Category Archives: Microsoft

Here are the First Ten Phones that will Get Windows 10 Mobile

I’m still haunted in my dreams by the time that Microsoft said that Lumia Denim (as well as Lumia Cyan) would come to flagship Lumias first. Well, it appears that they’re putting out a list of the first devices to get Windows 10 Mobile.

Those devices include Lumia 430, 435, 532, 535, 540, 640, 640 XL, 735, 830, and 930. It’s an interesting range of devices, from the super low end to the flagship. One thing that they have in common on the low end is that they’re all Microsoft Lumias.

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Windows 10 is Official! How to Get it Right Now

I’m sure you’ve heard the news. Windows 10 is officially here. I’m sure you’ve seen that little Windows logo sitting in your system tray. You might wish it wasn’t there. You might be excited about it. Nevertheless, today is the day.

There have been numerous accounts from Microsoft about how this thing rolls out. They originally said that your computer would start downloading the bits in the weeks prior to July 29. Then, they backtracked a bit and said that PCs would begin downloading the bits on July 29 and we would get Windows 10 over the next couple weeks.

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Microsoft Releases DVD Player App for Windows 10

Hey, remember how Microsoft said that we would need a third party app to play DVDs when Windows 10 first comes out? If you recall, they said that a DVD Player app would be coming later.

As it turns out, they only meant a few hours later. Hopefully, you didn’t have too much trouble installing Windows 10, installing VLC, and then watching your morning movies on optical discs.

You can grab the new DVD Player app through Windows Update. Not watching too many DVDs at 10 AM? Don’t worry, it will install automatically.

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Tail Call bug Discovered in .NET 4.6

If you have begun using Visual Studio .NET 2015 you might want to hold off.  There is a serious bug that was discovered in .NET Framework 4.6 64 Bit optimizer that affects the last parameter that is placed in the tail call of functions.  This bug is simply being referred to the tail call bug (

To understand what this bug is you need to know a few things about tail calls and how compilers work in general.  First we will cover what a tail call is.  When you write a function in any modern language, may times you can have your return value be a return value from other function.  An example is demonstrated below:

function foo(data)
    return b(data);

In the above example, the function foo() calls two functions, a() and b().  However the value from the function call b() is returned from foo().  This means that the call to b() is consider to be the tail call.  Your function can have multiple tail calls as demonstrated below:

function bar(data)
    if (a(data))
        return b(data);

    return c(data);

In this example, b() and c() are tail calls but a() is not.  You can read up more on tail calls here:

The next topic to cover is code optimization.  When you compile your programs in most modern languages it will analyze your code and attempt to see if there is anything that can be substituted with a simpler set of instructions.  Please consider the following:

int a = 1 + (2 * 8);

An optimizer will see this and replace it with the following line before it creates the output assembly:

int a = 17;

As you can see that the final result of the variable a would be exactly the same but the code in the later example would execute faster.  For the case of the bug that is happening with .NET is affecting the optimization related to the last parameter of the tail call.  What is interesting about this bug is originating in the new RyuJIT which is supposed to affect 64 Bit versions of assemblies (

So now the question is what to do?

Well you can wait for this bug to be fixed.  Microsoft is working on a fix ( but there is no word yet on when this will be released.

You can also disable the RyuJIT optimization by updating your registry: Under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft.NETFramework add a useLegacyJit DWORD with a value of 1.  After Microsoft does release the patch for this bug you should change the value back to 0.


Update (7/30/2015 @ 10:18 AM EST): 

The bug has been fixed and the patch has been made but it won’t be available into the next Windows Update.  No word yet on when this will be.  Rich Lander, who works on the Microsoft Common Language Runtime team, posted this:

Could C# be the one language to rule them all?

Being a developer, it is important to continue to learn about new languages as you are being asked to create solutions for multiple platforms.  The reason why we have so many languages is because on a hardware level each CPU uses a different assembly language to run their instructions.  Due to this fact not every language is able to run on every platform.  For this to work you would need to have multiple companies that are able to understand these CPU differences to write compilers for the same language.


For a time, the language Java (which as owned by Sun Microsystems for a time until Oracle purchased the company) was set out to solve this problem.  From 1995 through the mid 2000’s it seemed like Java was supported on almost every computer and device.  That was until the iPhone come along with its first version of iOS in 2007.  It wasn’t unusual that a new device didn’t have support for Java on the initial release but then Apple announced that they will never support languages like Java (

The reason is because their terms of use do not allow developers to create apps that were written from interpreted code.   So that means you are only able to create apps that are written in a low level language like Objective-C which create compiled programs.  This was bad news for developers as there was one more language that we needed to learn.

