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Visual Studio 2017 Update 4 makes it easy to modernize your desktop application and make it store ready

Last year with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, we introduced the Desktop Bridge to provide desktop applications a path to modernize with the Universal Windows Platform, and to distribute via the Windows Store and the Microsoft Store for Business to all Windows 10 PCs, including devices that are running the Windows 10 S configuration.
The primary developer tool at the time was the Desktop App Converter, a tool that converts your current app installer into a Windows app package (.appx file), which can be submitted to the Windows Store or deployed via your distribution mechanism of choice. With Update 4 for Visual Studio 2017 we now have great support directly in Visual Studio for your Windows desktop application projects (WPF, Winforms, Win32, etc.). With the new tools you can now as you develop them in VS by simply hitting F5!
Let me walk you through an example, step-by-step. I am starting out with this Winforms app that showcases various chart controls. It’s been created several years ago in an older version of VS against .NET 4. Now my goal is to release it in the Windows Store and incrementally modernize it. Here is how easy it is now with Update 4 for Visual Studio 2017.

Step 1 – Add Windows App Packaging project to the solution
Before we start we need to make sure our desktop application project is loaded in Visual Studio 2017 and builds without error. Then in the next step we want to package our application as a Windows App Package (.appx file) so our Winforms app can take advantage of all the same Windows 10 app deployment features that are available to UWP apps: clean install & uninstall, seamless updates, Store distribution and many more. To do this, we will take advantage of the new tooling features introduced in Update 4 for Visual Studio 2017. We are adding a new project of type “Windows Application Packaging Project” to our solution:

Now we need to specify our min/target versions…

…and let the packaging  project know which project output to include in the package. To do so we right-click on the “Applications” node and set a reference to our Winforms project – done!

Important! Select the “DistributionPackage” project as your startup project. Now hit F5 and watch how your app gets packaged, deployed and launched as a Desktop Bridge app. You can start testing and debugging in this new execution context. If you set the Winforms project as startup project and hit F5, you can still test and debug the unpackaged version of your application
Step 2 – Configure app for Windows Store release
Our app is already running as a Desktop Bridge app now and we have successfully tested and debugged it in this configuration. Next we just need to put some finishing touches on the package so it integrates nicely with the Windows 10 Shell (tiles, badges, etc.) and to make sure it conforms to the Store submission requirements. First thing, we need to replace the default visual assets that come with the project template with our real, application-specific assets. This is very easy now in Visual Studio 2017 with the Visual Assets Manager in the package manifest editor:

To prepare for our Store submission we need to create the application in the Windows Dev Center and reserve our application name, provide screenshots for the store front, set the price, age ratings, etc. If you are not planning to distribute via the Windows Store, you can skip this step.

Last thing we need to do before we can release our app to the public is create a package bundle that is ready to deploy and Store-compliant. This bundle can contain binaries for different architectures, resources for different locales as well as the symbols for our binaries so we can later make sense of any crash reports in the Dev Center or Mobile Center. This can be done for Desktop Bridge apps directly from Visual Studio now, just like you would do for any UWP app:

As part of creating the packages we also run the certification tests and then submit the package to the Dev Center for certification and publishing. You can try the result of my submission out now and install the sample app on your machine from the Store by clicking on the badge below – source code for the app is available for your reference here.

What else does this enable for developers?
Aside from distributing and monetizing via Windows Store, your app now enjoys the modern deployment capabilities built into Windows 10. You don’t need to build an installer anymore, updates are automatic and differential. Uninstalls are guaranteed to be clean. Moreover, since your app is now in the Windows 10 App Model, you have access to UWP APIs and features, such as live tiles, Cortana integration, background tasks etc. Another important benefit specifically for Windows Forms apps is the new high DPI support in .NET 4.7, which is included in the Windows Creators Update (1703). Our sample app here is taking advantage of this new support, by following the steps outlined in this article.
And there is more
Talking about installers, did you know that your app package is also your installer on Windows 10? Users can just click to install it, as long as it’s signed with a certificate that is trusted on the target device. This enables you to distribute your modernized desktop application in the way that’s right for your scenario, without having to go through the Store – e.g. for LOB applications in an enterprise. Learn more about it here.

Conclusion
Getting your desktop application development project ready for Windows Store submission is easy now with Visual Studio 2017 Update 4. Once converted to a Windows App Package your app can take advantage of all the Windows 10 platform capabilities and start using new APIs and features on Windows 10. Here are some resources for more details:
Desktop Bridge docs
Desktop Bridge samples
App Modernization video on Channel 9
Are you ready to submit your desktop application to the Windows Store? Let us know about it here, and we will help you through the process!

Adobe XD CC: A New High-Performance UWP App for UI/UX Design

It’s a big day today – after a year of public preview, Adobe released Adobe XD 1.0 on Windows 10 and Mac: a new tool for user experience creators to design, prototype and share interactive designs for apps and websites.

