With 4 months lapse since our last Silverlight UK User Group meeting, it was heartening to see that interest has not waned. Thank you for those that attended and supported the group last Thursday! Our presenter of the night, Gill Cleeren made a special trip over from Belgium to break down all the forthcoming Windows 8 platform and what it means to us Silverlight’ers – or should I say XAML’ers. I should mention again that Gill’s trip is very much by courtesy of Telerik who footed his travel expenses and provided a bit of booty by means of a free WPF/Silverlight licence… thank you Telerik!

windows8 logoSo it was by sheer coincidence that our evening was preceded by the announcement (on 29th Feb) of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Unlike the previous Developer Preview, the Consumer Preview is focussed on showcasing Windows 8 to the general public (if they dare!). Early comments on the newswire don’t seem to mention many breaking changes so it appears that it should be a easy enough to switch over to the new version – stability and performance can only improve!

vs11betaThe Windows 8 Consumer Preview is available for download in ISO format, but you’ll also have to install the new version of the Visual Studio 11 beta separately. Gill mentioned that he had managed to install Windows 8 in less than 30mins, but nothing’s changed about Visual Studio’s install time, it still takes an age (90mins!).

Read general information about Windows 8 Consumer Preview here: http://tinyurl.com/7pvoxxb

You can download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO here: http://tinyurl.com/6u4m7hc

You can download the Visual Studio 11 beta (via web installer) here: http://tinyurl.com/6g83w82



The Silverlight UK User Group has now shifted registration duty over to meetup.com/sluguk in an attempt to reduce the administrative overhead of organising and publicising our events. Previously we’ve used a single email inbox to collate all registrations and this still exists, but as an unfortunate side effect, “hid” members from each other. As a purpose built community site, meetup.com allows everybody in the group more open access to each other and become a central point for information and announcements. Another change is the shift away from the EMC blog site as the place for posting agendas and slide decks. The software employed there is more than 3 years old and provides more frustration rather than flexibility in the way that certain add-ins have been disabled. About 18 months ago I started cross-posting to my personal blog, initially for backup and then, because I have total control over updates, plugins and embedding features – via WordPress. I hope you don’t mind.


Please remember to post any feedback about the evening on twitter using our hashtag #SLUGUK, and thanks for all that came along on the night.

Slide desks from the evening are below, plus Gill has a supporting blog post too.


I normally give a shout out to the other user groups that are running events in the area. At the time of writing, it seems that either we’ve missed a recent event, or they are not announced. Here is a list of the other local user groups that exist in my introductory slide deck.

Windows Phone 7 wpug.net  
London .NET dnug.org.uk  
Canary Wharf .NET meetup.com/cwdnug  
Bing Maps bingmapsuk.ning.com  
F#unctional Londoners meetup.com/fsharplondon  
SharePoint UK suguk.org  
UX Sketch Club groupspaces.com/UXSketchClub  
DevTank meetup.com/devtank  

One of the best resources to look at or subscribe to is MSDN Flash.


Slides: Silverlight UK User Group Introduction – by Mark Mann.

Install Microsoft Silverlight


Slides: Windows 8 and WinRT for the XAML developer – by Gill Cleeren.
Gill’s demo code (based on Windows 8 Developer Preview) is here

Install Microsoft Silverlight


With thanks to Steve Evans, whom helped to put the EMC meeting rooms back in order, Telerik for paying for Gill’s travel expenses plus EMC Consulting for providing venue and beers.

telerik-logo  EMC Consulting



Want to join the discussion?
The event is geared to please/interest/inform both developers and designers alike, so if you are interested in coming along then please register at our new meetup.com/sluguk website. Joining the group is free (you can even use your Facebook login) and our events are free too (although you will need to RSVP via the website ).

Want to present or showcase?
I am always on the lookout for presenters for future sessions – whether it be a high or low level coding walk through, a workflow perspective or showcase demo. If you think that you have a topic/presentation that ought to be shared with the community then please contact me via the meetup.com/sluguk/suggestion website and I’ll see if I can get you scheduled in!