What is Project Centennial?

Project Centennial: A toolkit that enables desktop developers to package and publish their existing .NET and Win32-based Windows applications to the Windows Store. Developers can also use Centennial to call common UWP APIs and services.

By now, most of us are familiar with Microsoft’s two big projects — Astoria and Islandwood. For those who didn’t know, Astoria was Microsoft’s Windows Bridge for Android, allowing Android app developers to port their app to Windows using their existing code.

Due to “developer confusion,” Microsoft announced recently that Project Astoria was being killed off.

Project Islandwood, Microsoft’s Windows Bridge for iOS, enables iOS app developers to build Universal Windows Platform apps using their existing Objective-C code. So far, this project is full steam ahead.

There are other projects available that aim to help app developers flock to Microsoft’s platform. With the Silverlight bridge, Microsoft is hoping to make it easy for Windows Phone Silverlight developers to update their older Windows Phone apps to take advantage of the Universal Windows Platform.

Then there is Project Centennial, which was announced during Microsoft’s Build 2015 developer conference. This project aims to help developers publish their .NET and Win32 desktop applications to the Windows Store — and this is important.

Microsoft wants the Windows Store to flourish with apps and the only way to entice developers is to help them port their existing apps and applications with various toolkits. Since there are over 60 million “classic” Windows applications, it makes sense to port as many of these over to the Universal Windows Platform.

Since there are over 60 million “classic” Windows applications, it makes sense to port as many of these over to the Universal Windows Platform. After all, most developers have a huge investment in their code and instead of re-writing their applications to take advantage of the newer platform, Microsoft created Project Centennial to help port those applications as Universal Windows 10 apps.

You can watch an in-depth video below showcasing Project Centennial during Build 2015.

 

At the moment, these tools are in limited testing with a select number of developers. Once Microsoft gathers enough feedback, the Redmond giant will make these toolkits broadly available. Interesting developers can sign up here for Project Centennial.

To make it easier for you to bring your existing code to Windows 10 and the Windows Store, Microsoft is releasing a number of Windows Bridge toolkits. Initial releases of the bridges are being made available as Limited Developer Preview programs, which are scoped to a limited number of developers. By limiting the number of developers involved, the engineering team is better able to get the feedback necessary to advance the toolkit and to ensure that the toolkits meet the needs of the developer community. As each bridge evolves, Microsoft will make it more broadly available.

[Source:- Winbeta]

The NYPD is using Windows Phones in policing

Last Summer the NYPD announced plans to equip its 35,000 officers with Windows Phones. At the time, uses for the phones included: accessing a new domain awareness system, viewing 911 calls, accessing several New York databases, and using voice translation services.  Since this initial announcement, the department has gone on to use the phones with more than 25,000 officers, and is now announcing that within weeks all NYPD officers will be carrying the device.

In a report done by NY1 News, the NYPD says that the highly specialized Windows Phone devices have worked as a major success in fighting crimes. According to the NYPD, on February 22nd alone, police officers looked at 2,000 wanted flyers, conducted 36,00 database searches, and reviewed information about 29,000 911 calls on the Windows Phone devices.

The devices are a major change from the walkie-talkie that officers have been accustomed to using since 1962.  NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Information Technology told the news station:

It is clear that these department smart phones represent the single largest transformation in emergency communications in over a half of century for sure

Screen-Shot-2016-02-29-at-2.14.11-PM-1050x568 The NYPD is using Windows Phones in policing

The NYPD-issued Windows Phone device.

Of course, the new technology brings concerns that officers might spend less time policing and more time on the devices.  NYPD Chief of Commissioner addressed the issue and told the news station:

We push that out to everybody to make sure if you are together, one person looks at the phone and if you are by yourself you have to be careful how you use it.

Just on Friday, a plain-clothed NYPD officer used the department-issued device to match the wanted photo of a suspect in a fatal November murder in New York City.  After police saw the suspect walking on the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue subway platform, they pulled his wanted poster up on the phone, matched him, and nabbed him for an unrelated violation. Thanks to that, and the phone, once they nabbed him, they were able to charge him with the November murder.

 

[Source:- Winbeta]

Microsoft testing new Windows 10 Mobile cumulative patch 10586.122 internally

If you thought Windows 10 Mobile was done with cumulative patches, it appears you were mistaken. Microsoft is now testing a new cumulative update for Windows 10 Mobile internally, and if all goes well, could release the update for Insiders sometime next week. The build in question is 10586.122, and includes bug fixes and other improvements.

Like most cumulative patches, this update will not introduce any new features as Windows 10 Mobile is almost ready for release at this point. This update is again only for under-the-hood fixes and improvements to areas such as performance and migration. WinBeta can confirm that a bug affecting the swiping functionality on the keyboard in Microsoft Edge has been fixed, something many Insiders have submitted feedback about over the last few months.

screens122 Microsoft testing new Windows 10 Mobile cumulative patch 10586.122 internally

 

As mentioned above, this patch could be released to Insiders as soon as next week, that’s assuming the company doesn’t compile and begin testing a newer patch before then. With Microsoft finally getting round to fixing some of the more user-facing bugs in Windows 10 Mobile, it’s hard to assume the company isn’t close to releasing Windows 10 Mobile at this point.

Latest Windows 10 Redstone builds finally start seeing UI improvements

Internal Windows 10 Redstone builds are finally starting to see a number of new user-interface improvements and changes across the operating system for both desktop and phone, after months of working on nothing but under-the-hood stuff. Insiders will be glad to hear that upcoming Insider builds have improved animations when resizing live tiles as well as improvements to the lock screen and login UI.

Microsoft recently began flighting its first UI changes in internal builds this past week, with live tiles that now fade in and out when resizing as well as improvements to how the lock screen and login UI transition between each other. It is expected that these changes will be available in the next Insider drop, which could drop this week or next week.

TileAnimationGif Latest Windows 10 Redstone builds finally start seeing UI improvements

Although not much, these are the first real user-interface changes present in Redstone, and should help make the user-experience more streamlined when doing simple things. Right now, resizing live tiles on the Start Screen is a somewhat clunky experience, so adding an additional animation that helps make the experience seem smoother will be a nice touch.

What other user-interface changes are you hoping to see in Redstone?

 

[Source:- Winbeta]