We put the template support in for Visual Studio 2008 towards the very end of the 5.3 development cycle as a 'bonus' to fulfill community requests -- you'll notice we don't even mention it in the What's New section of the SDK documentation at all since we didn't know the street date for Visual Studio 2008.

There are three templates which ship in the 5.3 version:

Windows Media Center Application
A project for creating a Windows Media Center Application containing a page with four buttons which invoke a Media Center dialog box.

Windows Media Center Application - Background
A project for creating a Windows Media Center Background Application.

Windows Media Center Application - Fundamental
A project for creating a Windows Media Center Application containing the minimum code and markup required.

It just so happens that Visual Studio 2008 released to the general public a day or two before we released, so I've been scrambling to test out the SDK install on all sorts of permutations of Visual Studio installations -- the surface area for this testing is quite large when you look at the fact all of them can peacefully coexist with side by side installs. Last night we found an issue where one of the templates (the first one in the list above) isn't available in Visual Studio 2008 if the only development tool you have installed is a Visual Studio 2008 SKU.

Select one of the following to resolve...

  • Make sure you have a Visual Studio 2005 SKU installed (including any Express Edition) in addition to Visual Studio 2008 prior to installing the SDK.
  • Run a repair of the Windows Media Center SDK 5.3 if you've already got it and a Visual Studio 2008 SKU installed and are installing a Visual Studio 2005 SKU second.

Categories: SDK | Template | Comments [1] | # | Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2007 3:33:24 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)   

Working through the last revision of the SDK I found it was really hard to discern the development environment for successfully developing a Windows Media Center application -- mainly because you can't read what we write before installing the SDK...! :-)

So, let me take a moment to give you what I consider the bare minimum install set for a development machine in the order they should be installed.

Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate

Visual C# 2005 Express Edition

Visual C# 2005 Express Edition SP1

Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista

Visual C# 2008 Express Edition

Windows Media Center Software Development Kit 5.3

I've put these links over on the navigation bar at http://blog.mediacentersandbox.com as well for future reference.


Categories: SDK | Comments [0] | # | Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 11:38:23 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)   

An updated version of the Windows Media Center Software Development Kit is now available for download from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=a43ea0b7-b85f-4612-aa08-3bf128c5873e&displaylang=en. This is the same link as before so no need to change your bookmarks. These links also persist in the navigation section at http://blog.mediacentersandbox.com/.

Here is a list of what's new or changed with this release...

MCML Preview Tool Automation Model
An improved automation model allows a tools developer to load an MCML file, refresh the current view, and close or get the position and size of the current instance. New command-line switches specify a folder to watch and automatically refresh when any resource in the folder changes.

Changes to the MCML Preview Tool Launcher
The improved MCML Preview Tool Launcher takes advantage of the new MCML Preview Tool automation model and command-line switches.

Additional Documentation on Animations in MCML

Check out the new or improved documentation on these topics:

  • Working with Animations in MCML
  • Using Keyframes in Animation
  • Applying Interpolations to Keyframes
  • Setting the Weight on Interpolations
  • Playing Different Types of Animations in Response to Events

MCML Animation Explorer
MCML Animation Explorer is a new tool that helps developers learn animation in MCML. Instead of writing XML you can work with a bunch of knobs and switches in a graphical user interface and see the resulting MCML as well as the visuals in the MCML Preview Tool.

New Visual Studio Templates
The following templates have been added for C#:

  • The Windows Media Center Application – Background template creates a project for a Windows Media Center background application.
  • The Windows Media Center Application – Fundamental template creates a project that provides a basic framework for creating a Windows Media Center application.

Visual Studio 2008 Support
The application templates now work with Visual Studio 2008.

Deprecated Features
The following platform features have been deprecated with this release:

  • Hosting for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) browser applications (XBAPs).
  • The Triple-tap / Soft-keyboard ActiveX control for hosted HTML applications.
  • Support for using alternative shells to run and host HTML applications.

Categories: SDK | Comments [12] | # | Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 11:52:28 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)   

This thing is just drop dead beautiful. Check out this comparison of the iTunes Store and Zune Marketplace artist page.

[And yes, as the father of daughters, Steven Curtis Chapmans new song 'Cinderella' does make me cry.]

Categories: Zune | iTunes | Comments [9] | # | Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 5:48:05 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)   

Michael Gartenberg writes "Same joke, still as effective."

I went out and purchased Leopard a day or two after it shipped. I installed it clean (not an upgrade) on my less than year old MacBook here at home. At some point I needed to add up a few numbers and therefore launched Calculator.

This is what I eventually got:

So, enjoy the ads.

But if you are a consumer considering purchasing a Mac you should definitely separate the hype from the truth -- no operating system is flawless. None. Oh, and make sure you have your fact radar on when you visit your local Apple store.

Categories: Apple | Mac | Comments [6] | # | Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 3:39:22 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)   

If you read my blog and are a Media Center enthusiast you've no doubt read the comments attached to And It Has Media Center Extender Built In. I'm going to head up an effort here at Microsoft between the Media Center, XBox and Zune teams to give you a set of resources which help you put our products together and begin to realize the 'Connected Home' dream. It will probably start out as a whitepaper -- it *might* include things like scripts or tools -- but don't hold me to the latter. Along the way I'm almost sure we will find areas of improvement, and you have my word we will file bugs or feature requests to consider what we can do in future versions to make life better.

But first, I need your help to make sure we cover the scenarios. Here is what we have so far -- would you add any others...?

1) Standalone Windows Media Center machine.
2) Windows Media Center + XBox 360 Media Experiences.
3) Windows Media Center + XBox 360 Media Center Extender(s).
4) Windows Media Center + Windows Home Server + XBox 360 Media Center Extender(s).
5) Multiple Windows Media Center machines + Windows Home Server + XBox 360 Media Center Extender(s).
6) Zune added to any of the above.

Categories: Media Center Extender | Windows Home Server | Windows Media Center | XBox 360 | Zune | Connected Home | Comments [50] | # | Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 6:08:43 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)   
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