Under Review: Change Icon for Visual Studio 2015

Just after the release of Visual Studio 2015 I ran into the issue where I had a couple of previous Visual Studio versions installed (due to the fact that I had to support software products built on these Visual Studio versions using features that only were available in these specific versions) and apparently Microsoft decided -not- to change the icon for this version.

Now I had on my taskbar four versions (2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015) and the latest two versions displayed an identical icon making it hard to identify the right version and caused me to click the wrong version on several occasions.

So I filed a uservoice request to change this ‘feature’ and make it more obvious to start the right version (for that moment in time).

Obviously many responses were entered on how easy it is to change it yourself… Yes, I was already aware of this but the writers of this comments are forgetting that I am not the only one, so many, many, many users all had to go through the same little steps. Also reinstalling, or just installing on other machines required you to do the same time-wasting little thing to get something that should be there in the first place: a recognizable icon pointing to the right application.

Currently the status of the request (1191 votes to get this changed) has been edited by the team and is now changed into “Under Review”. Hopefully this will mean that they will put in the minor effort to change the icon for the next ‘service release’/sprint/version making your developer life just a little bit better.

The voting is still open, so if you ran into this issue like I did, throw in a couple of votes! :
Change Icon for Visual Studio 2015

Office JS Public Preview is here!


After months, years maybe, it is finally here: The new cross-platform Excel and Word JavaScript API’s in Public Preview!

Up to now the development of this was happening behind the screen, not available for the general public. At first with little snippets, test scenarios and try-outs to find the best way to work with this, not only on Windows platforms but also the other platforms like iOS or Android.

Until now the Office JS API’s were mostly limited to Office365 interfaces but not targeting file content. This now is changed, at least for the first and still somewhat limited version.

What this means is that you now get the option to actually interact with the file contents. For now only on Excel en Word and only for a small subset of the Object Model as you know it from VBA and/or VSTO, but it is a start.

As its now open into the public, go ahead, and take a look at the public preview of Office.js API’s in Office 2016 and try some of the samples to get an impression on how this works:

Increase the productivity of Users’ with enhanced Office.js APIs in Office 2016

I will go into some more detail in future blog posts. Hopefully a start to get the full object model available but now on multiple platforms!

Want to upgrade but what version of Office am I using?


Now Office 2016 is available you want to upgrade, but you are not sure what version of Office you are currently running. In my blog post yesterday I already provided a couple of links where to go if you upgrade from Office365 Personal/Home or Business. But to do so you need to know what is installed on your machine today.

To help you a bit with this Microsoft put all the version information for the various versions into one location:

What version of Office am I using?

Now identify your version and upgrade to the right edition.



Today September 22 not only autumn kicked in, but it is also the day that Office 2016 is officially released:

The Office Team Blog: The New Office Is Here

There is a lot worth mentioning about this version. It now has the option to collaborate, work together in one (or more) documents at the same time. You see little markers appear when the other is editing parts of the document you are working on. Try it!

Too many things to go in to detail here right now: Skype for Business integration, Office365 Groups, Office365 Planner, Windows 10 integration, Office 2016 for Mac, Sway, mobile apps on Windows Phone, Android –and– iPhone, Enterprise features, new Visio 2016 and Project 2016

Go download the bits, and start working with it. Another Office Milestone … enjoy!


How do I upgrade to Office 2016 if I have an Office 365 subscription?

How do I update Office to Office 2016 using Office 365 for business?

Office graphic 

SDN Conference September 2015

Friday September 11th we are organizing another Dutch SDN Event for 2015 in The Netherlands. With four full tracks of sessions hosted in Zeist in the Achmea Conference Center on:

Microsoft Band – Roy Jansen

Microservices – Dennis van der Stelt

Reverse Engineering and security analyses – Michiel van der Sluis

DevOps and ALM – Hassan Fadili

A special ‘track’, a couple of sessions, on PowerShell with Claus Nielsen from Denmark and Eric Tummers

