Microsoft Ireland Team Blog

May, 2009

  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Blogging and Social Media for Business Seminar: June 13th in Limerick



    I noticed this event coming to Limerick in June and wanted to give it a mention as I think a lot of people would benefit from this schedule of Ireland’s top experts in social media & online networking.

    According to the overview, topics included are as follows:

    * Bernard Goldbach: Using Twitter effectively
    * Fred Caballero: Video-blogging on the go: A face says more than a thousand words.
    * Krishna De: Linkedin: How to build a good Linkedin profile and how to get the most benefit from it.
    * Peter Donegan: How I and my business have benefited from blogging.
    * Campbell Scott: IGOpeople, Irelands premier online network.

    The day’s format is talks in the morning, lunch at the Absolute Hotels restaurant, and then an afternoon hands-on workshop for attendees.

    There are only 40 places available for this event, so if you’re interested, click here to register today.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    XNAFest at University of Ulster, Magee Campus


    XNAFest Logo I’m late on this one but figured it was worth posting as it’s today and tomorrow.  If I hadn’t been in the US for the last week, I would definitely be up at the University of Ulster right now with some serious XNA experts.

    The Microsoft XNA Academic Summit (XNAFEST 2009) will be held at the University of Ulster, Magee Campus on the 28th-29th May 2009. The summit is for academics currently using or considering using XNA as part of a video games course and the event will provide practical advice, tutorials and demonstrations from educators and industrial experts in this area.

    We have an international line up of speakers from United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium and Ireland speaking at the event. The speakers have a wealth of industry and educational experience using XNA which they will share over the 2 days.


    To see the detailed schedule for the 2 day XNAFEST please visit http://www.xnafest.

    If interested in attending please register at

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Imagine Cup 2009: Innovative Students Take Science Gallery by Storm


    Imagine Cup Egypt '09April 30th was a very competitive day in Dublin.  Students from around Ireland competed in Microsoft’s annual Imagine Cup competition at the Science Gallery in Trinity College.

    The Imagine Cup is a contest open to students all around the world.  Winners from each country go on to the finals which in 2009 are in Cairo, Egypt.  There are several different competitions such as software design, embedded development, game development, robotics, and a lot more.  The theme for this year is "Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems facing us today"  focusing on the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

    The entries for Ireland’s software design final included a wide variety of solutions such as nutrition guides, surgery practice tools, tools to assist learning, and a lot more.  The competition was quite steep. 

    The third prize went to IT Sligo team MediKnight.  MediKnight’s solution was for connecting doctors and those working in health care in developing countries to those with more experience to share solutions and knowledge.Team MediKnight

    Second prize also went to an IT Sligo team – AmazEd built a really interesting solution to allow kids to learn math using a Lego NXT robot with an Xbox 360 controller.

    Finally, the first prize was awarded to Trinity College’s team Trinity Sight.  Trinity Sight developed a training tool for surgeons to practice removing cataracts.  As they explained in their presentation, various countries in Africa needlessly suffer from increased blindness due to the prevalence of cataracts.  Their solution can help train more surgeons to remove them safely.  Trinity Sight will head to Cairo in July to compete with students from all over the world.AmazEd

    I had a great time at the Imagine Cup finals, and the Science Gallery was a great venue for this as they currently have their excellent “Infectious” exhibition on.  The students were incredibly inspiring, and their enthusiasm is highly contagious.  I am looking forward to cheering on team Trinity Sight in Cairo along with other Irish students in the additional Imagine Cup competition categories.

    Irish Imagine Cup teams have done quite well in the finals for the past few years, with teams like Team signal, Team parkIT and Team Acid Rain who have gone on to compete internationally.  We have high hopes for Trinity Sight this summer!

    My pictures of the event are posted here: Irish Imagine Cup Finals 2009 (Set)

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    BizSpark Ireland / Northern Ireland Newsletter content, May 2009


    Welcome to the BizSpark Startup Newsletter

    Get Windows 7 RC first using your MSDN subscription, access free classroom Azure and Windows 7 developer training, and get ready to ride the Windows 7 wave!
    Welcome to the latest edition of the BizSpark Newsletter for Ireland / Northern Ireland.
    By the time you read this, the Windows 7 RC should be available for you to download using your MSDN subscription, see here for details from the Windows 7 team.
    Remember the Visibility promise of BizSpark? The excitement around Windows 7 is growing – and I am building a pipeline of ISV launch partners! Get your app compatible by checking out the resources on Innovate On, and we have some in-person events coming up which can help - in this edition you’ll also find details of free developer training for both the Azure Services platform and Windows 7 – see the events section. Pease feel free to contact me for more details on becoming a launch partner.

    Success stories

    RevaHealth Increase Conversion by 66% by Changing Two Words is a healthcare search engine that helps users find and compare health clinics worldwide. With information about 60,000 clinics in the UK and Ireland and thousands more in 50 countries around the world, helps people take control of their healthcare choices and find the most suitable clinic and treatment for their needs. Having raised €1.25 million of angel funding early this year, the RevaHealth team is now moving away from its original focus on niche markets, and expanding into wider local and national healthcare markets, with plans to move into the Far Eastern and American markets later in 2009. recorded traffic growth of 16% from February to March of this year, with UK traffic growing by just over 50%. Learn how they increased their conversion rate by 66%!


