Project Spartan vs. Internet Explorer vs. Firefox on Windows 10 Tech Preview Build 10074

I just updated to Windows 10 Tech Preview Build 10074, which is the latest build out there, and I’ve got to say: Things are really started to come together very nicely! Experiencing how well this build runs just makes me even more excited about the Microsoft’s Build Developer Conference in San Francisco.

As a web developer I am especially excited about Project Spartan — an awesome browser to be honest. It has already replaced Firefox as my go-to browser — and as a big Firefox lover, that takes a lot. It just feels really smooth and fast! I love it! I am deeply impressed by the work that the Project Spartan team has done here. This is going to give Microsoft a fresh shot at the browser wars and get us back to the good old days of Internet Explorer dominance! ๐Ÿ™‚

I did a small test to compare Project Spartan to both Internet Explorer and Firefox. I wanted to test the JavaScript performance because JS is such a big deal in today’s web world and being able to execute JavaScript at fast speeds is what’s going to make it or break it for a browser. I did the tests on my Intel Core i7 laptop with 8 GB RAM while closing all other unnecessary processes on the system. Both against IE and Firefox, Project Spartan did significantly better. Check out the screenshots below.

Project Spartan vs. Internet Explorer

Project Spartan vs. Firefox

Conclusion

While this study isn’t scientific at all, it does say something about the work that is being put into Project Spartan to make it a fast-performing browser that will be able to serve modern-day web applications. I can’t wait until the RTM build of it will come out! ๐Ÿ™‚

Presentation: R and HDInsight 3.1 in Microsoft Azure

Yesterday I gave a talk in the CopenhagenR – useR Group on how to leverage the power of R with HDInsight and Microsoft Azure. I recorded the presentation, which was spiced up by some really good questions by the attendees. I hope it’s all audible.

For any questions on the topic, please contact me via the comments below this post.

Global Azure Bootcamp: Talk on HDInsight and Recommendation Engines

Not more than a week after the 50-year anniversary of Moore’s Law, the 2015 edition of Global Azure Bootcamp is taking place at more than 183 locations around the world. Speak about global computing at scale! It’s a truly amazing effort driven by the local Azure communities across the planet — and I have been fortunate enough to participate in the Copenhagen camp.

Ever since I started grad school in Madrid, I have been very interested in statistics and quantitative methods in general. With Microsoft I have dived even more into the world of big data and machine learning — topics on which I have given a ton of presentations ever since I started as a Tech Evangelist.

At the Global Azure Bootcamp I gave a presentation on how to build your own recommendation engine by using Hadoop in Azure through the service named HDInsight. The case is to build a song recommender that can suggest new songs to users based on the songs they have listened to in the past and the songs that other users have listened to (i.e., user-based collaborative filtering). Essentially, the case is to build what Spotify, YouTube and other popular media services are doing.

I recorded the presentation and uploaded it to YouTube. Check it out below. Also, check out the PowerPoint presentation below the YouTube video if your are particularly interested in the slides used in the talk. If you have any questions to this topic, do not hesitate to drop a comment. I will try to be quick at getting back to you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are the slides:

Presentation on Apache Cordova and Visual Studio Tools for Cordova CTP3.1

Yesterday I had an all-day workshop with a very large bank in Scandinavia where we discussed their opportunities in the cross-platform mobile development space. Lately I have been working with both Xamarin and Apache Cordova — two very good frameworks for cross-plat dev. I put together this presentation on Apache Cordova and spiced it up with some cool demos using the latest CTP of the Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova.

By the way, check out the latest set of Cordova Tools for Visual Studio here:

New Blog Design with Help from oDesk

For a while I have been wanting to change the design of my blog but without knowing what I really wanted it to look like. Over the past few months I have been browsing hundreds (if not thousands) of ready-made WordPress designs but without finding any really cool design. That was until I stumbled upon Swell Theme by David Morgan. I immediately loved it because of its simplicity, focus on content and flexibility in terms of menus and widgets.

It has a nice placeholder for a large header in the top, which I really liked — mostly because I was inspired by the design of Scott Hanselman’s website and I wanted to do something of the same nature. Scott uses a picture taken of him at the GOTO Conference in Aarhus (my hometown, yay!) and I, too, have tons of pictures of myself giving talks at conferences and user groups. However, I find most of my pictures a little boring so I thought of doing something a little more “fresh” instead.

I am a big fan of cartoons and I thought it would be cool to create cartoon-like banner for my new design. Unfortunately, I am a horrible designer. I know a little about PhotoShop but nothing about Illustrator so I knew I had to get some help. I turned to oDesk, which I have used before to get some stuff done with the help of freelancers specialized in all kinds of areas. I created a job post, attached this picture (see below) from Microsoft’s latest Christmas party and asked if anybody could create a cartoon character from my picture. Within a few hours I had more than 40 willing applicants who would like to do the task and I ended up choose a designer named Anna whom I paid $50 to do the job. And that same night she sent me back the result.

sbcom-header.jpg
From the left: Myself, Anette Nรธrgaard and Anders Lybecker.

After a little bit of reviewing and editing we finally agreed upon a final design. The result can be seen in the header above. I am really pleased with it and also really excited to once again be surprised by the high quality of oDesk freelancers. It’s awesome to see how the use of relatively simple web technology can bring together people to create great stuff (in this case, my designer and myself). It will definitely not be last job I post to oDesk! ๐Ÿ™‚