Are you ready to launch your Windows Store app at DEMO Mobile 2013? If you have a Windows Store app idea, we want you to apply and compete for a chance to launch your app at DEMO Mobile on April 17th, 2013.
It’s easy to enter the challenge
About the Challenge
This is a joint effort between Microsoft, Startup Weekend and DEMO to accelerate apps from prototype to development to launch.
The entry period ends on January 29, 2013. Please submit a prototype of your app here.
For other related inquiries and questions, go to the Startup Weekend support group on Facebook or email us at WindowsChallenge@microsoft.com. More information including the Official Rules can be found here.
Its down to some serious coding now at Appy Christmas
Its all gone quiet here as we write some apps – talks on design by Andrew Spooner @andspo, Tech intro by Martijn Beeby @thebeebs fan hour we'll get some students to showcase what they have done so far.
For those not really sure where to start, Martin Beeby produced, in his spare time, a simple template to get you going www.yourwindowsapp.com. It should enable you to get a v1 app in store pretty quickly. You’ll then be able to customise, change and add to it as your skills progress.
OK – it’s not a very good pun but it does capture what we want to do!
Students – we want you to work with us at our Modern Jago in December to write apps. How’s that for a headline?
We know that one of the things that makes students so amazing are the ideas you all have. Not only that – a lot of you want to do something about them. We’re working hard at Microsoft to make awesome things happen – so why not help you do the same?
We’ve talked about Windows 8 before. It’s new, exciting, and a great opportunity for student developers to showcase their skills and build applications on a huge platform. We’re giving those great ideas of yours a stage.
We want some of you to join us for 2 days in December to create amazing app experiences for people using Windows 8. There’ll be some workshops, some training, some tools and resources for you to make use of – and you’ll all get to publish your app(s) by the end of the month into the Windows Store.
As its the Christmas break why not take advantage of some of your time off of studying – make something amazing happen and get a chance to work with us at our space in Shoreditch – an amazing part of London.
So in a nutshell
What do I need?
How do I sign up?
Click here to register!
OK, when I say click here to register, it will open a spreadsheet from our blog. Please complete as fully as possible (but not like a dissertation) and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll review all applications during the week commencing 26th November.
Registering does not guarantee you a place on this workshop so don’t book travel, tell you parents, sell your soul to the devil to get the money to come down. You will receive an email saying whether you have a place OR not once your application has been looked at.
The registration spreadsheet will ask you for the following key pieces of information:
We look forward to working with some of you in December!
Terms and Conditions...
If we accept you onto this programme:
Indie Game Developer? We’ve launched a Power Up competition to reward and recognise the great games you develop. The prize structure has been developed to support the indie game space in the UK and foster a vibrant and successful industry by giving developers and their titles the best chance of success through profile and discoverability. This involves a PR campaign, mentoring with industry leaders & a professionally produced video games trailer.
Timing: Monday November 5th competition opens and closes on December 14th
Summary of competition: All Windows 8 game apps submitted as part of the competition will be initially reviewed by a Microsoft panel of judges who will shortlist down to 10 games that will be submitted to the final judging panel of Microsoft and independent judges - Microsoft Studios, UKIE (UK Video Games Trade Body), The Trailer Farm, Yo Yo Games, Nokia, Train2Game, Dolby Sounds, GamesIndustry.biz (media partner) and TIGA (UK Indie Game Studios trade body)
The final judging decision will be made by Friday, January 11th 2013. Judging will be based on: Originality of the game idea, Design and artwork, Use of Windows 8 App features and graphical UI, Playability of the game and Creative Use of Audio
Prizes: There will be first and second prizes as detailed below. All ten game app finalists will be invited to an Awards Ceremony hosted at Dolby’s London HQ in January 2013. In addition to the awards ceremony itself; there will be a chance to discover the latest audio technologies and listen to a guest speaker discussing the challenges involved in delivering a great audio experience. The prize(s) will be as follows:
It doesn't stop there – if you do write an app – why not then register and submit it for the Imagine Cup – could win $50,000 and a trip to St Petersburg….
