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Behind the Scenes with Microsoft's Office Blogs App for Windows Phone

Microsoft's official Office Blogs has an interesting post about the creation of its Windows Phone app, called Office Blogs, of course. In the post, Craig Kerwien, the Director of Site Management in the Office Division Product Management Group describes how he went from idea to working app in just a few hours on a Saturday.

"Building an Office Blogs app for the Windows Phone began as a weekend DIY project," Kerwien writes in the post. "Although many people are familiar with RSS readers as a way to monitor blog activity (learn more about the Office Blog RSS feeds here), I was looking for a quicker way to monitor and stay up to date on the latest news from the Office Blog."

According to Kerwien, he installed the Windows Phone SDK (for the first time) and Starter Kit for Schools project, created and edited the app's logos and color scheme, organized the app pages and a blog feeds, and then removed the code from the Starter Kit he didn't need. The time to this point was just a few hours. Here's the app:


Of course, as an official Microsoft app, Kerwien had more hoops to jump through: The app had to undergo an internal review process that includes such things as privacy, geopolitics, accessibility, Trustworthy Computing, and security.

But the point is simple: Developing Windows Phone apps is surprisingly quick and easy, and beginning developers are advised to check out the excellent Starter Kit solutions. (Chris Koenig, who developed the Starter Kit used in this project also recently created a new Starter Kit specifically for RSS-based applications.)

If you are just starting out, be sure to examine the excellent developer documentation at Microsoft's terribly-named App Hub; mouse-over the "Education" menu item to find a slew of developer resources, including some very useful videos.

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