Cross Platform Development – Klaas Polinder

Extensibility with Chrome apps – Fanie Reynders

Windows Azure SQL Databases – Tobiasz Janusz Koprowski

OWIN – Dennis Doomen

SQL Server Source Control in the Cloud Era  – Tobiasz Janusz Koprowski

Distributed Systems principles – Dennis van der Stelt

Azure Websites – Eelco Koster

TIdTCPClient – Herbert Schrama

REST Web Services with XML – Bob Swart

and last but not least Stephen Ball talking about:

Azure Translator Services with Delphi

IoT and Delphi

InterBase XE7 & Change Views

In other words a lot to go and see in one day! For the full descriptions and to register, visit our SDN Event page:

Make sure you will be there, not only to learn but to network with peers as well or get your printed copy of the SDN Magazine!. See you there!

Back to Blogs … Installing Live Writer 2012

I lost my blogging tools in the process of testing Windows 10 and or reinstalling machines. I now finally came to install Live Writer back on my machine.

I am working on getting my way around Office365 Development. It appears that developing using VBA and VSTO Add-ins is soooo year 2000, time to move forward Winking smile.

Well, the real story is that in my day job I’m still on VSTO but it probably doesn’t come as a surprise if I say that Microsoft already spent at least four years (plus) by now on creating a new Add-in platform that is ready to target X-Platform (Windows, IOS, Android) development.

They still have a long way to go, many items within the current (COM) object model still needs to be addressed, but as time is moving forward the Office Development Team is making great progress in adding new features every day hopefully in the end getting in par with the VSTO capabilities. And let’s be real, the Office365 scope of today is so much bigger than the scope of the ‘old’ Office.

Anyway, I got rebooted, and if you can read this I was able to get Live Writer 2012 installed and to be ready for future posts.

Oh, and this is how I installed Live Writer – in case you want to join me and start your own blog:

[Thanks to Stefan to help out here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/stefan_stranger/archive/2015/07/24/installing-windows-live-writer-on-windows-10.aspx]

VSTO Runtime Update (10.0.50325)

The Visual Studio Developer Division just announced a new version of the VSTO (Visual Studio Tools for the Office System) Runtime (10.0.50325).

One of the issues, the one when using WPF controls caused a massive delay in closing Office applications, I worked close with the team to test and get this solved. The issue also reported on Connect was a hard one to fix as it depended on many factors such as Touch Screen interfaces and appeared on previous versions of the Runtime.

The second issue addressed by this update covers the publisher’s name and verification status to show properly when using SHA256 code-signing certificates where the Trust Prompt at first displayed “Unknown Publisher” even when the publisher was fully trusted.

Read more about the Runtime Update at the blog from the VSTOTeam located at:
VSTO Runtime Update to Address Slow Shutdown and “Unknown Publisher” for SHA256 Certificates 

You can download the latest version of the VSTO Runtime at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=140384 and will be distributed as part of Windows Update.

I for one am very happy to see this solved and released to the public. Our enterprise firm encountered the WPF issue on a large scale just after deploying our top of the bill new laptops to all of our users and would like to thank the VSTO Team for working with us to get this out of the way! We really spent a huge amount of hours in this to cover all the scenarios we could think of in both new and older (existing) add-ins.

Showtime: The Book Thief

The Book Thief

The “Showtime” section on my blog is a reminder, mostly for my own reference but maybe helpful for other film enthusiasts as well, to remember what movies I’ve seen lately, what it was about and how I rated it in general.

The Book Thief is about a little girl, unable to read and write at her early years to be abandoned by her mother in times of war in the 1930’s. While living at her foster parents home she learns to read and write and especially gets the affection to read books. To be able to read books she steals (or borrows) the books and was called “The Book Thief” by one of her neighbor boys.

the perspective of a German family in war time isn’t used in many films. Especially a family giving shelter to a Jewish refugee in a city of Germany is a less common thing to project.

The movie is highly (maybe over-)dramatized, displaying some intense situations people had to go through when the world was at war. Although the level of dramatization could be a bit less overall it is a touching story. The girl playing Liesel Meminger (Sophie Nélisse) is a rising star and I think we haven’t seen the last of her yet.

I expected the movie, given the amount of nominations, to be somewhat better and rate it a high six out of ten.


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