Students can get a free Xbox Live Indie Games Portal registration if they verify their Student status via DreamSpark. However, we have received reports of students having difficulty registering for free. The reason is due to the fact that there is a pre-requisite, for the free student registration to complete successfully: students need to go to Xbox.com, create a Xbox Live account first and submit their billing information.
If this step is not carried out first, users will get an error message which isn’t very clear, about going to Xbox Live to create an account, but when they return to the Xbox Live Indie Games portal, they need to restart the registration process (i.e. they are not recognised, the user info is not persisted). As a result, the student can get confused and often do not complete the registration successfully. Unfortunately, we in the DreamSpark team, weren't briefed on it when we did the integration.
We have also been informed that if you previously had an App Hub account and sign in with the same email address of that account, there is no way for a student to renew without paying. This means that we need to let students, who had an old App Hub account, know that they need to register again, to create an new account using a brand new Microsoft Account.
This could affect all DreamSpark verified students trying to complete the Xbox Live Indie Game Portal registration. This also affects those students that do not necessary want to post a game to the app store but need to create an account to be able to connect XNA to an Xbox console and deploy their games for testing. This can be a blocking scenarios for educators and students learning and teaching game development on the Xbox via the console.
We have created a detailed document that covers the steps students need to follow for a successful registration. We are also in the process of updating the Indie Games Development Page on DreamSpark.com.
Thought I’d pull together a few resources for people interested in gaming….its not a definitive list but its a great place to start
We have a gaming tag on our faculty blog just click the gaming tag
or there is the Ubelly Gaming site
In terms of a little bit more education specific you can check out another blog post
and for a toolkit/sample/framework use this
Hope these resources help….
Camp or lecture?
It can be tough to do a “camp on Campus” as you may not have Windows 8 installed on all machines (personal or labs), a camp is typically at least a day long, or you may not have projectors capable of 1366 x 768 to enable us to demo “stuff”.
Having said that we are running camps, open to anyone, mostly in London BUT there is one in Manchester so if you are keen to get your Windows 8 App into store ASAP and be ahead of other developers then these are good opportunities to get hands on with other developers, students and Microsoft staff.
If you feel like you want to run a camp at your Uni or College – talk to us email@example.com – and we’ll see what we can support.
Alternatively, and we have a few in the pipeline, we may be able to come and give a guest lecture – 1-2 hours on Windows 8 and show you all the free stuff you can take advantage of to get started. We would like to see your lecturers supporting this as we’d like to get them interested in projects around Windows 8, Windows Phone and Azure. Email us and we’ll see what we can do! No guarantees but if you don’t ask…..
It will be led by Jeremy Foster and Michael Palermo, two seasoned Microsoft Technical Evangelists with real world experience developing applications using a wide array of platforms and languages. Jeremy and Michael will be leveraging the popular “Jump Start” virtual classroom approach to engaging, expert-led, and demo-rich team-teaching.
** REGISTER NOW **
On Day 2, our focus will be on enabling Application Developers to take these language skills and develop rich applications for a touch-enabled interface/platform, including apps that access local and remote data and services.
Help us spread the word!
What’s a “Jump Start” Course? Training specifically designed for experienced technologists whose jobs demand they know how to best leverage new, emerging Microsoft technologies. These advanced courses assume a certain level of expertise and domain knowledge, so they move quickly and cover topics in a fashion that enables teams to effectively map new skills to real-world situations.
Hi, I’m Manoj Nathwani. This time last summer, I was working in a boring Job, like the typical 17 year old (you all know what that’s like) where I was asked to compare the prices of the company’s products with several of their competitors. It took me over four LONG days to complete this mammoth task and in thinking I was done, soon realised that all the data and work I had been doing from day one was now out of date! Something needed to change.