When it comes to designing anything, it’s important to have design tools that support a fast and fluid process – one where you can iterate rapidly through a design, test, and build process: designing at the speed of thought. For interaction design, creative professionals have often used tools that excel at creating images of screens, but these tools that created static images have always missed something: transitions and interactions that demonstrate the experience. Putting an interactive prototype in front of stakeholders that they can try out is now a crucial part of the process, and being able to iterate on design rapidly based on the feedback from the prototype is essential. Being able to create a prototype without any coding is mandatory for this process. Almost a year ago, I wrote about a new app that fits these requirements, when Adobe released a public preview of Adobe Experience Design CC (XD) on Windows and Mac. Since then, Adobe was able to iterate quickly, releasing monthly updates of Adobe XD, responding to early customer feedback and an ambitious list of features that interaction designers wanted. We’re excited to share that today, Adobe XD as part of the Creative Cloud, is available today on Windows and Mac. Here are a few other reasons that that this is such an important release.
XD is a Universal Windows Platform App
Available through Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription, XD takes advantage of the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) to deliver a modern, high performance, professional design tool. Whether you’re working with one artboard or a hundred, XD gives you the same fast performance. The rendering surface is accelerated by DirectX and the UI is implemented in XAML, C++ and JavaScript.  Using this architecture, Adobe was able to have maximum code reuse between their Mac and Windows versions yet take advantage of the most advanced, platform specific UI layout technology. During XD’s preview period, Adobe was able to iterate quickly, leveraging a proprietary automated testing framework for much of their code built on the Windows Application Driver. The end result is a high-performance, stable, professional tool.
Design, Prototype and Share in One Tool
In creating Adobe XD, the team thought of the whole Design/Test/Build workflow that interactive designers go through, and made an easy-to-use tool for designing experiences, creating rapid prototypes and sharing them with others to get their feedback. With Adobe XD, you can rapidly create screens with standard tools as well as utilizing tools that have been specially designed for UX designers. Repeat Grid, for instance, allows users to quickly create content grids based on a single element – helping designers to simulate the type of content they often have to create. The Assets Panel helps users reuse important design elements such as colors, character styles and symbols – so that making changes across an entire document is fast and easy. At 1.0 XD is also connected to Creative Cloud Libraries, allowing users to leverage content across documents and teams. You can also add artboards for common screen sizes ranging from Android Wear to Surface Pro.

Switching from design to prototype mode is a single click, and you can quickly connect artboards to communicate the flow and paths of multiscreen apps.

Once your prototype is ready for feedback, you can generate shareable web link of the prototype or embed it onto webpage or supported application. Since my team uses Microsoft Teams to collaborate, I can create a tab page in Teams using that link to share the design with my colleagues – they can interact with the prototype in Teams and we can chat about it there.

Designer and Developer Resources
In addition to the tools available, Adobe XD has a number of UI resources available for designers to use while creating, including Apple iOS, Google Material Design, Microsoft Windows, and Microsoft Office UI Fabric. Our Office and Windows teams worked closely with the Adobe XD team to deliver a great set of UI components that designers and developers can use to craft their user experiences. We will continue to work closely in the future as we help developers and designers take advantage of the Fluent Design System.

This Is Just the Beginning
Having worked closely with the Adobe XD team for the past two years, this is a very exciting day. The designers, engineers, testers and product managers that I have met on the Adobe XD team are passionate about their product and are eager to hear your feedback as you try it out, use it and craft the next generation of user experiences. While today marks the 1.0 release of Adobe XD, the team has big plans ahead, including improvements for the way designers and developers work together. Read more about where they’re headed here.
You can download XD as a free trial or as part of Creative Cloud today. Adobe will also be hosting a live stream on UX design from Oct. 24-26. Watch and interact with Daniel Alegria, a Microsoft UX designer in action using XD on Windows. See the schedule and more content here.
Adobe has delivered a new, high-performance, UWP app that is useful to designers, and you should try it out today.

Documenting the Web together

Today, we’re excited to share some big news for developers around the world wide web: We’re committing our resources towards making MDN Web Docs the best place to go for web API reference. To kick things off, today we started redirecting over 7,700 MSDN pages to corresponding topics in the MDN web docs library powered by Mozilla.
In conjunction with similar commitments from Mozilla, Google, the W3C, and Samsung, we’re teaming up to make MDN Web Docs the best place for web developers to learn and share information about building for the open web.