The folks over at Google decided on using Java (although you can also use C++) to write your mobile apps for their Android operating system.  Meanwhile Microsoft relies on their .NET Framework to create Windows Mobile apps which includes the Visual Basic .NET and C# languages.

By now you see the problem.  If you wanted to write a mobile app for each of these platforms, you would need to learn three different language on three different frameworks.  Wouldn’t it be nice if someone created a new language and would allow programmers to create apps for all of these types of devices?  Well the short answer is no.


The solution to this problem has been solved for us already by the Mono group (  The Mono project was started back in 2004 as an open source project to port the .NET Framework to run on Linux and Mac.  This project was original independent from Microsoft but now it is being included in the latest version of its developer environment: Visual Studio 2015.


This is all possible because of Xamarin ( which takes the ported version of the .NET Framework and uses it build apps that run on both Android and iOS devices.  However it isn’t perfect.  For instance, in order to create iOS apps in Visual Studio 2015 you are going to need to purchase a business account from Xamarin ($89/month) plus have access to a Mac.  This will then create the compiled programs that iOS will allow to run on its devices.

Also the version of the ADK (Android Development Kit) that is included with Visual Studio 2015 isn’t the latest version so you will need to manually go out and download and configure the latest version on your machine before you are able to create Android apps.  At any rate you will be prompted to log into Xamarin.  You can find more information about this here:

Not exactly plug in play, but it is still early days.  Hopefully, future versions of Visual Studio will allow developers access to a more “turn key” solution for creating mobile apps in a single programming language.

LG Lancet vs Yezz Billy 4.7 Comparison

Recently, I received the LG Lancet to review. It’s LG’s first attempt at a Windows Phone since Windows Phone 7. Well, let’s just say it’s LG’s first attempt at a modern Windows Phone.

So far, I’ve been pretty impressed with the LG Lancet. My first instinct was to compare it to the Microsoft Lumia 735. After all, those are Verizon’s two mid-range Windows Phones. As it turns out, the LG Lancet blows away the Lumia 735 in benchmarks, but not much else. Battery tests weren’t great, nor was the camera, which might not have been fair, considering how stellar the Lumia 735 camera is (first phone to have an f/1.9 aperture. That’s right, Galaxy S6 fans).

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Microsoft Clarifies Windows 10 Store Search Algorithm

Today, Microsoft posted a blog post stating that Store listings and search algorithms have changed.

There’s a lot of info there. It really looks like they’ve fixed Windows Store search, which is a really good thing, considering how bad it was in Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1.

Store listing and search algorithms

  • Search algorithms optimized for apps, games, movies, and music rather than the general web search used earlier. These algorithms take a more holistic approach when evaluating an app’s relevancy to the search terms, factoring in attributes such as click-through rates in the Store listings, ratings and reviews, keywords, and total downloads.
  • Apps that customers have previously acquired are not currently filtered out of searches or app lists. As a result, customers may see apps they already own in the Store lists and recommendations. We are planning to remove previously-owned apps from the recommendations in a future update.
  • Lists will not include ‘top grossing.’ The lists available today include ‘top free,’ ‘top paid,’ ‘best rated,’ and ‘new and rising.’ The ‘top grossing’ app list, which is currently available in the Store on Windows 8, will be temporarily unavailable, with plans to bring back this capability in a future update.
  • Store lists always show Apps first, then Games, then Music, then Movies. When users search for items, the order of the results might not be the ideal, and that is also a focus area for future improvement.

App listings and web Store

  • Windows Phone screenshot auto-rotation orientation no longer available. Windows Phone Dev Center enabled developers to submit vertical screenshots and Dev Center would rotate them. The new Dev Center does not have this ‘auto rotate’ filter. So you might see some Windows Phone screenshots appear vertical instead of horizontal in the Store. The fix is easy: re-submit the screenshots rotated with any image editor, then upload to Dev Center.


