Windows 8 Consumer Preview, ASP.NET and Visual Studio 11 betas released
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview has been released. There is a ton of information out there about this release, even more than we saw during the Developer Preview. The early reports seem to be favorable, and it sounds like many of the problems with the Metro UI on a keyboard/mouse setup have been resolved. I have not had enough time working with it to comment yet, but in the next few weeks I will be taking an in-depth look at it to see how it changes the Windows 8 experience for developers.
In addition, the ASP.NET 4 beta has been released, as has the Visual Studio 11 beta. These are big releases with a lot of changes, so instead of trying to cover them completely here, I will be bringing you details in the next few weeks with full-length posts.
Language/library updatesRuby 1.9.3-p125
Ruby 1.9.3-p125 has been released. It is filled with security and bug fixes.Windows Phone 7.1.1 SDK CTP
Microsoft has a community technology preview of the WP 7.1.1, which seems to be the version number for what was called "Tango." It's mostly for working with devices with more than 256 MB of memory.
Tools and productsANTS Performance Profiler 7.0
Basho's Riak 1.1 brings improved management capabilities to the open source distributed database system.Eclipse Indigo SR2
Liferay Portal 6.1 EE has been released. It updates the enterprise portal package.SQL Azure price drops dramatically
Microsoft announced a massive price drop for SQL Azure, ranging from a 48% decrease to a whopping 75% price cut. If price has been holding you back from SQL Azure, now is a good time to reconsider it.Applicasa's free Start-App program
Editorial and commentaryWhy you should use LINQ
Tips and tricksMongoDB, Json.Net + ASP.NET Web API
EventsMarch 15-17, 2012: Code PaLOUsa - This event, which will be in Louisville, KY (home of TechRepublic!), is all about software creation and is technology independent. I would love to be at this event (Louisville is a great city!), but my schedule does not permit it. March 26-29, 2012: Agile ALM Connect - If you're interested in Agile methodologies and techniques, the Agile ALM Connect event will be put on by the Eclipse Foundation March 26 - 29, 2012 in Reston, VA. The conference has announced its program and speakers. May 3-4, 2012: webDU 2012 in Sydney - TechRepublic Australia Editor Chris Duckett writes: "The conference has also issued a call for papers, with potential speakers required to submit a relevant topic for a 50-minute session. The WebDU site says that just about anything to do with web and rich internet-application development and related topics will be considered. Submissions are due by January 8, 2012." Go to the webDU site for more details about the event. May 18-19, 2012: Italian phpDay - There will be a phpDay conference in Verona, Italy May 18 and 19, 2012. June 7-9, 2012: PHP conference in Amsterdam - The Dutch PHP event will be held in English. October 1-3, 2012: Business of Software 2012 — Registration is now open for the Business of Software 2012 event, which will be held in Boston. I'd love to get to this event myself, though I doubt my schedule will allow it.
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Justin James is an OutSystems MVP, architect, and developer with expertise in SaaS applications and enterprise applications.