    Lucey Technology Selected to present at Microsoft European Investor Summit
    Microsoft will host the 6th Annual European Investor Summit in Prague, organized in conjunction with the EU SME Week, and I’m delighted to say that Lucey Technology, a BizSpark startup based in Ireland have been selected to present.


    Virtual Earth

    Got Millions of Users? You Can When You Share Your Web App
    The Windows Web App Gallery provides simple ways for you to explore, discover, install, and deploy your web applications on the Windows platform. You can share your web app with millions of Windows users worldwide. Learn more about the simple submission process, and what you’ll need to join in

    Guinness Enterprise Center BizSpark Cluster
    Announced at the BizSpark briefing on April 29th, GEC have designated an open plan office suite to facilitate the development of a Microsoft® BizSpark™ start up cluster of enterprises. DBIC/GEC are one of the managers of the AIB Seed Capital Fund and also the Halo Business Angel Partnership
    Bizspark participants will join the GEC / DBIC community of over 100 entrepreneurs who have started their companies with GEC / DBIC business mentoring, guidance and resources, and who are equally driven by innovation and technology. For more information, contact the GEC (details at
    BizSpark Startups Can Now Join Metro: Get Pre-release Support and Training!
    Metro, Microsoft’s early adoption program that provides access to training and a broad range of pre-release support for projects based on Microsoft’s newest technologies, is now available for BizSpark startups. Get free support and resources on Windows 7, Azure, .NET 4.0, Visual Studio 2010, Office 14 and more!
    Join Metro by logging into your account from the BizSpark Welcome Page on the BizSpark Portal — look for the Metro banner on the bottom of the page.
    Promote Your Company on BizSpark DB.
    Want to promote your startup to potential investors, clients, employees, and partners? Go to the “Add Your Startup” tab on the BizSparkDB at, fill out a short profile and we’ll do the rest. It’s so easy. Each week, we select a new startup to showcase.
    Outsourcing – the Perils and Benefits.
    We are thinking of running an online seminar on this topic. Some would consider that outsourcing their software development enables them to focus more on executing their business strategy. The client can oversee the development very closely, choosing from a larger pool of specialist resources. Crucially, Irish-based outsource providers can also enter into an agreement covered by Irish law, guaranteeing protection of your IP. If you select the right partner you can greatly benefit from outsourcing and, like everything else, cheapest is not usually the best. Would this topic be of interest to you? If so, let me know...
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    Events: Join Us

    BizSpark Breakfast Briefing – IT@Cork
    May 12th 2009
    Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork
    Read More.
    European Investor Summit
    6th European Investor Summit
    May 13, 2009
    Prague, Czech Republic
    Microsoft will host the 6th Annual European Investor Summit in Prague, organized in conjunction with the EU SME Week. European Startups will present, and as a Startup, you will have an opportunity to meet with Microsoft executives, leading European VCs, and investor groups. Register here.
    Seminar on the Microsoft BizSpark Program at the Galway Technology Centre
    May 14th 2009
    WESTBIC and Galway Technology Centre, Mervue Business Park, Galway
    For more details, email
    BizCamp Belfast
    May 16th 2009
    The Black Box, Belfast
    Read More.
    Azure Services Platform Training(Free!)
    May 28th 2009
    Microsoft Ireland, Sandyford
    The Azure™ Services Platform (Azure) is an internet-scale cloud services platform hosted in Microsoft data centers, which provides an operating system and a set of developer services that can be used individually or together. Azure’s flexible and interoperable platform can be used to build new applications to run from the cloud or enhance existing applications with cloud-based capabilities. This is a 1 day course for developers who are interested in building a solution on the Azure Platform. Registration is via the Metro portal : join Metro by logging into your account from the BizSpark Welcome Page on the BizSpark Portal — look for the Metro banner on the bottom of the page. Then search for Events in Ireland. Any problems, contact me.
    2 day Windows 7 Developer Training (Free!)
    June 11th & 12th 2009
    New Horizons, Strand House 22-24 Strand Street Great Dublin
    This instructor led training course will show developers how to build the next generation of software applications which deliver the richer application experiences and positive product discriminators that users now expect.
    The course will consist of approximately 50% instructor presentation (PowerPoint slides and instructor-led demonstration) and 50% hands on lab activities, which will provide students the opportunity to gain solid hands-on experience with the compelling features of Windows7. Registration is via the Metro portal : join Metro by logging into your account from the BizSpark Welcome Page on the BizSpark Portal — look for the Metro banner on the bottom of the page. Then search for Events in Ireland. Any problems, contact me. The full agenda is available here.
    Windows 7 ISV Remediation Workshops, Dublin
    June 15th-19th 2009
    New Horizons, Strand House 22-24 Strand Street Great Dublin
    This is a set of half day and full day workshops where participants will have the opportunity to test their application for compatibility with the most recent publicly available version of Windows 7. You will also receive valuable guidance on how to address compatibility issues discovered during testing. This is a great opportunity to test your applications on Windows 7, but there is limited availability so be sure to register early to get your preferred time slot.
    Who should participate in a Windows 7 Remediation Workshop?
    Software vendors may send 1-2 individuals to participate in the half day workshop (for Vista compatible apps) or full day workshop (for XP compatible apps). These individuals should be intimately familiar with the design of the application being tested and should be prepared to work with the workshop staff to execute the technical aspects of the testing process. Software developers, database administrators and testers are all good candidates to represent your company at the workshop. Only one primary contact should register for your company, regardless if only 1 or 2 representatives will be present. Please note:
    • You will need to bring your application(s) to be loaded on our secure Windows test platform in a private developer lab environment for testing and debugging application issues.
    • Prior to participating in the workshop, it would be advisable to go through the Windows 7 Application Compatibility Cookbook
    A dedicated consultant will be on hand to support participants in investigating application compatibility, and give architectural guidance. Registration for these workshops has not opened yet – please contact me directly for more details.
    Back to top >