  •  New web Store and URL redirects: The previous Store URLs and now redirect customers to the new web Store Existing URLs and links continue to work and automatically redirect customers to the new Store.
  • Installing apps from web Store not available. Installing apps to a Windows Phone when using the Store in a PC browser is not supported. Apps must be installed from the device itself.
  •  Logged out customers may see both Windows and Windows Phone apps. If a customer is not logged in to their Microsoft account on Windows 8.x or Windows 7, the web Store will show both the Windows and Windows Phone apps. This means the customer may see duplicate apps (for non-linked apps).
  • URL to show all apps from one publisher no longer available. The URLs that pointed to all apps from a single publisher in Windows Phone (e.g. are no longer supported. Customers can select a publisher’s name in an app’s product description page to view a list of the publisher’s apps.


  • You might need to adjust your app description. Existing Windows 8.x apps will also be available to all Windows 10 users, so make sure the description does not indicate that the app only ‘runs on Windows 8.x’ or similar description. The Store will try to detect the OS of a user, and will adjust which apps to show or indicate if an app is not compatible with a user’s device.
  • App version, last update date, and device compatibility not visible in the app page. The app description pages do not include which devices the app works on, nor does it show the app version and last update date. We are working to bring these popular features back in a future update. One recommendation is to add the app version in the app description when you update your apps.

Ratings and Reviews

  • Migration of all the Ratings and Reviews. Ratings and reviews in the Windows 8 and Windows Phone Stores were migrated and will be visible to Windows 10. Ratings and reviews provided by customers using Windows 10 will not appear to customers using a previous OS.
  • New Ratings and Reviews Algorithm. The Windows 10 Store uses new review sorting logic to improve the customer experience in a variety of ways:
    • The most recent reviews with most ‘helpful’ votes are bubbled to the top of the list, ensuring comments on are relevant and useful for customers looking at your app.
    • The profanity detection algorithm has been updated and improved. As customers change the way they use profanity in reviews, the algorithm will adapt and further refine the way it detects inappropriate language.
    • New spam detection will detect and remove more spam before customers see it.
  • Review filter: Customers will be able to search reviews in both the Store app and the web Store. Filters can be set for star ratings, most helpful, newest, highest-rated, and lowest-rated.


  • Unified Ratings and Reviews for Linked Apps. The unified Dev Center dashboard treats linked Windows and Windows Phone apps as a single app with multiple packages. Ratings and reviews for any package in the linked app are applied to the app, regardless of whether the rating was provided on a Windows Phone app or a Windows 8.x app. In Windows 10, customers will see combined reviews and ratings for both apps in the new Store as well a unified star rating.  Customers accessing the Store on earlier OS versions (e.g., Windows Phone 8.1) will not see the new combined rating.  A device-specific filter is planned for a future update, enabling customers to see just reviews for their device type.
  • Ratings and reviews submitted in Windows 10 previous to July 15 were deleted. Ratings and reviews submitted by customers using the preview versions of Windows 10 were removed from the Store on July 15, 2015.  This action was taken to ensure an app’s rating and reviews are not based on customer experiences with preview versions of Windows 10.  Instead, apps will only show Windows 10 ratings and reviews generated after July 15. Depending on the ratings your app received in the Store preview, you may see your average star rating change.

One of the things that are bothersome is that users can no longer download apps from the web Store. Previously, with Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, there was an install option which never worked. It would send an email to the user with instructions to download the app.

It’s disturbing because many users are stating that they can’t download MixRadio on Windows 10 Mobile. It’s not in the Store and they can’t download it from the web Store.

wp_ss_20150724_0001Personally, I think the new Store looks fantastic. I can find my app, which is all I ask for. It’s also a massive improvement from the Windows 8.1 Store.

Source: Windows Blog

Surface 3 LTE Now Available!

Earlier this week, we learned that AT&T would be selling the LTE Surface 3 in their stores starting today. Well, surprise! As it turns out, this is also the day that Microsoft is going to begin selling the unlocked models.

The Surface 3 will be $599 for the model with 2 GB RAM and 64 GB SSD and it will be $699 for the model with 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD. Also, at the end of this month, T-Mobile will also be selling the LTE model.

Source: Microsoft

Windows 10 Universal Apps can be Submitted on July 29

I had a feeling this was the case. In fact, had I known it would be a story, I would have published this a few days ago. Microsoft will begin allowing developers to submit universal apps to the Windows 10 Store on July 29. I suppose it’s because they want to make sure there are absolutely no universal apps when Windows 10 launches.

It seemed obvious because when Microsoft released Visual Studio 2015 on Monday, they stated that developers wouldn’t even be able to work on universal apps until July 29, oddly enough, although the release candidates had and still have the capability to develop universal apps.

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