MDN is a core part of Mozilla’s overarching mission: to ensure the Internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all. We believe providing web developers the best possible information will enable them to deliver great web experiences that adhere to established standards and work across platforms and devices. We are excited to have Microsoft, Google, The W3C, and Samsung on board as we continue on our journey to make MDN the premiere resource for developers.
— Ali Spivak, Head of Developer Ecosystem at Mozilla
Representatives from each of these organizations will also be serving on the MDN Product Advisory Board, a committee dedicated to making MDN your definitive place for useful, unbiased, browser-agnostic documentation for current and emerging standards-based web technologies. The MDN Product Advisory Board is also looking for active individuals from the web community to serve on the board. If you’re interested, find more details on MDN web docs.
Web docs should just work for everyone
Redirecting our API reference library to MDN is the next step towards consolidating our compatibility info in the same place you probably already frequent for general web documentation. Earlier this year, we began the effort to backfill the MDN browser Compatibility tables with a column representing the Microsoft Edge browser.
Over 5000 MDN edits later, the entire web API surface of Microsoft Edge (as of the 10/2017 Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Build 16299) is now documented on MDN, and will continue to be kept up-to-date with each new release of Windows and our EdgeHTML browser engine.
Example of a Browser compatibility table on MDN Web Docs
One of our guiding principles in developing Microsoft Edge is that end users should never have to worry about which sites work in which browsers. This philosophy—”the Web should just work for everyone“—led to our choice to target the “interoperable intersection” of web APIs in our browser engineering.
Just like with end users, we think it’s well overdue for developers to have a simpler view of web standards documentation. Developers shouldn’t have to chase down API documentation across standards bodies, browser vendors, and third parties—there should be a single, canonical source which is community-maintained and supported by all major vendors.
For these reasons we’re all-in on making MDN the home of web standards documentation. Not only is MDN a veritable encyclopedia and thriving community of all things web development, it’s also an institution in itself–a living monument to our collective history—as web developers and enthusiasts, web standards advocates, and browser engineers–of developing the web forward.
Documenting the web forward
MDN was founded over 10 years ago in 2005 as the Mozilla Developer Center and later become known as the Mozilla Developer Network. Just as the Mozilla Organization was founded out of Netscape, the Mozilla Developer Center grew from the original Netscape Navigator browser docs.
Similarly, the Internet Explorer Developer Center was first published online from the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) several years before that in the late 90s to help introduce and showcase Dynamic HTML (“DHTML”), Microsoft’s precursor to the modern DOM and CSS object model.
Microsoft Internet Explorer Developer Center on MSDN Online, circa 2000. Courtesy of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine
Fast forward to the modern web platform of today. The competing Netscape and Internet Explorer browsers from the bygone era of the early web are now subjects of tech archaeology, not site compatibility testing. From the final releases of IE culminating with the birth of Microsoft Edge, we replaced earlier Microsoft technologies with emerging industry standards–the modern DOM and ECMAScript standards for DHTML and VBScript, HTML5 for ActiveX, a common browser extension model for Browser Helper Objects (“BHOs”).
Through all this change, MDN has grown up alongside the web, and today has over 34,500 documents, 6 million monthly users and 20,500 contributors. From its initial Netscape product docs, the breadth and depth of MDN’s content has radically expanded to encompass the state of the art of modern web development—so much so that recently the site was restructured and rebranded to reflect MDN’s commitment to being a browser-neutral community resource. We are excited to join Mozilla, Google, The W3C, and Samsung in making MDN our home for web standards documentation and dedicated to helping it grow even further to meet your needs.
We will continue to maintain Microsoft- and Windows-focused documentation on Microsoft Docs (docs.microsoft.com/microsoft-edge), including Windows-specific test guidance, information on the Edge DevTools, and upcoming details about Progressive Web Apps in the Windows Store. And you’ll still find the latest Microsoft Edge status, changelogs, and news at our Microsoft Edge Developer site (dev.microsoftedge.com).
Please join us in supporting and contributing to MDN web docs! We’re all building this Web together; let’s document our hard work!
— Erika Doyle Navara, Senior Dev Writer

What’s New in Microsoft Edge in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Today, we’re beginning to roll out the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update to Windows 10 customers around the world. This release upgrades Microsoft Edge to EdgeHTML 16, the best version of Microsoft Edge yet. The Fall Creators Update also includes new enhancements like improved favorites management and pinned sites, new developer APIs like CSS Grid Layout and WebVR 1.1, and better-than-ever reliability and performance.
To get started with EdgeHTML 16, simply update your devices to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update today. Developers on other platforms can get started testing with free remote testing via BrowserStack today. In this post, we’ll walk through some of what’s new in Microsoft Edge for Windows 10 customers and developers alike.
Stay productive and organized with new features
The Fall Creators Update introduces a set of new features to make you more productive as you browse and read web pages, PDFs, and books. We’re also previewing new features to let you browse on your phone in the new Microsoft Edge preview apps for iOS and Android, with Continue on PC functionality. You can learn more about everything that’s new by selecting the “…” menu in the top-right corner of Microsoft Edge and selecting “What’s new and tips.”
A refreshed look inspired by the Fluent Design System
In the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft Edge gets a subtle makeover inspired by the Fluent Design System.
A subtle use of Acrylic material provides depth and transparency to the tab bar and other controls, and we’ve improved button animations to feel more responsive and delightful.
Annotate your e-books and PDFs
When you’re reading an e-book or PDF, you now have a whole lot of new options to personalize your books.

You can add highlights in four colors, underline, add comments or copy text. You also have the ability Ask Cortana to find more information about the content you are reading without leaving the reading experience. To get started, simply select some text and choose one of the annotation options from the menu that pops up!
Or, if you’re reading a PDF, you can select the “Add notes” button next to the address bar to mark the PDF up with Windows Ink.

This feature lets you take notes with a pen or highlighter right on the page – perfect for marking up a draft, signing a document, or filling out a form!
Pin your favorite websites to the taskbar
Pinned Sites, a top-requested feature from our Windows Insider community, are now available in Microsoft Edge! You can now pin a website to the Windows taskbar for instant access in the future. The site will be saved with its icon so it’s just a click away.

To pin a site, go to More … > Pin this page to the taskbar and the site will be pinned for you to come back to again and again.
Hear the web read out loud
Microsoft Edge can now read web pages, e-books, and other documents out loud to make reading accessible to more people. To hear an e-book or PDF out loud, click or tap anywhere on the page and select the “Read aloud” button from the top-right corner.

For sites, right click where you want to start reading and select “Read aloud.” You can adjust the playback speed, pause, skip between paragraphs, or even change the voice from the Voice Settings menu at the top of the page.
Edit URLs for favorites
By popular demand, we’ve added the ability to edit the address for individual favorites in the Favorites Hub or on the Favorites bar.

To do this, simply right-click or press and hold a favorite and select “Edit URL.”
See and manage website permissions
New features like web notifications and location services mean more sites may ask for your permission to access your location, webcam, or to send notifications, among other things. To help make it easier to keep track of what permissions you’ve granted, we’ve added a new “Show site information” pane for every website you visit.