I started to realise that this job was almost too repetitive for any person to do and it became one of those robotic tasks that I knew needed to be carried out by a computer. So that’s where the ideas started. I imagined a system that could automate the mundane job of fetching prices off websites and then businesses could take advantage of being up-to-date on their competitors pricing and change theirs accordingly. I already saw this working in the company I was working for, as there were already instances where their products were not competitive enough - and even examples where they were far too cheap. Clearly they needed my help!
I talked to the manager of the company about making a competitor price monitoring system for them - in return for advice on what businesses would want. I then decided to carry out some market research and phoned a number of companies that have an ecommerce website. After speaking to them I realised there was a huge potential for my service so I decided to spend all my time working on it. My Dad helped with setting up the business and finding customers (thanks Dad), which allowed me to spend all my time dedicated to building our service, Price Trakker.
I spent day and night working inside Visual Studio to develop my solution and move forward with my vision. Once I started my course at university I met other students who had skills which I knew I would need, such as building a website for example, which allowed me to get friends involved. Through splitting the workload, it allowed me to spend more time developing our main service and ultimately grow the business.
Whilst studying Computer Science at Brunel University, I discovered it was hard to run a business from inside halls! However, using the right technology, such as Skype, I was easily able to keep in touch with the team. Truthfully though, it was definitely tough balancing university work alongside developing Price Trakker, but I always made sure I was still performing to the best of my ability at university. I needed to learn from my lectures and apply that knowledge to my work to Price Trakker! The hardest thing was probably waking up at a decent time every morning to check my emails…. definitely not the typical life for your regular student!
In February I attended a Microsoft Windows Phone Camp at Brunel, delivered by Ben Nunney, and got given a DreamSpark code that enabled me to get top of the range developer software for free! I was even able to get hold of Visual Studio Professional which helped out with developing my software even further. Free software… what more could you want!?
I found the university phone camp very beneficial and practical as it allowed students to jump straight into designing and developing apps. It also allowed different types of developers or designers to do what they do best; HTML, C# and Visual Basic and combine them to make interesting applications for Windows 8 or Windows Phone. Moreover, attending the events gave me a good connection with the Microsoft Academic team in the UK.
Through keeping in touch with the Microsoft UK Academic Team, I got a chance to speak to Phil Cross about my company and how useful I was finding the developer software provided through DreamSpark. Phil then took it that step further and introduced me to BizSpark, who literally throw all the free software you could ever want to play with (a true developers dream!)
BizSpark is an amazing resource if you are starting your own company; I signed up and two days later we went from several machines to using three servers with Microsoft's new Server 2012 operating system, which I got free from BizSpark. This allowed us to save money on computer power as well as going green by using less machines to run our services.
I still can't believe how easy it was to sign up to BizSpark, we signed up on Friday night and by Monday afternoon we had access to all the latest Microsoft software for free as well as access to events and the ability to network with other technology companies- a resource that is truly invaluable to any budding businesses out there.
I am looking forward to working with Microsoft and the BizSpark team to help me take Price Trakker to the next level! Already I’ve seen it helping to take the stress off the software licensing and allowed us to take care of what matters - our business and technology.
Over the past couple of months Price Trakker has grown beyond our wildest dreams. Literally every business that we approach has shown an interest in Price Trakker and we now have a team of six sales people. We also have interest from several large corporate companies who require high volumes of price monitoring. Thanks to Microsoft and their BizSpark program, deploying large systems is no longer a problem. Not a bad start for a 17 year old boy with a vision, and the right contacts to make it all happen!
If you’d like a look then you can sign-up for a free 14 day Competitor Price Watch service and see how you can save time and make more money. If you have an ecommerce website then you need Price Trakker, and you can see some sample reports here.
We brought 9 students into TVP last month who had won the Top App Competition on Windows Phone last academic year. I just came across Danny Brown’s blog post about the event and thought you may be interested in reading about it!
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