jump to navigation

SkyDrive Got Sync April 24, 2012

Posted by Bilal in Updates.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

A lot of people nowadays are using services like Dropbox which provide you the ease to access your up-to-date files everywhere. Dropbox is currently limited to 2GB with some expansion via referrals (and it is not so simple). Some Dropbox competitors like Sugarsync, Waula etc. (with 5 GB) have been around for some time but they haven’t gained much attention for being late comer in the market. However when a competing product is launched from a giant company, it is bound to get a lot of attention. So is the case is with much hyped GDrive, which is expected to be launched by Google very soon. Meanwhile, the other tech giant Microsoft has refined its SkyDrive service, by adding new sync features. Up until now, SkyDrive has been a useful place for online file storage with a generous FREE 25GB quota. Today, Microsoft announced PC and Mac apps for SkyDrive which provide the more-useful file synchronization features.

At first glance it is very tempting to see a free 25GB online space available for cloud storage and syncing, compared to Dropbox (which offers only 2GB). But unfortunately, along with the introduction of new features, Microsoft has also decided to reduce the free storage offerings to 7GB. The new SkyDrive users are left with no option other than a paid upgrade if they want extra storage. Old SkyDrive users though, still have some luck. If you have used SkyDrive before, you can avail a limited time offer. Existing users are being offered a free upgrade to 25GB. Login to SkyDrive with your Windows Live ID, and you will be prompted with a following message:

The interesting thing is that the image is not linked to any page. In the navigation column on left, you have to navigate to Manage Storage page. So, what are you waiting for??? Go and enjoy the free cake from Microsoft until it is on display.

Update (24/04/2012): Google Drive is out now.

A guest post by Ammar Haider

Jeddah Community Summit – May 2011 May 31, 2011

Posted by Bilal in Events, Jeddah.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Yesterday, on 30th May, Jeddah Community Summit was arranged by the Microsoft Saudi Community, the central hub of all the regional communities of the Kingdom. The purpose of these communities is to bring the people of a region closer, to share their experience, expertise and help other fellows of the same field in their work and knowledge gathering. These communities conduct sessions/workshops for a wide spectrum ranging from a single topic to multiple tools and topics for one workshop. These communities are very much active in other cities specially in Riyadh and Eastern Region. This event was arranged by the cooperation of the Effat University and Microsoft Saudi Arabia.

The introductory Session was conducted by Mr. Adel Al-Massarani, Developer & Platform Group Lead, Microsoft, KSA. He talked about DreamSpark, WebSiteSpark & BizSpark. He mentioned that how Microsoft provide software and hardware support for the early startup/students for first 3 Years. The provided software can be used freely after that period with some conditions. They provide a combination of free/subsidized licenses and Web Hosting. The business studies have shown that majority of IT based startups failed in first 2 years. The aim of these is to help companies to stand on Firm grounds. Currently, 45 startups have been approved in the Kingdom out of which 20 are active.

The next session by Fauzan Khan, a Microsoft Certified Trainer, was about the new and advanced features of Visual Studio 2010. He discussed about a lot of features including but not limited to:

  • Virtual Test Environment
  • Proactive Project Management
  • Architecture Validation
  • Dependency Validation
  • Code Analysis & Metrics
  • Intelli-Trace & Test Manager

All of these features are available in the Ultimate version of Visual Studio 2010. By using these tools we can clearly explain/understand the architecture of the application, validate the separation between different layers (data layer, business layer etc), trace out the bug by checking the variable values even in the deep nested calls, automate the advanced testing etc.

This was followed by the session about Windows Azure, also by Fauzan Khan. Windows Azure is the most latest, state of the art technology by Microsoft for cloud computing. With the combination of SQL Azure, it helps organization to dynamically, on the go, scale their infrastructure by cloud hosting. Instead of Software as a Service (SaaS) or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), it is a complete Platform as a Service (PaaS). It automatically manages a lot of things using Content Delivery Network (CDN), Traffic Managers etc with full support for customization. A complete list of Windows Azure features can be seen HERE. Azure Applications can easily be developed and tested in Visual Studio 2010 by downloading the Azure SDK. Recently, ebay, the world’s one of the most famous shopping site, has shifted to the Azure Platform.

It was followed by a light lunch and the prayer break. Refreshment was available all the time.

The next session about Building Windows Phone 7 Application was conducted by Adel Al-Zubeir, Sr. System Analyst and Windows Phone MVP. He demonstrated the currently and the recently added main features of Windows Phone. After that he described the complete development process of Windows Phone 7 application, starting with a simple Visual Studio project to a full fledge application working with web-services. Later, the publishing/marketing process was also described. Developers in ME (and some other regions with no direct access) can submit their apps to Windows MarketPlce with the help of Yalla Apps. Windows Phone Application can be developed in Visual Studio 2010 by downloading the developer tools. These applications are written in Silverlight. Any desktop application written in Silverlight can easily be transferred to Windows Phone. The current version of Windows Phone is Arabic enabled i.e. u can read the Arabic pages. Full Arabic support is expected in future. The switch by Nokia towards Windows Phone will help to reduce this time to market.

The last session was about the Microsoft Web Matrix. It is a collection of different tools (WordPress, Joomla, DotNetNuke etc) with easy/semi-automated installation process. It helps to create, customize and publish your website with a wizard based interface. It is mainly targeted towards the students.

In the last, there was a lucky draw for some books to be distributed among the attendee. Shirts with Microsoft branding were given to each attendant. The attendees were from different local companies. A few students were also present. The event ended at about 4 PM. We are thankful to Microsoft and Effat University for their support and co-operation, with a hope to have more session in the coming month with higher number of participants.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.