To see the permissions you’ve granted for any site you visit, simply click the icon to the left of the URL bar (either a lock icon or an “i” icon, depending on the site’s security configuration).
Or, to see and manage all the permissions you’ve set, select More … > Settings > View advanced settings > Manage under Website Permissions.
Browse in full screen
Another popular request from our Windows Insiders was to introduce a true full screen browsing experience to Microsoft Edge.

To browse in full screen mode, select the More … menu and click the “Full screen” arrows icon, or press “F11” on your keyboard. Full screen mode hides things like the address bar and other items from view so you can focus on your content.
To exit full screen mode, move your mouse near top of the screen or swipe down with your finger and select the “restore” icon in the top-right, or press “F11” again.
Browse on your phone and continue on your PC
The Fall Creators Update adds support for a new feature currently in preview on iOS and Android Devices, which allows you to start from a website on your phone and send it to your Windows 10 PC.

This feature requires the preview of Microsoft Edge for iOS or Android. Learn how to install the preview on your phone here.
New features for web developers
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update upgrades Microsoft Edge and the Windows web platform to EdgeHTML 16, with major new features for web apps, modern layouts, payments, and more.
New CSS features: Grid Layout, object-fit, and object-position
Microsoft Edge now supports the unprefixed implementation of CSS Grid Layout. Grid Layout defines a two-dimensional grid-based layout system which enables more layout fluidity than possible with positioning using floats or scripts. The example below uses CSS Grid Layout to create the structure for a basic web page.

EdgeHTML 16 also introduces support for the CSS properties object-fit and object-position. These properties control the position and size of replaced content within the content box.
Improvements to the Microsoft Edge DevTools
EdgeHTML 16 marks the beginning of a major renewed investment in our DevTools, beginning with a new refactoring effort for improved robustness and performance.

We’ve also introduced a number of new features to the DevTools, including the ability to view ancestor event listeners, set DOM mutation breakpoints, view CSS “at” (@) rules on the Styles pane, and more – along with major improvements to the Console and Debugger and early support for debugging Progressive Web Apps.
We’ll be sharing more details on what’s new in F12 in separate posts coming soon – in the mean time, you can see everything that’s new in the Microsoft Edge F12 DevTools page on the Microsoft Edge Dev Guide.
Payment Request API
The Payment Request API is an open, cross-browser standard that enables browsers to act as an intermediary between merchants, consumers, and payment methods (e.g. credit cards) that consumers have stored in the cloud. The API in EdgeHTML 16 has been updated to match the latest W3C Payment Request API specification. This includes:
Support for the canMakePayment() method
Support for the requestId property
Support for the id property
The default value for the complete() method’s result parameter changed from ” ” to “unknown”
Service Worker preview
Service Workers are event-driven scripts that run in the background of a web page. Service workers enable functionality previously only available with native apps like intercepting and handling requests from the network, managing and handling background sync, local storage, and push notifications.
Support for service workers is still in development, but you can test out your Progressive Web App in Microsoft Edge with our experimental service worker support by enabling the service worker feature in about:flags.
Motion Controllers in WebVR
WebVR for Microsoft Edge has added support for motion controllers. These controllers have a precise position in space, allowing for fine grained interaction with digital objects in virtual reality.

The release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update also marks the beginning of the era of Windows Mixed Reality, with the first wave of consumer Windows Mixed Reality headsets coming to market to enable immersive, low-cost experience with WebVR in Microsoft Edge.
In anticipation of this upcoming release, we’re excited to announce (with big thanks to the community and contributors involved) that the popular WebVR frameworks A-Frame, BabylonJS, ReactVR and three.js have now added support for the Windows Mixed Reality platform to their current and upcoming releases.

Version
Immersive View
WebGL context switching
Motion Controllers

master


0.7.0


R88*


2.0.0



You can learn more about getting started with WebVR and Windows Mixed reality in our post on the Microsoft Edge Dev Blog: Bringing WebVR to everyone with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
… and more!
There’s too much in EdgeHTML 16 for one blog post; fortunately, you can find our full documentation, including a list of all the new APIs in EdgeHTML, over at the Microsoft Edge Dev Guide. Or, see what’s new in a given preview build at the Microsoft Edge Changelog.
If you’d like to learn more about a given topic, check out our recorded sessions from Microsoft Edge Web Summit 2017, where we shared more about our plans for the future of Microsoft Edge and gave a detailed look at what’s shipping today.
Test for free with BrowserStack or free virtual machines
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is rolling out to Windows 10 customers starting today – you can learn how to get the update on your PC here.
In case you don’t have a Windows 10 PC, we’ve partnered with BrowserStack to offer remote testing via a streaming instance of Microsoft Edge. Just set up a free account on BrowserStack for unlimited cloud testing, or download a free virtual machine from Microsoft Edge Dev, to get started testing EdgeHTML 16 today.
As always, we’re passionate about building in the open, and encourage you to review our open platform roadmap and provide feedback on features that matter to you. We’re always listening here in the comments, or @MSEdgeDev on Twitter. We can’t wait for you to try it out and let us know what you think!
— Kyle Pflug, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Edge
— Libby McCormick, Dev Writer, Microsoft Edge

New Map Control features in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

The Maps team has been busy making improvements and adding new features to the Maps platform for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. In addition to performance and visual improvements to the 3D engine, we are introducing features requested by users, like the ability to import 3D models into the map and support for layering and binding for map elements. We also are making enhancements to the styling API to allow clients to specify base map styles and visual states for their own map elements. Finally, we are announcing a places API to see relevant information of a place right within the current context of the calling app.
Without further ado, please see the highlights below and keep your feedback coming!
3D Buildings
You might recall that some 3D buildings were missing in the previous release. We have been working hard since then to bring them back (and improve the ones that didn’t look correct) with this update.  Keep an eye out for more 3D buildings in the next few months!

