Connection Strings

Lots of Microsoft Press Books for Free, Including Developer Titles

Among an explosion of free offerings in the Microsoft imprint are resources for mobile development, available to Microsoft Virtual Academy members. Plus, MS Press is discounting certification-related titles by more than half off if bought in bulk.

Microsoft Press periodically offers up a slew of books and resources as downloadable freebies, and in this month's offierings among the explosion of free ones are resources one can find a handful for developers. The current free developer titles include a mix of fairly recently published ones for mobile development, as well older editions for Azure (and, as you can tell, one title here sports the older name of the redubbed Visual Studio Team Services):

  • Microsoft Platform and Tools for Mobile App Development (Cesar de la Torre and Simon Calvert, June 2016)
  • Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms (Charles Petzold, March 2016)
  • Managing Agile Open-Source Software Projects with Microsoft Visual Studio Online (Brian Blackman, Gordon Beeming, Michael Fourie, and Willy-Peter Schaub, April 2015)
  • Programming Windows Store Apps with HTML, CSS and JavaScript (Kraig Brockschmidt, April 2014)
  • .NET Technology Guide for Business Applications (Cesar de la Torre and David Carmona, Nov. 2013)
  • Microsoft Azure Essentials: Azure Web Apps for Developers (Rick Rainey, June 2015)
  • Microsoft Azure Essentials: Azure Machine Learning (Jeff Barnes, April 2015)
  • Building Cloud Apps with Microsoft Azure (Scott Guthrie, Mark Simms, Tom Dykstra, Rick Anderson, and Mike Wasson, July 2014)
  • Introducing Microsoft Azure HDInsight (Avkash Chauhan, Valentine Fontama, Michele Hart, Wee Hyong Tok, and Buck Woody, May 2014)

Books are available for download in electronic formats only: PDF, EPUB, and Amazon Kindle's Mobi formats. There is a catch: You have to be a member of the Microsoft Virtual Academy, but it's free to join. MVA members can also get 50 percent off other developer-related eBooks not listed here, or 40 percent off the print versions.

On a related note, Microsoft Press also has an offer for 55 percent off certification-specific titles. There are discounts if you get one or two titles, but the full 55 percent discount applies when you buy three or more titles. The sale applies to all the books in the store, including ones that apply to the MCSD exams; just use the code EXAMPREP when checking out.

Discount expires at the end of July. Start here to get the details.

In this episode of the .NET Insight Podcast: The term "engineer" -- is it useful in describing what software developers and programmers do, or should that term be reserved for those who've earned the badge? And news from Microsoft's Inspire conference.

Links mentioned in this show:

Here are a handful of other links we've run across that might be useful to you, in no particular order and definitely not conforming to any particular theme:

Know of an interesting link, or does your company have a new or updated product or service targeted at Visual Studio developers? Tell me about it at

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. For 1105 Media, he managed, Virtualization Review, and was Editor in Chief of Visual Studio Magazine and host of The .NET Insight Podcast until 2017. Contact him via his photography Web site at

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