout.

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Magnetically attached battery lid. The USB transmitter is hidden inside the mouse. Didn’t find it at first, and I got a little confused. Smart though.

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The lid on keyboard bottom is also attached using magnets.

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I just love the design!

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The mouse looked kind of boring at first. But it’s actually very comfortable. It is however slightly taller than my older mouse, which makes me accidentally bitch slap it every time I reach for it.

My first intentions were to ditch the mouse in favor of my older one. But after 5 minutes I revised my plans and kept it.

Closing comments

I love Sculpt! Now I just have to get accustomed to it.

During this week, ten years ago, we began developing our first solution using Microsoft Visual Studio .Net and Microsoft .Net Framework.

When starting our company Mindbite back in 2000, ASP development (Active Server Pages) using Visual InterDev was really cool, so that became our area of expertise. In 2002 Microsoft released .Net Framework with Visual Studio .Net and I can remember us giving that a try. The tools and languages were completely different than ASP and the learning threshold was a lot higher, so it wasn’t until the summer a year later that we decided to leave ASP in favor of .Net Framework.

The easiest route from ASP till .Net Framework was to choose the language Visual Basic .Net, so that’s what we did. I can also remember us bringing in a lot of crappy thinking from ASP to .Net Framework. Looking back at our earliest .Net solutions feels like a train wreck.

Fortunately, we learned quite quick and very soon we had left ASP development behind us, and we haven’t looked back since. During the years we have delivered hundreds and hundreds of solutions developed with Microsoft .Net.

In 2010 we decided to leave the programming language Visual Basic .Net in favor of C# (which is also a .Net programming language). This was one of our biggest, yet most important, decisions in our history.

During our ten years with Microsoft .Net we’ve worked hard to get as much as possible out of it. That’s why we partnered up early with Microsoft. We’ve gone through several partner stages, from MAPS to Empower Program and in 2009 we became a Microsoft Silver Partner. Two years later we reached Gold level Partnership. This is a level that we work hard on to keep.

Recently we also successfully Gold Certified our flagship product SiteFactory CMS, which is built on Microsoft .Net, for Windows Server 2012.

Over these ten years we’ve adopted every release of Visual Studio, Visual Source Safe and Team Foundation Server. These great tools has empowered us to deliver great solutions for our customers. We’ve worked with six different major versions of Visual Studio, starting with Visual Studio .Net (2002) and we’re currently using Visual Studio 2012. Very soon Microsoft will release Visual Studio 2013 which we’re very excited about.

So I hope this story will continue for at least another ten years.

EN_WS12_Cert_Purp258_2_rgbThis summer I spent a lot of time getting our main product SiteFactory CMS Certified by Microsoft. As a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner, we must provide proof of excellence and this certification is our best proof.

There is a difference between Product Certification and Partner Certification. What we have done now is a Gold level Certification of SiteFactory CMS for Windows Server 2012. It is just one of Microsoft’s requirements for our company to maintain the Gold level Certification Partnership with Microsoft.

The Gold level is the highest level of Product Certification for Windows Server 2012 and is only achieved for applications that passes the following requirements:

  • Support for Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Support for non-UI configurations of Windows Server 2012.

The Certification Tests has been conducted on a Virtual Windows Server 2012 machine running on a Windows Server 2012 Datacenter host. The virtual server has been running in “Server Core” during testing, which means that there hasn’t been a graphical interface installed on the server.

You can read the proof of certification here.

What this means for us and our customers

We have developed a software product that is so rock solid that is passes Microsoft’s extensive tests.  Our product works in any Windows Server 2012 Configuration. So our customers knows that they have made a wise decision when choosing SiteFactory CMS. This achievement puts us in front of many of our competitors.

The next step

Trust me when I say we won’t stop here. We will continue to work hard and keep certifying our products along with Microsoft’s server releases. Next up is certification for Windows Server 2012 R2 which will be released in October and we’re also looking at certification for SQL Server 2012.

Earlier this week Microsoft released a preview version of Windows 8.1. Of course, I updated my Surface RT to the new version, and it's quite the delight.

Some new features include Start-button, Desktop background on Startscreen, and an Outlook client. There are plenty more features, but these are the Top 3.

Windows 8 lacks some key apps, but I very much believe that Windows 8 Devices should ultimately rule the world. iPad seems like just an expensive toy, when comparing to the capabilities of Windows 8 on a touch device. Adding a touch/type keyboard to the Surface makes it even more powerful. A 0.6 kg laptop. Love it!

What I also love about Windows 8 and Surface is the ability to connect to our Corporate VPN and manage all our servers without any troubles. Of course, that could be done with an iPad, but on a Surface with a keyboard, it's a much more solid experience.

What I lack the most is Windows Live Writer. So consider this a test post, since I don't have any idea how Word will handle my blog markup.

It’s quite the big week now. In terms of Microsoft Software that is. Microsoft has unveiled preview after preview this week. Yesterday they released previews for Windows 8.1, Visual Studio 2013 and Microsoft .Net Framework 4.5.1. That’s just one day after releasing previews for Windows Server 2012 R2, SQL Server 2014 and System Center 2012 R2.

I’ve installed Windows 8.1 Preview on a Hyper-V machine, and also installed Visual Studio 2013 Preview. Now I’m ready to take it for a spin.

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The Visual Studio start experience. So far it looks a lot like Visual Studio 2012, which is good. From what I’ve read, they’ve worked a lot with the TFS experience, which wasn’t that good in 2012.

Since I’m mainly a Web Developer, I’ll test the Web Application Features first.

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At this point I’ve already found some new features. Some new ASP.NET Project Templates, like Facebook Application and Mobile Application. Personally I don’t like Templates, since they take away pretty much all my control over the Project. For instance, when creating a Web Project from the Mobile Template, there are about 40 Library References automatically added to my Project. Maybe I’m old school, but I prefer to add References only when I need them, and after some serious consideration.

This of course has nothing to do with the new Visual Studio. It’s more of a personal note :)

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When pulling up Team Explorer I notice some new (long awaited) features. Team Explorer in Visual Studio 2012 got a lot of both hate and love, since it changed pretty much everything from previous versions. In Visual Studio 2013 Microsoft has been listening to the the developers and improved Team Explorer.

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The Pending Changes Window can now be separated from the Team Explorer Window, and be placed anywhere in the IDE. This is something I’ve missed since Visual Studio 2010.

I’ll pause my tests for now and head out for some lunch. During which I’ll seriously consider if I should install Visual Studio 2013 Preview on my production machine.

Today Microsoft released a preview version of its upcoming Windows Server 2012 R2. The preview is very interesting for us right now, since we’re only a stones throw away from migrating our entire IT organization at Mindbite to Windows Server 2012.

Tomorrow Microsoft kicks off its Build Conference where the unveiling of Windows 8.1 will take place. A preview version of Windows 8.1 is highly expected to be released by tomorrow. And the Server Preview comes hand in hand with that.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner we’ve already gained access to Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview, and I’ve also installed it on one of our servers. To get an early glimpse of how Windows 8.1 will work, I’ve installed the Desktop Experience feature on the Server Preview.

Here are some screenshots from Windows Server 2012 R2

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And as with Windows 8/Server 2012 Beta, the Bet(ta) fish is back (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betta)

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Yesterday Twitter released a major update for their Windows Phone App. It’s a long awaited update, since their previous version was kind of stinky and pretty much useless. The new version is fresh and works just as good as for the competing platforms. My personal opinion is that the Windows Phone App looks and feels much better than the iOS App.

You can download the app from this link.

Screenshots

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