3D Objects
We are adding a new MapElement called MapElement3D. Along with MapModel3D, this new API can be used to import and display 3D objects with ease. Think about fancy 3D push pins, cars, planes, etc.  The possibilities are endless!
Here are some great examples of MapElement3D displaying 3D models at a specific location, orientation and scale on the Windows 10 Map Control:
Avatars

Cars
Clouds
Map Layering APIs
We also are adding a new MapLayer class, the first derivation of which is MapElementsLayer. Unlike the existing MapControl.MapElements API, this can be used to manipulate groups of elements independently as a unit or to designate a joint purpose.
Bind your data to the map using MapControl.Layers
You can bind elements on the map to your own custom collections of business objects with the Map Control.Layers API.
See How To: Display points of interest (POI) on a map.
Map Styling APIs extensions
We are extending the current set of Map Styling APIs for Windows 10 Map Control. In the previous release, we added the MapStylesheet API to allow you to dynamically change the look and feel of the map in real-time. In this release, we are adding support for two new properties on MapElement: MapStyleSheetEntry and MapStyleSheetEntryState, which can be used to more deeply customize the appearance of your map elements using one of the default style entries and states or custom ones.
See How To: Customize Your Map Elements
Here are some examples of the customization that can be done of map elements using the new styling extensions on the Windows 10 Map Control:
Integrate your elements better with the base map using MapStyleSheetEntry
You can make your map elements look like they are part of the base map by setting their style to an existing entry in the map style sheet such as Water. See MapStyleSheetEntry for the full list of entries you can chose from.

Bing logo is rendered by the Windows 10 Map Control through changing the map polygon’s MapStyleSheetEntry property to Water.
Implement states on your map elements using MapStyleSheetEntryState
You can further modify the appearance of your map elements by leveraging default states like Hover and Selected in the map style sheet, or override them to create your own. See MapStyleSheetEntriesStates for the full list of states you can chose from.

Bellevue Square, City Center and Meydenbauer POIs are rendered by the Windows 10 Map Control through overriding the scale of the existing UserPoint entry and changing the map icon’s MapStyleSheetEntryState property to a custom state that extends the existing Hover and Selected entry states.
Place Info
Finally, we are happy to announce the new PlaceInfo API that allows you to see rich relevant information of a place without the need of switching context, in a pop-up UI, right within your own app.

https://github.com/Microsoft/Windows-universal-samples/tree/dev/Samples/MapControl
API Updates and Additions
For a list of the APIs added since Windows 10 Creators Update, please see here the following resources:
MapElement: MapStyleSheetEntry, MapStyleSheetEntryState and Tag properties
MapElement3D
MapElementsLayer
MapStyleSheetEntries
MapStyleSheetEntryStates
PlaceInfo
For more details on all new APIs go to MSDN.

Check out the new In-app ads dashboard in Windows Dev Center

We are happy to announce the new Monetize -> In-app ads section in Windows Dev Center. This is your one stop shop to create and manage the ad mediation settings of your UWP and Windows 8.x ad units.
You can find the In-app ads section under the Monetize section in the left navigation. On choosing this option, you can view your in-app ads dashboard that lists all your ad units, along with additional details such as application name, ad unit type, mediation settings, etc.

On clicking the ‘Create ad unit’ button, you will be taken to a new page where you can specify the ad unit details, configure the ad mediation settings for the ad unit and submit. The ad unit will then appear on your in-app ads dashboard.
Do note that you no longer need to start a submission to be able to create an ad unit – simply reserve your app name and you will be able to create an ad unit for it.

If you wish to change the mediation settings of an existing ad unit, simply click on the ad unit, change the settings and save.
For more information on these new experiences, please refer to this article.
We hope you enjoy the new experience! Please send your feedback to aiacare@microsoft.com.

Bringing WebVR to everyone with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Last April, we introduced the WebVR 1.1 API in Microsoft Edge as part of the Windows Creators Update, providing a foundation for developers to create immersive virtual reality experiences with Windows Mixed Reality developer kits. We have been hard at work building on this foundation to provide an end-to-end mixed reality experience with Microsoft Edge, WebVR, and Windows Mixed Reality, in line with our goal to democratize virtual reality this holiday.
On October 17th, EdgeHTML 16 will be released with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, and the era of Windows Mixed Reality begins as headsets and motion controllers become widely available, enabling low-cost, immersive experiences with WebVR in Microsoft Edge.
In anticipation of this upcoming release, we’re excited to announce (with big thanks to the community and contributors involved) that the popular WebVR frameworks A-Frame, BabylonJS, ReactVR and three.js have now added support for the Windows Mixed Reality platform to their current and upcoming releases.

Version
Immersive View
WebGL context switching
Motion Controllers

master


0.7.0


R88*


2.0.0



* Upcoming release
In EdgeHTML 16, we’ve made a few updates to our WebVR 1.1 implementation that you should be aware of, starting with added support for Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers.
New support for motion controllers
Developers now have the tools to create fully interactive, immersive experiences on the web with our new support for Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers.

