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web development

You might not be familiar with Microsoft’s modern.IE website, but web developers around the globe sure are. The website launched by Microsoft focuses on providing tools, documentation, and industry connections for web developers who are trying to get the best optimization out of Internet Explorer and other web browsers. Recently, the site has claimed that it has saved over one million development hours using its various techniques since it launched in January 2013.

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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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Google Analytics is now effectively detecting (and reporting) Windows Phone as a separate operating system to Windows. A few months back (August to be exact) we looked into how Google Analytics was ignoring Windows Phone as an individual OS, which was subsequently naming the mobile platform with "(not set)" when displaying reports to the end-user.

Whether the search giant was taking its time with the implementation to fix this issue, or just playing an irritating game of "we wont support it yet", we have no idea. But fast forward to just over a year since the platform was launched and we now have Google's analytics software picking up our beloved Metro platform (as can be seen in the shot above).

While this doesn't really affect consumers, it's a real pain for webmasters who are interested with reading into which mobile OS is most abound with website traffic. 

Via: WPSauce@ailon

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Windows Phone in Google Analytics

Does Google Analytics skew data for web owners with traffic using Windows Phone? Not quite. While there is no clear categorisation between iPhone/iPod, PC and WP7 the data is being collected and it's available for viewing. With the list of operating systems in the filter, one can select screen resolution as a secondary dimension to compare the OS and resolution numbers.

An article, posted back in June, over at Mobility Digest saw them go into some depth with their analytical data while calculating the percentage of visits between the mobile platforms. This article publishes detail for Android, Windows and iOS - note "Windows" and not "Windows Phone". Doug Simmons then took a further look into the numbers as he thought WP should be reporting higher values.

I too was interested so I took a quick look at my personal website (since it doesn't receive a whole lot of traffic it should be easier to break down the data) and filtered through the visits recorded in Google Analytics. The majority of my traffic comes from WPCentral with redirects from Twitter and other locations that involve Microsoft's platform, so I predicted that a healthy portion of the mobile traffic should be using WP handsets.

In the image above you can see the screen resolution and OS filters enabled. It's quite clear that Windows Phone is being picked up by the tracking code, but is merely being categorised as "not set" (one of the resolutions paired with Windows is also 480x800). I'm actually fairly surprised seeing how the platform has been out for almost a year, Google has had ample time to fix this issue of Windows Phone not being recognised as well as Windows Mobile.

MSIE 9 will count for both the mobile and desktop hits and the only way to accurately guess as to how much traffic is on Windows Phone lies with the screen resolution and browser/OS filtering. It's not much but at least we're not being ignored. It's just a massive negative for web owners who would never see Windows Phone while looking at mobile traffic data. We're not that small Google!

Oh, if you use Google Analytics and have just ventured onto WP7, check out Phonealytics.

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Phonealytics - Review

Analytics, the right-hand man for any web developer or e-consultant, is the base of all marketing campaigns, social expeditions and performance reports for any website. Google Analytics is the freely available and widely used software offered by the search giant for webmasters to take advantage of. The beauty of Google Analytics is the integration it has with Feedburner and Adsense as well as available APIs. It's freely available and offers webmasters with a fairly accurate picture of how a web property is performing (should visitors have JavaScript enabled). Although one must remember that nothing can compare to server-side software like AWStats etc. with accuracy.

The most useful data that's looked at includes visits/visitors, bounce rate, time-on-site and sources. As mentioned above, it's vital for marketing, reports and optimization of software or pages. Visits and visitors are counted and recorded to calculate the ratio for new visits against returning visitors. Bounce rate determines how relevant or effective your site is to captured audience. Time-on-site is pretty self-explanatory, while sources covers where visitors came from (be it search engines, direct or referring sites).

Unfortunately, since Google Analytics makes use of Flash for graph rendering, the service is less-than available on smartphone platforms that do not support Flash. How would a Windows Phone user keep up with site statistics while on the go? Allow me to introduce Phonealytics, by Luke Lowrey. 

Fantastic Metro UI design Google Analytics on the go Fast and simple
Could do with more reports (Adsense etc.)
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We love the beautiful web that is emerging, especially Microsoft with IE9 and IE10. We have seen tests and examples displaying what modern browsers can do with HTML5 and the benefits of hardware acceleration, now it's time to see all this on a mobile scale. Introducing the Mobile Test Drive.

The features of this testing environment are as follows:

  • Audio Player (from MIX11)
  • Geolocation
  • Border Radius
  • DOM Local Storage
  • Scalable Vector Graphics
  • CSS3 Media Queries
  • DOMContentLoaded
  • FishIE Tank
  • Speed Reading (from MIX11)
  • Animated Text
  • HamsterDance Revolution
  • Business Charts
  • IE Logo
  • Video Panorama
  • Browser Control Themeing

More samples will be added to the mobile test through the upcoming months to Mango and beyond so keep an eye out for changes and additions. If you're a web developer you can see how your websites will look on Mobile IE9 by downloading the Windows Phone Developer tools. Pretty neat if I do say so myself.

Source: Microsoft Blog

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