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    The Surface Pro Rap

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    The Surface Pro was released on Saturday, enjoy this little rap inspired by the Surface Pro commercial below

    The commercial

    (and yes this is how all meetings at Microsoft start)

     

    The rap

    (thanks MC Sean I warned you I would post it!)

    To rock my business

    I needed something fine

    So I got a Surface Pro

    To make my business shine


    Running all my apps

    In the modern UI

    Jump into desktop mode

    Business on the fly


    Super sleek and light

    Black as the night

    Keyboard is the cover

    Stand props just right


    Full Desktop in the day

    Keeping competition at bay

    Win8 apps at night

    Keeping friends real tight


    It’s at the Microsoft Store

    Or a retailer near you

    Supplies running out fast

    You best buy two

    It’s here! You can order it today from Microsoft Store, Best Buy,Staples, or Future Shop.

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    Engadget Readers Choice Awards Microsoft Surface RT Tablet of the Year

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    Engadget readers choice awardsThis week Engadget announced their Readers Choice awards, no less than three Microsoft products were featured including the Microsoft Surface RT as tablet of the year

    Engadget just announced their 2012 readers choice awards. I’d like to take a minute to look at each of the Microsoft products that earned an award. Yesterday I talked about the SmartPhone of the Year: Nokia Lumia 920. Today I’d like to talk a bit about the

    Tablet of the year: Microsoft Surface RT

    I bought a Surface RT when it first came out, and the number one question I am asked when someone sees it for the first time is what’s the difference between a Surface RT and an iPad. So I thought now would be a good time to point out some of the differences. This is not a complete list, but will give you a sense of how they differ.

    You can see the specs for each device yourself by clicking on the headers for each column.

     

    Microsoft Surface RT iPad
    Weighs 1.5 lbs weighs 1.44 lbs
    9.3 mm thickness 9.4 mm thickness
    10.6” screen ClearType HD display 9.7” screen Retina display
    Built-in kickstand No kickstand
    8 hours battery life up to 10 hours of surfing web, watching video with wifi, 9 hours using cellular network
    USB 2.0 Port No USB
    Micro HDMI Connector Lightning Connector
    micro SDXC Card slot No SD Card slot
    32 GB or 64 GB storage 16GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB storage
    CPU: Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU: Dual core A6X with quad core graphics
    2 microphones 1 microphone
    stereo speakers 1 speaker
    Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth 4.0
    Accelerometer, GPS Accelerometer, GPS
    Can connect to Wi-Fi Can connect to Wi-Fi and there is a model that supports Cellular data
    Front & rear camera Front & rear camera
    Compatible with existing Printers wireless printing requires AirPrint
    Can have multiple users each with their own login Single user account
    Supports RDP and remote apps no built in desktop virtualization
    Snap (so you can have two apps running side-by-side) One app at a time
    comes with Microsoft Office can use iWork or 3rd party apps
    supports cloud based storage on SkyDrive which supports folders and can be accessed from any web enabled device supports iCloud which can be synced to Macs, iPhone, and iPads
    Windows Store has apps (but not as many apps as iPad) has more apps than Windows 8 store
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    Canadian Imagine Cup Submission Deadline March 23rd, 2013!

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    Imagine Cup 2013 For all those of you entering Imagine Cup Canada, a reminder: the submission deadline for the Canadian finals is March 23rd, that’s earlier than the world finals deadline (since we have to have time to pick our Canadian finalists!)  

    If you are entering World Citizenship, Innovation, or Gaming you have two important deadlines coming up! This post is to help make sure you don’t miss any deadlines or requirements.

    If you are entering one of the challenges (Windows 8, Azure, or Windows Phone), you have until April 15th to submit your entry, I’ll post some tips and requirements for the challenges next week!

    We can’t wait to see your entry in the Imagine Cup competition. We want to make sure you don’t miss out on your chance to compete because of a missed deadline or requirement. This post outlines deadlines, submission requirements, and FAQ for Imagine Cup Canadian Finals in the World Citizenship, Gaming, and Innovation competitions. Get coding, because the winning team in Canada will receive new Windows 8 devices and one of our winning teams will win a trip to St Petersburg Russia to represent Canada at the worldwide Imagine Cup finals! That could be you!

    Deadlines

    • Teams must be registered by midnight GMT March 15th, 2013
    • Entries must be submitted by midnight GMT March 23rd, 2013

    Deadlines are GMT! So don’t forget to convert that to your local time, you may discover the deadline is 3 PM in your time zone rather than midnight!

    In the rest of this post we’ll share

    • Registration requirements and tips
    • Entry submission requirements
    • Games submission requirements
    • Innovation submission requirements
    • World Citizenship submission requirements
    • Boosters that can win you more prizes
    • FAQ

    Registration Requirements and Tips

    Teams must be registered by midnight GMT March 15th, 2013. That means you must

    • Every team member has registered at www.imaginecup.com
    • Sign up for your selected competition
    • Someone on the team has selected “Create Team” specified a team name, country to represent, a short bio and specified the team captain (a team can be 1-4 people.)
    • You have used the Invite Member search box on your team page to invite the other team members to be part of the team and they have accepted the invitations
    • Your mentor, if you have one, is also a member of your team
    • If you enter more than one competition, each entry in each competition must be a significantly different project. You can’t enter one project in multiple competitions.