When a site is presenting to a headset, connected motion controllers will be available via the Gamepad API.
Adding support to the browser is only half of the story. We have been working with 3rd party middleware libraries to make sure that integrating support for motion controllers into your experience is as seamless a process as possible.
Current releases of both BabylonJS and A-Frame have full support for Windows Mixed Reality headsets and motion controllers.
Controller support includes detection of connected motion controllers, rendering accurate representations of the controllers into the scene, mapping button presses to actions and casting pointing rays into the scene for point-and-commit interactions. For added realism, the controller models animate the buttons and thumbsticks as the devices are manipulated:

Image: Hotel Room, Reno, Nevada / Bob Dass / Creative Commons 2.0
Added support for more Windows Mixed Reality PCs
Windows Mixed Reality supports a wide range of desktop and laptop hardware, with many graphics card configurations. Microsoft Edge has extended support for running WebVR experiences on this broad range of hardware – including machines with multiple graphics cards.
To leverage this support as a WebVR application developer, make sure that you are using the most up to date version of BabylonJS, A-Frame (0.7.0), three.js (r87), ReactVR (2.0.0).
If you are using WebGL directly rather than through one of these libraries, you’ll need to handle the WebGL Context Lost and Context Restored events to take advantage of this wider range of hardware.
The first immersive experience that lets you enjoy the entire Web
Microsoft Edge is now the first stable browser to ship comprehensive support for Virtual Reality.  From within your headset you can view traditional 2D websites, manage your favorites, create new tabs (including InPrivate tabs), and seamlessly transition into WebVR experiences.  And when browsing with Microsoft Edge on the Desktop, you’re still only one click away from launching WebVR content directly into your headset.
Because Microsoft Edge is built on the Universal Windows Platform, it can be used alongside the thousands of other apps supported by Windows Mixed Reality out of the box.

When you encounter a WebVR experience in Microsoft Edge within Mixed Reality, you can seamlessly transition from a 2D page to an immersive experience and back again without ever switching apps or leaving your headset.
Start developing today!
Our updated WebVR implementation is coming in EdgeHTML 16 with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, which will be released alongside new Windows Mixed Reality headsets and motion controllers on October 17th. Developers can get started building for WebVR today (no headset required!) via the Windows Insider Program, using the built-in Mixed Reality Simulator. Or, if you have an Acer or HP developer kit, you can try out Mixed Reality today!
You can learn more about the WebVR API with our documentation online, where you’ll find everything you need to get started, including a checklist of things to consider when creating a WebVR experience.
More Information
Finally, check out the talk that Nell Waliczek and Lewis Weaver recently gave at the Microsoft Edge Web Summit for an overview of WebVR, a deep dive into how to use the APIs, and some more good practices and resources:

We can’t wait to see what you build!
Lewis Weaver, Program Manager, WebVR
Nell Waliczek, Principal Software Engineering Lead, WebVR

Windows Developer Day in London – Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK Availability

