Free events for students to help you build your apps


    imageObjectSharp is organizing a series of AppFests to help developers with their Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps, the event is free for students!

    ObjectSharp has put together a series of events called .NET AppFest Revolution where you can learn from experts how to design, deploy, and support your apps on the latest Microsoft platforms. Registration is free for students and includes lunch. You will have to show student id when you arrive. There are limited seats available so if you are interested register today!

    Downtown Toronto Sept 22-23

    London October 13-14

    Oshawa/Ajax Oct 20-21

    Aurora/Newmarket Nov 17-18

    ObjectSharp has also suggested some great resources you can download to help you get started before the event for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Azure.

    Windows 8

    Windows 8 SDK download

    Windows 8 Toolkits (Optional)

    Windows Phone

    Windows Phone SDK download

    Windows Phone Toolkits (Optional)


    Azure SDK download

    Azure Toolkits:

  • Go DevMENTAL

    How to get your free student Windows 8 store account


    The Windows 8 store is open for individuals to publish and students can get a Windows store account for free through the DreamSpark program, here’s how you do it.

    Microsoft announced this week, that the Windows 8 Store is open to individuals and that they will be providing free accounts to students through the DreamSpark program, the same awesome deal we got for the Windows Phone marketplace. That means the only thing standing between you and an app in the store is some time at your keyboard geeking out!

    How do you get your free marketplace account, go here and follow the instructions, the rest of this blog provides more detailed instructions on how to create your marketplace account.

    You must

    1. Verify you are a student
    2. Get your registration code
    3. Register at the Windows Store
    4. Get Coding!


    1. Verify you are a student

    Already got a DreamSpark account?

    Then jump to step 2 and Get your registration code!

    Don’t have a DreamSpark account?

    You need a DreamSpark account in order to get a registration code. It’s the registration code that allows you to create your store account for free. Only students or educators can create DreamSpark accounts. If you are a student or educator and do not have one yet, create a DreamSpark account.


    2. Get your registration code

    Go to DreamSpark and Sign in with your DreamSpark account, now from the top menu select Students | app development

    Select Windows 8 Learn more

    Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Get Your Registration code

    You will be brought back to the top of the screen. In the box with the title Get Registration Code. Select Get Code Now.



    After you select Get Code now a code will be displayed in the box. Write that code down. That’s the code that will allow you to create your Windows Store account for free. Now you can creating your Windows Store account!


    3. Register at the Windows Store

    Go to the Windows Store

    • If you already have a Windows Phone store account you can link the accounts and keep the same publisher display name for both accounts or you can start over and create a new Publisher account for your Windows 8 Store account.
    • You will be asked to confirm or enter information about your store account including your Publisher display name. This is the name that will appear in the store as the publisher for all your apps.
    • You will have to accept the application developer agreement.
    • Enter your registration code in the registration code box so you don’t have to pay the $49 account fee.image


    • You will now be asked to enter your credit card information.
    • Yes, even if you get a free Store account you are required to enter credit card information. Pre-paid credit cards won’t work. That’s because this is another way of confirming your identity. You enter credit card information and a small amount is charged to your credit card and then reversed. You will need to look at your credit card statement to find the transaction in order to be able to verify your Store account.

    • After you enter your credit card information you will see a confirmation screen you can use to double check your information before you create your account by clicking the Purchase button. DONT FORGET TO READ THE SMALL PRINT THAT EXPLAINS THE FINAL VERIFICATION OF YOUR CREDIT CARD!


      Now that your account is created, you need that credit card statement! It may take a day or two for your online bill to show the transaction. If you are in a hurry, you can try calling your credit card company to get the information sooner. If you do not have online billing, you will have to call the credit card company or wait until you get your credit card bill in the mail.

      Once you have the credit card bill with the transaction information return to the Windows Dev Center, Sign In, select Dashboard from the menu, and select Verify your payment method.

      At the bottom of the screen you are asked to enter the 3 digit code that appears in the transaction description OR the transaction amount that was charged (and will be refunded to the credit card!)

      Verify payment

      Once you have entered that information, Congratulations! You are ready to submit your first app to the Windows store! Whenever you are ready return to the dashboard and choose Submit an app to get started! 

      4. Get Coding!

      Go reserve the name of your app (before someone else nabs it! Better to be Timer than Timer74) and get coding! Here’s a few resources to help

    • Go DevMENTAL

      Hello Windows 8 XNA-ish


      Take a look at our MSP Kowsheek Mahmoud’s experience migrating his XNA game to Windows 8!