    Entry Submission requirements

    Entries must be submitted by midnight GMT March 23rd, 2013 (THIS IS NOT THE SAME DEADLINE AS THE ONLINE WORLD FINALS, WE REQUIRE ENTRIES EARLIER SO WE CAN SELECT TOP CANADIAN ENTRIES FOR CANADIAN FINALS)

    Don’t wait until the last minute to put your entry together. Divide the work among your teammates and tackle the different components! You will find details and deadlines for the different competitions below.

    TIP: You can download Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 Screen Capture to capture video of your software. This software is available to students for free at DreamSpark

    Games submission requirements

    When you submit your entry you must include:

    • A video demonstrating your game (.WMV format, file size <250 MB, < 10 minutes with intro clip)
    • Your video should clearly address the judging criteria outlined in the rules
    • Game play instructions
    • A Game Trailer video (.WMV or .MP4 format, file size < 50 MB, <30 seconds long)
    • Game prototype (The file should be < 300 MB)

    All the technical requirements for the project and entry submissions can be found here in the Games Competition Rules.

    The Canadian judging will be based on the criteria listed in the Games Competition Rules. Fun (40%), Execution (30%), Innovation (20%), and Business Viability (10%). Take the time to read the rules and find out exactly what we are looking for when we score each area to increase your chances of winning.

    Innovation submission requirements

    When you submit your entry you must include:

    • An overview video that shows the functionality of your app and what you are trying to achieve (.WMV format, file size <250 MB, < 10 minutes with intro clip)
    • Your overview video should clearly address the judging criteria outlined in the rules
    • Innovation App instructions that informs the judges and prospective users how to setup and use your app
    • A Trailer video (.WMV or .MP4 format, file size < 50 MB, <30 seconds long)
    • Innovation App – we need to be able to use your app in order to judge it (The file should be < 300 MB)

    All the technical requirements for the project and entry submissions can be found here in the Innovation Competition Rules.

    The Canadian judging will be based on the criteria listed in the Innovation Competition Rules. Innovation (45%), Impact (30%), Execution (25%). Take the time to read the rules and find out exactly what we are looking for when we score each area to increase your chances of winning.

    World Citizenship submission requirements

    When you submit your entry you must include:

    • An overview video that shows the functionality of your app and what you are trying to achieve (.WMV format, file size <250 MB, < 10 minutes with intro clip)
    • Your overview video should clearly address the judging criteria outlined in the rules
    • World Citizenship App instructions that informs the judges and prospective users how to setup and use your app
    • A Trailer video (.WMV or .MP4 format, file size < 50 MB, <30 seconds long)
    • World Citizenship App – we need to be able to use your app in order to judge it (The file should be < 300 MB)

    All the technical requirements for the project and entry submissions can be found here in the World Citizenship Competition Rules

    The Canadian judging will be based on the criteria listed in the World Citizenship Competition Rules: Impact (50%), Feasibility (30%), Execution (20%). Take the time to read the rules and find out exactly what we are looking for when we score each area to increase your chances of winning.

    Imagine Cup Boosters

    Did you know about the Windows 8 boost?

    At the worldwide finals, first, second, and third place winners who include a Windows 8 Store app in their project will earn an extra $1000 for their team. See Windows 8 Boost rules for details

    Did you know about the Windows Azure boost?

    At the worldwide finals next July in St. Petersburg, our first place winners who include Windows Azure in their project can earn an extra $1,000 or $3,000 for their team. We actually have two Windows Azure Boosts. Our first boost is for those teams using Windows Azure Cloud Services, Websites, or Virtual Machines. Use any or all of those technologies and your team could win $1,000. Our second Boost is for using Windows Azure Mobile Services. Incorporate that into your project and your team could win $1,000 for it. And you can go for the double shot: if your team wins both Boosts you'll get $3,000! Get more details here.

    FAQ

    What happens if I win?

    We’ll contact you with the good news, and we’ll make arrangements for you to participate in the Canadian finals, an online event, where you will present your game to a panel of judges who will determine which Canadian team will be the overall winner and represent Canada at the world finals.

    What happens if I don’t win?

    As long as you have submitted the required content (video, instructions, etc..) as specified in the rules and regulations by midnight April 15th, 2013 GMT you have a second chance to qualify for the world finals. Your entry will go into the online finals and will be judged along with other entries from around the world. The judges will select teams from the online entries to compete at the world finals along with the local finals winners.

    Do I have to publish my app to the store?

    It is not required for the competition, but if your project includes a Windows 8 app or Windows Phone app you can publish that app and get rewards through Developer movement. You’ve already written the code so why not publish it? What a great addition to your portfolio when applying for a job. Students even get free Windows Store and Windows Phone accounts through DreamSpark.