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update provides a developer platform that is designed to inspire the creator in each of us – empowering developers to build applications that change the way people work, play and interact with devices. To truly fulfill this platform promise, I believe that our developer platform needs to be centered around people and their needs.  Technology should adapt and learn how to work with us.
As we showed at Microsoft Build in May, the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK delivers thousands of new capabilities and improvements that support this promise. Today, at Windows Developer Day in London, we’re celebrating three areas that help you, our developer partners:
Create inspiring experiences using the next revolution in technology – Mixed Reality
Modernize applications for the modern workplace
Build and monetize your games and applications
I’m pleased to share with you that you can get started now by downloading the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK. Windows 10 adoption has been incredible – with more than 500 million monthly active devices. We are also seeing devices staying current with the latest updates faster than ever, with the majority of devices running the latest updates in less than 6 months, and over eighty percent of devices running the latest update in less than a year. We can’t wait to see the next wave of innovation enabled by the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK.
Create inspiring experiences using the next revolution in technology – Mixed Reality
The next revolution of computing is Mixed Reality. Microsoft is the only company embracing the entire continuum for mixed reality, from augmented reality to virtual reality and everything in between. Windows 10 was designed from ground up for spatial interactions and the next wave in this journey is Windows Mixed Reality, uniting the digital and real world to create a rich, immersive world. As humans, we interact with space constantly, and Windows Mixed Reality will feel the most natural for users. With HoloLens, we have already demonstrated unrivaled innovation that is transforming industries. Now, our immersive headsets offer unrivaled experiences.
For developers, Windows Mixed Reality offers unique opportunities.
Our unified platform maximizes reuse across platforms and device form factors
Windows Mixed Reality provides reach on the broadest range of devices
Our Microsoft Store provides an unrivaled discovery opportunity
Millions of people come to the Store every day to get an application from our broad catalog
Modernize applications for the modern workplace
With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK, developers can easily create a new or update an existing application to support modern experiences that employees need, or customers expect.
Modernizing your deployment
The deployment system in Windows 10 has been significantly enhanced to help your users start using your application quicker and easier. This starts with the ability to only download the delta between updates, the updated bits versus the entire package to your end user. In addition, you can break up your application into components to allow streaming install. This will allow your application to work before your user has the entire application installed.
To assist with this modernization, the Fall Creators Update introduces the Windows application packaging project with Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4. This new project allows developers to utilize the app packaging without having to convert your existing installer. Just add the project and you’re done. Once your application is using the modernized installer, you now have access to all the APIs that have been added to the Windows Platform. For example, integration with Windows Hello to assist with security, action center integration to assist with engagement, and cross-device capabilities provided with device relay and activity feed.
Another major investment has been the integration of .NET Standard 2.0 which enables developers to reuse their code across platforms and devices with Visual Studio and integrates the vast array of libraries available in the open source community built on .NET.
Fluent Design System
The Fluent Design System is the evolution of Microsoft’s approach to creating the very best user experiences. Experiences with Fluent Design feel natural on the device you’re using, whether it’s a large screen desktop with keyboard, a laptop or tablet with touch, a mixed reality headset, or one of many other computing form factors. Applications using Fluent Design are optimized for consuming content and are efficient and powerful to use for creating and collaborating, and they help you to achieve more… they are experiences you love to use!
For developers, the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update provides a comprehensive solution for creating applications with Fluent Design in a way that’s simple, powerful and flexible to your needs. It includes UX building blocks, guidelines, samples, tools, and a community to help you build the best experiences for your customers. Here are some highlights:
The Navigation View control provides an easy, consistent home for getting around your app.
Acrylic Material gives you a rich new visual building block that helps you create information hierarchy and greater immersion in your app.
The Reveal Highlight interaction visualization built into many controls helps your experience feel natural to use across as disparate inputs as mouse, pen, touch and gaze.
Connected Animations aid usability by preserving context and increasing engagement, and are so easy to adopt incrementally.
Gesture Actions like swipe build on familiar patterns to help users efficiently and naturally get stuff done.
Learn more about all the different building blocks and features you can take advantage of at: http://developer.microsoft.com/design.
Device Relay and Activity Feed
Microsoft Graph and Project Rome enable new and exciting ways to drive user engagement across apps, devices and platforms. Device relay allows your customers to continue what they’re doing right now, but on a different device and Activity Feed, allows them to pick up an activity they were doing in the past, and continuing it now or sometime in the future.
Helping your customers stay connected to what they need to do right now isn’t as easy as it used to be. People have multiple devices they switch between and they expect them to all work together. Using the Remote Systems and Remote Sessions APIs, you can do truly delightful device relay scenarios to help your customers use the right device for the task.  The Remote Systems APIs enable you to communicate with the user’s devices across Windows, Android and iOS.
With the Activity Feed, you can keep your customers engaged and help them resume what they need to do next. Your customers can’t always finish what they were doing in a task or session in your app, but you can still help them pick up where they left off between devices and experiences by simply adding an activity to the Activity Feed using the UserActivity API.
Build and monetize your games and applications
Lastly, with the Expanded Resources feature in the Fall Xbox One Update, we’ve made another investment in the promise to open Xbox One to UWP game developers who want to build more immersive experiences. Now, developers will automatically have access to 6 exclusive cores, 5 GB of ram and full access to the GPU with DX12! We designed Visual Studio 2017 with game developers in mind! We built a brand-new work-load based installer in Visual Studio 2017, which optimizes the install experience for game developers, so you get everything you need and nothing you don’t.
We recently launched the Xbox Live Creators Program, and this gives anyone the ability to build and publish games for the Xbox One family of devices and Windows 10 PCs. You don’t have to go through concept approval, and the certification is simplified. What’s more is that you are able to leverage select Xbox Live features like stats, leaderboards and cloud saves. We have added more monetization options and tools in Microsoft Store. Interactivity is the future of live streaming and Mixer is our fast and interactive live streaming platform. We have the Mixer SDKs for the major game engines and languages and you can make something cool in less than an hour. Our goal is to create a community of indie game developers. We want to foster open discussions between developers and Windows, and each other. With that in mind, we are bringing back Dream.Build.Play in 2017. The 2017 Challenge has a prize pool over $225,000 (USD), with several categories.
Community and thanks
We were pleased today to have been joined on stage in London by two creative partners building UWPs for unique and innovative experiences.  Black Marble, a UK based developer is building on its history of simplifying law enforcement experiences with a new Mixed Reality UWP to bring MR to courtrooms. Texthelp, another UK based company, showcased a UWP application and Edge extension that helps improve reading and writing comprehension for children with dyslexia and students learning in a second language. Texthelp has also announced a new app, EquatIO, which assists learning in mathematics.
Whether you’re building immersive experiences for Windows Mixed Reality, games, education or business applications, community is crucial to the Windows developer platform. I’d also like to take a moment to thank all developers who are participating Windows Insiders Program and have been using the Fall Creators Update Preview SDK. We value your insight and suggestions, as well as your feedback.
I look forward to seeing what you create with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK. The Windows Dev Center is open now for submissions to the Microsoft Store! For more details, go to dev.windows.com.

