Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This blog has moved

This is just a brief note to say that my blog has now been embedded in my new tech blog at, where I’ll post about more topics, including Windows 8, web and cloud development on Windows Azure, mobile programming on Windows Phone 7, in addition, of course, to Embedded-related subjects.

To keep in touch, head over to – see you there!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Working on something new…

I’ve been very busy during the last month working on a number of personal projects, that will be publicly available soon:


  • gianni’s hub: my new blog made with Umbraco CMS and hosted on Windows Azure
  • Umbraco Windows Azure Accelerator Lite: a reworked version of the Windows Azure Accelerator for Umbraco project, aimed to minimize Azure Storage transactions. It works in combination with my Umbraco Accelerator Sync Extension: an extension to Umbraco to optimize synchronization between web-role local data and Windows Azure Blob Storage Windows Azure logo

    Umbraco logo





  • gianni’s hub WP7 app: the official Windows Phone 7 application to stay tuned on the latest technology newsWindows Phone logo

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Windows Embedded Hands-On Labs

On December 13th BEPS Engineering, in collaboration with Microsoft Innovation Center (Torino) and Windows Embedded EMEA Team, presented two Hands-On Labs on Windows Embedded technologies. They have been hosted in the new Microsoft Campus laboratories, located near Milan.

In the morning Beppe, Marco and I presented Windows Embedded Compact 7, the last version of Windows Embedded CE. The main objectives aimed to allow participants to work directly on configured and ready to use workstations, to practice with the help of trainers and take the possibility of repeating all the exercises on their own workstations at home.

In the afternoon, with the same formula, we have moved to Windows Embedded Standard 7, the packaged version of Windows 7.

The 18 participants were satisfied and, at the end of the day, there was some time for a Q&A session, that prompted the trainers to explore, in more details, the required arguments.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Windows Embedded Roadmap

Yesterday Microsoft publicly released the roadmap for Windows Embedded vNext products.

During the past months, Microsoft worked on the foundation for an entirely new category within the traditional embedded market: intelligent systems. These are embedded devices that can extend enterprise software and cloud services out to everyday devices such as point of service (POS) terminals, in-car infotainment, medical equipment and even bar-top game machines.

With the company’s vision in place, Windows Embedded recently laid out details about how the company will deliver on its vision for intelligent systems over the next year.

Here are the main things announced:

  • Windows Embedded Enterprise vNext and Windows Embedded Standard vNext will be based on Windows 8.
  • Windows Embedded Standard vNext will be a customizable and componentized version of Windows 8. During the first quarter of 2012 a CTP for developers will be released and the final version will be released 3 quarters after Windows 8 general availability. In addition it is confirmed that Windows Embedded Standard vNext will support the ARM architecture.
  • Windows Embedded Enterprise vNext, full Windows product licensed for embedded OEMs, will be available a quarter after Windows 8 general availability .
  • In the second half of 2012 there will be a Windows Embedded Compact vNext, still based on the Windows Embedded CE core, with support for native application development in Visual Studio vNext.

For further information, have a look at the complete press release.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fleux .NETCF UI Library – KitchenPal contributions

It is now possible to download the modified version of the great Fleux project by José Gallardo Salazar, which I used for KitchenPal Metro-style interface. I added some custom UI controls (Tile, ApplicationBar, Textbox, Checkbox, Button, ImageButton, WrapPanel) and added general support for Windows CE 6.x/7.x devices, in addition to Windows Mobile. Maybe in the future these enhancements could be integrated in the main project. For now, download the source code from here and use it in your embedded projects! Let me know if you use it or find/fix any issues.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Kinect SDK Beta 2

Today the new Kinect for Windows SDK Beta 2 has been released. It’s still for non-commercial use, waiting for the commercial SDK license which should be released at the beginning of the next year. For the event, the new official Microsoft Kinect SDK developer portal has been launched:

Some of Beta 2 changes:

  • Faster  and Improved Skeletal Tracking

With updates to the multi-core exemplar, Kinect for Windows is now 20% faster than it was in the last release. Also, the accuracy rate of skeletal tracking and joint recognition and been substantially improved and it is possible to choose which device has to be used for skeletal trackin, when more than one Kinect is plugged to the machine.

  • Status Change Support and APIs

You can now plug and unplug your Kinect without losing work/productivity and computer crashes. Also it is possible to monitor Kinect status within your applications.

  • 64bits and Windows 8 Developer Preview support

Now drivers, SDK and Runtime support Windows 8 developer preview for desktop application, ant it is possible to build 64bits applications.

  • Sample applications updated

You can enter the ”Kinect Effect”, too. This is what people are doing now and/or will do with Kinect soon:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Windows 8 + Kinect SDK

Marina, the MSc Computer Engineering student I’m mentoring for her Master Degree thesis, is developing an Home-automation/communication Embedded system for elder/disabled people, leveraging Kinect SDK and Windows Embedded Standard 7.

After Microsoft BUILD event, we also decided to try Windows 8 Developer Preview with Metro Style app + Kinect. Actually we have some problems with WinRT/Kinect SDK compatibility: does anybody have any ideas or advices about that?