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    Engadget Readers Choice Awards SmartPhone of the Year to Nokia Lumia 920

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    eng-award-2012-rc[1]This week Engadget announced their Readers Choice awards, no less than three Microsoft products were featured including the Nokia Lumia 920 as SmartPhone of the Year.

     

    Engadget just announced their 2012 readers choice awards. I’d like to take a minute to look at each of the Microsoft products that earned an award. Starting with

    SmartPhone of the Year: Nokia Lumia 920

    I smiled as I read the Engadget review, because I do love Windows Phone 8, but in particular, the camera on the Nokia Lumia 920 quite literally blew me away (with the flash turned off especially) I’d like to share a story from a fellow gadget geek, Microsoft Certified Trainer, Christopher Harrison (@GeekTrainer) about how he discovered and fell for the Lumia 920. He was kind enough to share it. Thanks for the story, Christopher, it seems you are not the only one who likes your Lumia 920.

    Vegas and the Nokia Lumia 920

    I love taking pictures. Mind you, I’m not overly skilled at it, and I don’t have the best eye for what makes a good picture. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to take lots of pictures.

    What does stop me from taking lots of pictures, however, is the lack of a good camera. I have a digital Canon Rebel, which I love. But lugging that around everywhere I go isn’t really an option. And considering my most common subject for photos is food and cocktails[1], breaking out a dSLR makes me feel like a bigger dork when getting the shot. The one camera I, and virtually everyone else, has at their disposal at all times is their phone. Cameras on phones share one thing in common – they’re all terrible, especially in low light situations. And if you’re anything like me[2], the most common time you want a picture is in a low light situation.

    Thus enter the Nokia Lumia 920.

    I had the Lumia 900 for quite a while, and I loved it. But as interested as I was in some of the new Windows 8 features, including NFC support, I wasn’t interested enough to spend the money to upgrade out of contract to the Lumia 920. Until my birthday trip to Las Vegas.[3]

    A friend of mine had recently upgraded to the Lumia 920. Whenever it was time for a group shot, we’d hand a point & shoot camera and the 920 over to someone nice enough to take the picture. Mind you, we weren’t trying to do a “taste test” of the two devices and which took the better, it was just how it happened. Invariably, the kind person would use the camera first, and the 920 second. The response after taking the picture with the 920 was universal – “Wow”. Every. Single. Time. After a little while everyone in the party was making sure we used my friend’s phone to take pictures.

    clip_image001

    After that I had to have one. And it paid off when I went back to Las Vegas for the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon.

    clip_image002

    I was in New York, NY[4] for work. I went to visit a friend in the Dyker Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, which is famous for over-the-top Christmas lights displays. My friend, with their iPhone[5], and I with my Lumia 920. While I wasn’t able to get all the pictures the way I wanted – it’s challenging in that type of a lighting situation – I had a much higher success rate than my friend.

    clip_image003

    Every phone has its strengths and weaknesses. This phone meets my needs. The OS gives me the social networking integration I desire, and the camera, well, the camera is finally a good camera phone – much to the chagrin of my friends who can now expect several more pictures of cocktails and food on my Facebook wall.

    [1] Yes, I’m that kind of a geek
    [2] ...and I know I am
    [3] Yes, I know – going to Vegas for one’s 40th birthday is cliché. I’m OK with that.
    [4] The city so nice they named it twice
    [5] This is not to call out the iPhone specifically, it was simply what they had.

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    In the Vancouver area? Got a cool app idea to pitch?

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    The App Pitch Competition is coming to Launch Academy in Vancouver March 13, 2013

    The App Pitch is the opportunity to show the Vancouver startup‚ student and developer community your app ideas for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.
    Register to pitch your app as an individual or as a team of two. You will have three minutes to pitch your app idea to a team of judges. You can find all the details about who is judging and how you do your pitch here.

    You may be reading this thinking, I am a student, in the summer I work for a big company, I am not a startup.  When you build and publish an app, you become and entrepreneur and a startup, with options like advertising, in app purchases, and paid apps, if you treat your app idea like a business idea, it becomes one. This is a great and easy way to start! Here are the details on The App Pitch:

    Where?

    #300 – 128 West Hastings Street
    Vancouver, BC

    When?

    Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 6:00PM to 10:00PM PST
    Registration @ 6:00 PM-6:30 PM
    Event Begins @ 6:30 PM
    Pizza and Pop will be served @ 6:00 PM

    Who?

    This event is for Startups‚ Students‚ Developers and Designers to pitch their ideas for Windows 8 apps and Windows Phone 8 apps!

    What?

    Pitch your app in three minutes to the judges, explain what your app is great at, wireframes or screenshots of your app design, and the business case for your app. You can find details here.

    Why?

    First Place – Receives a $500 CAD Gift Card

    Top Three Finalists – Tickets to Vancouver Polyglot {Un}Conference May 24th - 26th, 2013.

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