Windows 10 IoT enables the complete IoT lifecycle

Microsoft recently announced the public preview of the Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service. The Device Provisioning Service is a new service that works with Azure IoT Hub to enable “zero-touch” device provisioning to an IoT hub. Using this service, devices can be created with a common image, and when booted for the first time in the field, the Device Provisioning Service will automatically provide the device specific provisioning information, including the correct Azure IoT Hub location and identity where the device can be further provisioned and customized using Azure device management. The Device Provisioning Service is designed to support very high device volumes, enabling the provisioning of millions of devices in a secure and scalable manner, automating what historically has been a complex and time-consuming process for customers handling high volumes of connected IoT devices. You can read more about the Azure IoT Device Provisioning Service in this blog post and on the Device provisioning documentation center.
The Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service aligns well with our Windows 10 IoT device scenarios and features. Along with the Device Provisioning Service public preview, we are also providing sources for a complete Windows 10 IoT client that implements a client service with the required functionality to quickly enable a device to use the Device Provisioning Service, requiring only minimal configuration information. When used in conjunction with the existing Windows 10 IoT Azure Device Management client, it forms a complete device provisioning and management solution, covering the complete lifecycle needs of an IoT device.
The Windows 10 IoT device provisioning client is provided as a source that can be used as is, to provide basic scenario functionality, or customized if desired. The implementation as provided requires a supported Windows 10 IoT TPM to be present, which is used to securely store device identification and authentication information. The same configuration information is used by both the device provisioning and the device management client samples, enabling both to work in concert with one another.
The Windows 10 IoT client for the Azure IoT Device Provisioning Service is located at https://github.com/ms-iot/iot-azure-dps-client, including a step by step process for building and using the client service with the Azure IoT Device Provisioning Service public preview.
Microsoft is committed to providing the most productive and secure IoT platforms and services enabling you to quickly and confidently bring your IoT solution to market. Visit the Microsoft IoT page for more information on Microsoft’s complete IoT solution offerings!

Microsoft Edge extensions, one year later

It has been a little more than a year since Microsoft first shipped the number one requested feature for Microsoft Edge – extensions! Today, we are excited to share a few updates on the progress we have made since then, and a quick look at what’s planned for the future, as we continue to listen to feedback from customers and partners.
We heard loud and clear that extensions like ad blockers, password managers, and key productivity enhancements are important to our customers to make the browser meet their needs. Throughout 2016, we worked closely with a small group of partners to launch a core set of highly-requested extensions through the Windows Store as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. The first extensions in the Windows Store were AdBlock, Adblock Plus, Amazon Assistant, Evernote Web Clipper, LastPass, Mouse Gestures, Office Online, OneNote Web Clipper, Page Analyzer, Pinterest Save Button, Reddit Enhancement Suite, Save to Pocket and Translator for Microsoft Edge.

Enabling more powerful extensions
When we shipped this first batch of extensions, the response from our customers and enthusiasts was tremendous. Still, many of you were immediately ready for the list to grow, and have often asked when a personal favorite extension will show up.
Before we could enable a wider ecosystem of extensions for our customers, we needed to improve the capabilities of our extensions platform to allow new categories of extensions and more features for existing extensions. Over the past year, we’ve been focused on a few key engineering investments to add new capabilities:
Native Messaging (supported from EdgeHTML 15) allows an extension to communicate with a UWP application installed on the system, enabling apps to integrate with more sophisticated functionality outside of the browser, which enables more advanced password management and other features.
Bookmarks (supported from EdgeHTML 15) allowing an to access your favorites (with associated permissions.)
Improved APIs – In addition to new APIs like bookmarks, we improved and fleshed out the existing API classes already supported, which combined meant we support over 30% more APIs than in the initial release.
Fundamentals – Astute observers of our release notes and active testers in the Insider program may have noticed that some preview builds break extensions temporarily. The Insider program is key for us to see how experimental features are working on a build with real users, including helping us where we were falling short. We have used that data to improve the reliability and performance of our extension platform and will continue to focus on improving these fundamentals in future releases.
We’re always evaluating additional API support for future releases. You can see the extensions APIs that we currently support at our Extension API roadmap, as well as those that are under consideration (for example, Downloads and Notifications). We’re keen to hear your feedback on what’s most important to your extensions – let us know on UserVoice or via Twitter at MSEdgeDev.
Building a thoughtfully curated ecosystem
We have taken a purposefully metered approach as we onboard new extensions. Extensions are one of the most substantial features in a new browser, and we have a high bar for quality. Because extensions interact so closely with the browser, we have been very attuned to the security, performance, and reliability of Microsoft Edge with these extensions enabled. Starting with a small group of the most popularly requested extensions has allowed us to mature our extension ecosystem as alongside our extension platform, as well as to build a smooth onboarding experience for developers over time.
As we’ve continued to work on the extensions platform, we sometimes get questions asking why the list of extensions isn’t growing faster. What gives?
We are extremely sensitive to the potential impact of extensions on your browsing experience and want to make sure that the extensions we do allow are high-quality and trustworthy. We want Microsoft Edge to be your favorite browser, with the fundamentals you expect – speed, power efficiency, reliability, security. Poorly written or even malicious add-ons for browsers remain a potential source of privacy, security, reliability and performance issues, even today. We want users to be confident that they can trust extensions in Microsoft to operate as expected. As such, we continue to evaluate each extension submission to ensure that it will bring value to our users and support our goals for a healthy ecosystem.
A growing catalog of trusted extensions
Today, in the Windows Store, our partners are offering over 70 extensions worldwide, and are adding more every week – including popular extensions like Grammarly, which launched earlier this week! As this list grows, we will continue to preview new functionality and experimental extensions starting with Windows Insiders for testing and feedback, followed by a broader release via the Windows Store, to ensure the quality of the end-to-end experience.
Looking forward, we continue to work closely with our developer partners to onboard new extensions into the Store. We continue to prioritize what APIs we should support, and what partners we should work with from user feedback, so please keep it coming! Thanks to our users and partners for a great year!
– Colleen Williams, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Edge