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Tag Archives: microsoft

JSON Visualizer

Kind of needed that forever ago. But hey, no more external JSON viewers for me! Woo!

Certainly by now we have all noticed that the global PC market is a little constipated. Or dying. Whatever. Cool kids like Dell and Sony are doing things to address this, like firing people and selling business units, respectively. Hey man, whatever you’ve got to do to stay alive, right?

Tablet Hell

The Seventh Circle of Developer Hell, no doubt.

It’s horribly short-sighted, though. While things may look bleak right now, I have a hard time believing the PC is in as much trouble as some people may suggest. While it is quite true that smartphones and tablets have arrived on the scene and are eating a lot of the market that used to be dominated by PCs, they just aren’t the best platforms for accomplishing a lot of stuff — and they never will be, which is the important part. As much fun as the Google Nexus 10 is for goofing around when I don’t feel like getting out my crusty ol’ laptop, I can’t fathom trying to do anything serious on it. To this day I still can’t type on a touchscreen… attempting to do so for any substantial amount of time makes me want to buy firearms.

That brings me to Microsoft. Microsoft does some things really well and truly deserves its success. I’m a fan. But this is one place where they completely missed the mark and need to take a step back to adjust their strategy. The numbers may or may not agree with me (I don’t know what they are), but I believe Microsoft’s great strength lies in its ability to deliver a great environment for getting things done. When I think Microsoft, I think productivity: Windows, Office, Visual Studio, the .NET Framework, Azure… they have a pretty good track record for this stuff. Then there’s Windows 8. I get what they were trying to do, and there is something to be said for trying to unify interfaces across all the new form factors out there now, but wow, oops! So I say to Microsoft: your core market is the business world, and they don’t want to get gorilla arm from your crappy OS and its obsession with touchscreens. Continue to make your Windows be for businesses first and regular consumers second since smartphones and tablets are going to eat the consumer market anyway, and you can’t prevent it. With time, you’ll see that even though PC sales won’t reach pre-tablet levels ever again, there will still be a strong market for you in the business sector. That’s not to say you have to completely give up on the new way of doing things… just don’t put it before your foundation and real strengths.

All I’m saying is that most businesses aren’t going to suddenly buy tablets for all their workers and expect everything to be done on mobile devices… because it won’t work. It’s crazy. There are still a lot of things you just don’t do on this latest generation of hardware, not if you want to keep your sanity. Tech companies closing or divesting their PC business units strike me as a little weak in the long-term planning area. Then again, it is also possible that I am simply already an old fart at age 29 because technology is moving in directions that confound and annoy me and I am refusing to see the writing on the wall. That would be a little sad.

Ready to download and install Visual Studio 2013? If you’re like me, you’ll want to clean things up first so you don’t have side-by-side installations… that’s right, it’s time to uninstall Visual Studio 2012 and as many of its buddies as possible. Of course this does mean you’ll lose a lot of your preferences, but hey, you knew what you were signing up for.

Frustratingly, Microsoft’s developer tools always leave a damn mess behind. I guess we’ll have to settle for mounting the VS 2012 iso and running this command:

…though I suppose the executable may have a different name depending on your edition of VS. Anyway, that’s as close to a one-stop-shop we’re going to get for clearing out VS 2012. You’ll still have to uninstall a few things manually, potentially delete the directory from Program Files (x86), and so on.

Chuck Norris ApprovesI’ve only used VS 2013 for a few minutes but I’m already very intrigued by this CodeLens thing. It’s a little distracting because it bumps the actual lines of code around to make room for its helpful little bits, but I’m thinking the trade-off may be worth it. I’m also enjoying the tiny bit of extra color Microsoft’s thrown back into the icons here and there. Thanks, dudes.

Another thing that is relevant to my interests regarding this upgrade is the move from MVC 4 & Web API to MVC 5 & Web API 2, since I have several projects using the former architecture. Luckily, there’s a nice walkthrough to help make that happen.

Don’t forget to cruise through all your *.sln files and change this bit at the top:

…to this:

…so they get the nifty new 12 icon (as opposed to the old 11 icon! so last year!).

Unfortunately, two of my favorite things didn’t get the memo and aren’t compatible with VS 2013 yet: the Productivity Power Tools extension, and StyleCop. Hurry it up, you are sorely missed!