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    How to get your free student Windows 8 store account

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    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!

    image

      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

      Some useful keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8

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      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

      Snapping

      <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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      We’re giving away 8 Kinects and a laptop!

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      imageSign up to be part of Microsoft’s technical student network and you’ll be first to know and maybe first to win!

      During the year we organize some big events and some cool promotions. Whether it’s the Imagine Cup which challenges you to do amazing things with code or the Developer Movement which rewarded students who built apps. We want to make sure we can let you know about our big announcements.

      Sign up to be part of Microsoft’s technical student network and you’ll be first to know and just for fun we’ve got a grand prize of a cool new laptop and 2 winners per week for a Kinect for Xbox 360. Contest closes October 25, 2012.

      Sign up today!

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      Hello Windows 8 XNA-ish

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      xbox_live_windows_8

      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

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      Windows Azure Mobile services help students build professional apps

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      IC613644Ever wanted to develop a Windows 8 or Windows Phone app which reads and writes data from a database? It just got a lot easier.

      You want to build an app, a really good app. Depending on the type of app you want to build, you may need your app to access a database.

      Normally, when you want to create an app to read and update data, you create a WCF “Windows Communication Foundation” web service. This web service usually connects to a SQL server database hosted on your server or on SQL Azure. In your web service you create methods to read records, delete records, add records and update records in the database.

      There are lots of apps built with this model. But chances are  your school never taught you how to build a web service, so there is a learning curve. If your priority is to add this functionality as quickly as possible with the confidence that you have a good architecture, check out Windows Azure Mobile Services. Windows Azure Mobile services provides an API that you can use to call methods to add, update, or delete records and you don’t have to publish your own web service. How do you get it? Sign up for Windows Azure, create a new Mobile service and then add a reference to the Windows Azure Mobile service API and start using it!

      How to get started

      For more details on how to get started with Windows Azure Mobile Services, check out this video.

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