Today I gave a talk in TechDays in Belgium about MVVM in Silverlight 5, Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8. This was the first time I gave that particular talk, and in addition keep in mind this is a developer preview, meaning that it is not finished, and not always stable.
I had a few surprises with this build. For example from time to time, the new “Metro style applications” just cannot be launched anymore. Nothing that a simple reboot cannot fix… but I’ll come back to that in a moment.
A couple of hours before my session started, I was notified by Windows 8 that it wanted to install updates. I even joked about it on Twitter. No way was I going to install updates just before a talk! Everyone knows you shouldn’t do that, it can change your computer configuration and cause unexpected effects during the talk! Yeah I thought I was clever.
The presentation went well, but towards the end I wanted to run the application to show it to my audience. Unfortunately when I clicked the shortcut on the Start screen, nothing happened. I tried launching another Metro app and it also failed. I immediately thought it was the effect I mentioned before, where Metro apps stop working and you need to reboot. Turns out I was wrong. Of course the decision I had to take, with more than 100 people waiting for my next move, was tough. I decided to reboot. And yep, at that moment I had totally forgotten about the pending updates.
And this is what happened:
Damn well I have to say the audience was really nice and supportive. I took the occasion to take a few questions (THANK YOU to those who asked something and gave me the chance to fill that void with content!!)
What was the issue actually?
After reboot I tried again, and the same result happened: No Metro apps could be started. From the room, I got the suggestion that it was a resolution problem. And indeed: You cannot run Metro applications with less than 768 pixels vertical resolution. And because of the projector, I was running at 1280×720. So I thought OK, let’s try it, increased the resolution to 1280×768 and indeed I could start the Metro apps… but then the projector stopped showing the image!
That’s really a tough problem to solve, and I must say I am not quite sure yet how to make this work. Projectors nowadays are, for the most part, limited to 1024×768 resolution. If you want to go 16:9, you often get 1280×720. My tests after my session show that at 1024×768, Metro apps seem to run but I am not sure what will happen when I attach the projector again in my next session… I guess I will find out tomorrow
I thought I would take this occasion to show my excellent audience what I wanted to actually show them, and how the finished Metro application looks like. So here are some screenshots. First you will recognize the Silverlight 5 version of the uploader, then the Windows Phone one, and finally the Metro application. I will post the code and the presentation in the following few days, and the video of the presentation will follow shortly after the Windows 8 beta is released. I want to really thank everyone for their attention and support, and for the many kind words I received after my session.
Silverlight 5 version
Windows Phone initial screen
Windows Phone picture selection
Windows Phone during upload
Windows Phone upload completed
Windows 8 initial screen with Application Bar
Windows 8 Picture Picker
Windows 8 during upload