Thursday, September 15, 2011

My time at 'ask the expert'

Even though you can't really expect answers that actually mean a lot, it is a great way of interacting with some of the presenters/MS developers. So my questions were: 1) With me working for a retail company (blah-blah), can we expect motion (not touch, but for example kinect) to become a first class citizen? Mixed response: one guy said just use a webcam and have the user hold lights in their hands so your software has something to track through the webcam. My answer: really? An other actually found the idea quite fascinating and although it is not there right now, he said that use-case scenario's for kinect outside the xbox are definitely being considered. I liked the answer of the last guy better :). My plea: if you are pushing these slates as gaming devices, support 3D and kinect from win8! And then we can also use standard, affordable, hardware in retail environments :). And please provide standard gestures (culture sensitive? lol, thinking about different finger arrangements meaning different things in different cultures) with the kinect. Just like touch, a set of default movements would be helpful (restart is jumping up and down while having an angry face ? :)) 2) SPIN like model checking in VS. To my surprise they are having a talk about this tomorrow! They are using data paths (which is slightly different), but hey, it's at least a form of model checking :). I mentioned the ability to generate test cases out of your model checker, but that didn't seem to resonate. 3) Analysis of large amounts of historical data in the cloud. The answer: unless you can figure out how to use blob data, you will pay a dear price for storage or band-width. That figures :). 4) Suspend mode: while your app is running, save state, so you don't run out of your limited time to save things once you are suspended. The user can choose a certain number of apps to always run, but no guarantee that will be your app! Also: you can schedule tile updates while the app is running or gets notified of suspension. This way you can still provide the user some sort of message after a given amount of time. However: if there is a server task running and your app gets suspended, you will no longer be able to track progress of that server task :)

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