    Innovate On

    Windows 7 App Compatibility Resources on the Innovate On Portal
    If you have a solution on either the Windows Vista or Windows XP operating system, Innovate On has resources which will help you to ensure your solution lights up on Windows 7. If you’re interested in becoming eligible to display the Windows 7 Software Logo on your solution please feel free to contact me for more details. The good news is it’s become a lot easier!




    Microsoft StartupZone
    Find guidance for your startup and your investors
    Gain visibility by profiling your startup company
    MSDN Download
    Find and share software and code samples
    Microsoft BizSpark
    Software, support and visibility for your Startup
    Channel 9
    MSDN community for access to the people who devise Microsoft technologies
    Microsoft Partner Program
    Development, training, marketing, and sales resources



    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Windows 7 RC is Out!


    image For those of you who haven’t heard yet, the Windows 7 Release Candidate went public today.  This download will be made available at least until June 2009.  The 32 and 64 bit versions are available in five languages: English, German, Japanese, French and Spanish.

    You can pick the version you’d like & download it from here:

    Developers, the Windows 7 RC SDK is also available, and you can get that here: Windows 7 RC SDK.

    I have been running Windows 7 since January on my machines at home and at work, and I’ve been really pleased with the operating system overall.  I especially love that it works so great on my 1GB Samsung NC-10 Netbook.

    There is a lot of excellent information out there right now on Windows 7.  Here are some that I recommend:

    Engineering 7 blog – Engineering 7 talks about the ins and outs of Windows 7, how it was designed & built, and useful features and information.  For example, today’s post was on Support and Q&A for Solid State Drives.

    Windows 7 for Developers blog -  For developers wanting to build applications for Windows 7, ensure compatibility, or understand the APIs and capabilities of the platform, this is your home.

    Talking about Windows – Talking about Windows is new and has videos and conversations for IT Pros with the Windows 7 engineering team.  It provides a platform for people to ask questions and get answers regarding Win7.

    The Windows Team Blog – This is an aggregation of a variety of blogs around Windows, some of which I mentioned above.  It also includes information for businesses, information on Windows Live, and more.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    New Photosynth Features and a Stone Circle


    I spent this past weekend in Donegal, where my friends and I came across a really neat stone circle outside of Raphoe.  It was crying out to be Photosynthed.  I stood in the centre of the circle, taking a lot of photos. 

    After uploading them to Photosynth, I noticed a few great new features that I wanted to share. 

    Make Unlisted

    A feature people ask me about all the time is privacy: “How can I keep my Photosynth content private?”  There hasn’t been a way to do this – all synths are public.  However, a feature was added to get your synth unlisted.  You now have the option when you create a synth to make it public, searchable and visible to everyone or to make it unlisted, where only people to whom you give the link can see the synth.


    Change Orientation

    After uploading this synth, I noticed many of the photos were slightly tilted.  This had never happened to me before, and I really wanted the opening photograph to be straight.  By clicking “Edit Synth and Highlights” you can edit settings on your synth like orientation, starting image, and the order of the slideshow (whether you want the slideshow to go by filename or by proximity).


    After fixing the orientation, I took a look at the tab called Highlights.  This is a new, cool idea to give photographers the chance to point out some highlights of the synth, and show off the really good and special photos.  Then you can order the highlights however you like and let people browse them.  You can also add titles and captions to the photos.

    Silverlight Cross-Platform Viewerimage

    People on Macs can get excited because there is now a cross-platform viewer so that people from a variety of platforms can enjoy Photosynths.  Previously, the Direct 3D viewer did not allow for cross-platform viewing, but I’m thrilled that now more people can participate in the Photosynth community.  The controls were also updated in the Silverlight version of the viewer, so they’re a bit more useful now as well.

    For more neat features and updates, keep an eye on the Photosynth blog.

    Oh, and if you want to check out the Beltany Stone Circle, be my guest (don’t worry, I changed it back to public for you).

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
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