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visual studio

During Build 2015 today, Microsoft announced the release of a new tool to help people easily build Minecraft mods in Visual Studio.

The tool is an add-on for Visual Studio that allows users to create their own mods from scratch or using one of three templates provided with the add-on. Importantly, the add-on isn't meant to replace current tools, but is instead meant to give developers extra options for creating their mods in Visual Studio's development environment.

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At the Connect() event in New York City, Xamarin extended their partnership with Microsoft and announced a new set of offers for developers. Xamarin enables development of cross-platform mobile applications targeting phones, tablets, and embedded devices running on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows.

Connect(), a developer event hosted by Microsoft outlining the company's next steps with their developer tools and application platforms, was branded as a cloud-first, mobile-first, developer-first, virtual event. At the event, Nat Friedman, CEO, Xamarin and Miguel de Icaza, CTO, Xamarin joined Microsoft executives on stage and talked about their partnership.

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Whether you are an individual, hobbyist Windows Phone developer or part of a developer studio that builds Windows Phone apps, it’s quite an effort to develop, test, and market the apps.

Therefore, it hurts when an app submission fails certification, and you have to correct and resubmit the apps. Not only does it increase the effort and resources, it also delays the app release and any marketing plans.

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Before the New Developers Conference (www.ndc-london.com) kicks off in London, there's a day planned for Visual Studio 2013. December 3rd will see a free pre-conference workshop set up for developers and co. to check out. The best part? You don't need to be attending NDC to pop along.

Did we mention there's going to be some folks from the VS team in the US present, along with local MS reps?

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If we we’re clinical psychologists (we’re not) we might suggest that Microsoft is suffering from dissociative identity disorder, something also known as multiple personality disorder. The company has been doing 180s on products and announcements more frequently than anyone one company should. Take for example some of the backtracking Microsoft did with the Xbox One and features announced back in May at the unveiling compared to what will now be available on launch on November 22nd

And today, the most recent example – developers can now download Windows 8.1 RTM via TechNet or MSDN.

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We've been informed by the developer behind Unification that Nuget support is now available for developers. Nuget is a tool present in Microsoft Visual Studio for developers to easily manage SDKs, libraries and other elements. Liquid Daffodil has also opened up identity management across all supported platforms - Windows Phone 7 & 8, Windows 8 and the web. Developers can now access authentication and identity elements of Unification to get a "universal, user-specific" Microsoft Id across all platforms. So, why is this a big deal? 

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Last summer Microsoft posted a collection of free eBooks and over 1 million copies were downloaded by geeks around the globe. Now, once again, the company is offering up a collection of completely free literature for your consumption in EPUB, MOBI, or PDF formats.

Topics include: Office & Office 365, SharePoint, SQL Server, System Center, Visual Studio, Web Development, Windows, Windows Azure, and Windows Server.

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XNA is dead. Long live XNA!

So, as many of you have heard, Microsoft has killed off XNA and every game written in the framework is doomed.

Except that isn’t the whole story.

If you don’t know, XNA is a game development framework made by Microsoft to aid developers in rapidly creating cross platform games. The name stands for: XNA's Not Acronymed. Writing a game in XNA enables it to run on Windows, XBOX, Windows Phone, and the [now dead] Zune HD. The only real changes that need to be made are the controls and UI (different screen sizes). Even if you’ve never heard of XNA, chances are that you’ve played a game made in it if you’ve ever used a Windows Phone. One such game is ARMED! - which now has a Windows 8 version made in MonoGame.  XNA was loved by a lot of people, and gained popularity because it was an easy entry point into 2D and 3D game development, and it was a good way to reuse code across platforms.

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New, crisp, clean website designs are just a start

Microsoft has been busy launching new services, designs for established properties, and keeping a number of secrets under wraps in the run up to the eventful weeks ahead. We've been looking forward to this part of 2012 as it'll be when Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, Surface tablets, Office, new Xbox update, and - of course - Halo 4. 

We've already seen Microsoft go big with the launch Outlook.com to replace the aging Live / Hotmail email service, but the software giant has revealed plans to apply changes across the board. Yesterday we covered a detailed blog post that walked readers through the new design that'll be applied to the MSN portal later this month - changes have been applied to Microsoft web properties, including the official website as well as the home of Visual Studio (see above).

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In case you didn't get the memo, the world now runs on achievements. I would say that it's rather superficial, but honestly that magic little sound my XBOX makes when it thinks I'm awesome is just plain addictive. Yip, most of us have this weird compulsion - whether it's beating that final boss in some ridiculously hard kill-em-all, or serving 20 customers in one level in Sally's Salon.

So why is it just for games? Well, a little while ago the great minds at Channel 9 decided that us developers deserved a piece of the pie too, and launched Visual Studio Achievements.

What more could we need?

Personally I think there needs to be a lot more achievements added, but besides that Den Delimarsky seems to have hit the nail on the head. He has just released the beta of Visual Studio Achievements for Windows Phone which you can use to track achievements plus compare yourself to others (for modern-day bragging rights of course). There is also Live Tile integration plus a load of other features he has planned. And quite frankly, it's beautiful:

So if you didn't have enough reason to be using VS Achievements before, you do now.

Den is currently running the beta for all who are interested, so I would jump on the band-wagon quickly before all the space fills up. As with all beta's run through the marketplace you will need to provide him with you LiveID and your phone does not have to be unlocked.

Hit up the link below for more details.

Source: Den by default

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