      The answer to the owes of XNA developers comes in the form of MonoGame which is an open source implementation of Microsoft XNA 4. The development of MonoGame for Windows 8 has been a little slow so the hackers at SickHeadGames came to the rescue. Now it is possible to migrate existing XNA games without having to dive through SharpDX. Read more.


      Kowsheek Mahmoud
      Microsoft Student Partner at Ryerson University

    • Go DevMENTAL

      Could a Windows 8 app take you to Russia?


      ImagineCupRussiaThis year’s Imagine Cup finals are in Russia, and there are lots of ways a Windows 8 app could get you to the finals.

      You are going to see a lot of Windows 8 events and resources over the next few months as we approach the release of Windows 8 RTM. What’s really cool for students is the fact that if you build a Windows 8 app, not only can you publish it to the store which presents a huge opportunity in itself, you can also double down and enter that app in the Imagine Cup. You can enter any Imagine Cup category and potentially be flown to Russia for the World Wide Finals next July.

      How can a Windows 8 app qualify for Imagine Cup?

      • Build a game and enter it in the Games Competition
      • Build an app you think has great business potential and enter it in the Innovation Competition
      • Build an app you think can help others and enter it in the World Citizenship Competition
      • Complete a quiz on Windows 8, and build a cool Windows 8 app and enter the Windows 8 App Challenge

      Not sure how to build a Windows 8 app?

      There are lots of great resources to get you started at dev.windows.com

      In particular I recommend the Getting Started with Windows Store apps which has getting started guides for all flavours of Windows Store apps.

      How do you enter Imagine Cup?

      Your first step is just to register at www.imaginecup.com. You can enter the challenge as an individual, and you can enter the Games, Innovation, and WorldCitizenship competitions in teams of 1-4 students and you are also allowed a mentor for your team. Dream it. Build it. Live it!

    • Go DevMENTAL

      Some useful keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8


      Many of us don’t have touchscreen devices (yet) so here’s a few good keyboard shortcuts.

      Even though I do have a touchscreen laptop, I still use keyboard shortcuts. Just like CTRL+C and CTRL+V come to you without thinking, a few of these shortcuts are sure to make their way into your collection after you install Windows 8 and start coding apps. If you haven’t downloaded Windows 8 RTM yet. Check out our blog post with instructions on how students can download Windows 8 for free!

      Moving between Metro and Desktop

      <Windows> Brings up the Metro start screen. You can start typing to search for an app, just like the Win7 start menu.
      <Windows> + <B> Go to the Desktop from the Metro Start Screen
      <Windows> + <D> Brings you to Windows desktop from the Metro Screen


      <Windows> + < . > snap right
      <Windows> + <Shift> + < . > snap left

      Switching between applications

      <Windows> + <Tab> Opens the Metro application switcher menu, switches between applications.
      <Windows> + <J> Switches focus between snapped Metro applications.
      <ALT> + <F4> Close an application
      <Windows> + <R> To bring up the run window from the desktop, so you can type in an application name to run

      Semantic Zoom

      <CTRL> + <+> Zoom in
      <CTRL> + <-> Zoom out

      or hold down <CTRL> and use Mouse Wheel to zoom in and out

      Displaying App & Charms Bar

      <Windows> + <C> Brings up the Charms menu, where you can search, share, and change settings.
      <Windows> + <Z> Opens the App Bar for the current Metro application.

      All the other shortcuts I could find!

      <Windows> + E – Launch Windows Explorer with Computer view displayed.

      <Windows> + F – Brings up the Metro File search screen.

      <Windows> + H – Opens the Metro Share panel.

      <Windows> + I – Opens the Settings panel, where you can change settings for the current app, change volume, wireless networks, shut down, or adjust the brightness.

      <Windows> + K – Opens the Devices panel (for connecting to a projector or some other device)

      <Windows> + L – Lock PC and return to Lock screen.

      <Windows> + M – Minimize all Windows on the desktop

      <Windows> + O – Locks device orientation.

      <Windows> + P – Choose between available displays.

      <Windows> + Q – Brings up the Metro App Search screen.

      <Windows> + R – Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and display the Run box.

      <Windows> + U – Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and launch the Ease of Access Center.

      <Windows> + V – Cycles through toasts.

      <Windows> + W – Brings up the Metro Settings search screen.

      <Windows> + X – Launch Start Menu.

      <Windows> + Y – Temporarily peek at the desktop.

      <Windows> + Page Up / Down – Moves tiles to the left / right.

      <Windows> + , (comma) – Aero Peek at the desktop.

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