Monetizing RMV Awesome!

Monetizing RMV Awesome!

Part of a series covering Windows Client development, we continue to work on RMV Awesome – an ironically named Modern UI application for keeping tabs on the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. In this article we’ll start monetizing our app use the Microsoft Advertising SDK.

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Stop! Hammer time…

For lovers of hyperbolic technology predictions, 2011 was a banner year. Based on media coverage one would assume that right now I’m sitting in front of my 3D TV while I write this blog on my phone. Meanwhile my ceiling is checking the weather while my refrigerator is busy posting to Google+ that I’m low on coconut water.

My favorite of 2011 was the predicted death of the PC. What makes this one so interesting is that people were eager to jump on the bandwagon, there was little agreement as too why. Some said the Smartphone would replace the PC. Others said we’d all switch to using tablets. Meanwhile we saw millions of PC ship during the holidays.

This boils down to the old adage that when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The reality is that there are screws in the world. And they don’t interface with hammers very well.

While it would be nice to have a 60″ resizable 3D touch-screen device that I can put into my pocket and expand while sitting on the couch to better see Angry Birds, it just isn’t going to happen any time soon. Instead we’ll have different devices for different tasks. There will be room for your hammer in the tool box, but it won’t be your only tool.

My wish list? A Smartphone in my pocket, a 30″ monitor docked to my Laptop on my desk, a Tablet on the end table and a big whopping 70″ TV in the living room. On top of that, I’d like the Cloud to sync content between all these devices. It would also be nice if they all shared a common interface.

I already have a lot of this. Okay, I don’t have a 70″ TV (if anyone knows of a foolproof Wife Acceptance argument for such an item, please share). As I look around the house right now I do see most of this coming together.

I have a Windows Phone 7 in my pocket. It syncs my documents, photos and OneNote up to the cloud. I’ve got Windows 8 Developer Preview running on my Laptop which is docked in the office. Next to the Couch is an Asus tablet, also running Windows 8 Developer Preview (I use this Tablet quite a bit, it comes to every meeting I attend and every flight I take). On the TV is my XBOX 360 playing a movie. All of these devices sync to the Cloud, they all run a Metro Style UI. I’m able to share content between them, editing on one and consuming on another effortlessly.

Now all I need is my fridge to acquire an IP address while I look up what the heck coconut water is and why I’m suppose to care that I’m out of it.

Compact Framework

I’ve been working with the Compact Framework the last few days and I’m really in love with it. Talk about simplifying PDA development. Wow.

In a matter of hours I had a simple UI that could connect to our existing Web Service API, search for a customer record, and then edit that record. And most of that time was spent working on the UI (I’m still getting used to such a small screen area to work with). Pretty sweet if you ask me.

The only thing I wish they could enhance is the events for the controls. More precisely, it would be nice if each control supported a Click event. Currently most do not, so you need to do some playing in order to get a click-able image for example. Not really a big deal, but it would have saved me some extra work last night.