September, 2011

  

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    2011 Microsoft IT Academy UK Summit

    • 0 Comments

     

    clip_image001

    We would like to invite you to the 2011 Microsoft IT Academy UK Summit

    We shall be hosting this year’s event at the Microsoft UK headquarters at Thames Valley Park Campus on Wednesday 19th October from 9.00am.  Registration is now open and you can book your place here ››

    Speakers from Microsoft, industry and the academic community will be covering a full range of topics to set you up for the new academic year and to help you get the most from your IT Academy memberships.  Sessions and discussions will include;

    · How will the shift towards Cloud technologies change the skills that the IT Industry will demand?

    · Updates on new IT Academy benefits including free certification vouchers

    · Discover new technology releases and how they can help you, including Windows Phone and Kinect

    There will also be opportunities for networking with other academies, Microsoft employees and our education partners. Spaces are limited to 200 so make sure you book your place soon. 

    We all look forward to seeing you soon.

    Register Here >>

    Useful Resources

    Microsoft IT Academy Website

    The new MTA exams

    Free Student Software at Dreamspark

    Latest Windows Phone News

    Microsoft UK Education Website

    UK Innovative Teachers Blog

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Azure Bootcamp - Powered by UK Tech.Days Fun, Free & Open to all!

    • 0 Comments

    windowsAzureLogo

    Want to get up to speed quickly with Windows Azure?

    The Windows Azure Bootcamp will take you from knowing nothing about the cloud to actually having written some code, deployed it to the cloud service and made a simple application available on the public Internet. We’ll even give you a special free pass to help you get started.

    Back in May we ran some Windows Azure Bootcamps that we got some good feedback on (thanks to those who attended), so this time the camps will run for a whole day and we’ve got a camp held in Manchester as well as London.

    During the Bootcamp there'll be experienced people available to guide you through each exercise. Once you have the basics in place, you'll be up and running. To get your applications running, you'll need an Azure subscription, so we can provide you with a special free pass that will entitle you to four compute instances, 3 GB of storage, Two* 1GB Web Edition databases. You can carry on using this subscription until it expires, after you've left the training course. You don't need a credit card to activate this free pass.

    When you walk away from the Bootcamp, you can either de-activate the Azure application before you leave, or leave it running so that when you get home you can continue with your Windows Azure coding adventures. In any case you'll walk away with the code you've written on your laptop and an ability to modify it, test it locally on your laptop and deploy it to your free Windows Azure subscription any time you choose!

    Pre-requisites:
    If you're a developer who uses a laptop, you'll almost certainly have most of these development components already installed. Please pay particular attention to the SQL Server setup - you'll need to use the same account during the labs as the account that was used to install whichever version of SQL Server you decide on from the pre-requisites list.

    • A wireless-enabled laptop with either Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.
    • Visual Web Developer Express or Visual Studio 2010 installed along with the Windows Azure SDK and Tools version 1.4 (including the SDK pre-requisites):
    • NET Framework 3.5 SP1
    • IIS 7.0 (with ASP.NET, WCF HTTP Activation, Static Content, IIS Management Console and optionally CGI)
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 or Microsoft SQL Server Express 2008 R2 or Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or Microsoft SQL Server Express 2005 (please use the same user account to install this as you will use in the labs on the Bootcamp)
    • SQL Server Management Studio
    • Bring the power supply, you will be using the laptop all day.
    • A basic knowledge of programming concepts and familiarity with Visual Studio
    • A basic knowledge of web-programming and how Internet applications work
    • An understanding of the Microsoft web-stack (Windows Server, IIS, basic security etc.)

    Register for a bootcamp to get your complimentary Windows Azure Pass – we’ll send you all the necessary instructions following registration.

    Important Tip: Please ensure that you have completed all of the prerequisites (including getting your Windows Azure Pass) so you can maximize your time at the bootcamp to run through the practical labs and exercises provided.

    Spaces are limited, so register your place in the Windows Azure Bootcamp today!

    Got a question? You might find the answer below…

    How much do I need to know about Windows Azure to attend this bootcamp?

    You don’t need any prior experience or knowledge about Windows Azure to attend this bootcamp. The purpose of the event is to provide you with the basic skills and knowledge to get started with learning about Windows Azure.

    Who can attend the bootcamps?

    Academics, Students, developers, technologists, hobbyist, technology enthusiasts. Everyone is welcome! All we ask is that you are ready and keen to learn about Windows Azure.

    How much does it cost to attend this bootcamp?

    Your luck's in - it's FREE.

    What do I need to prepare in advance to make the most of the bootcamp?

    There are a basic set of things you should prepare before attending the bootcamp, listed above. Please make sure you are prepared so you can make the most of your day at the bootcamp.

    What if I have registered already and cannot make it on the day?

    Please let us know as soon as you can if you can’t make the camp as there’ll be plenty of people who are keen to take your spot. Please respect the trainers and your fellow delegates by turning up if you have registered and committed. Thanks!

    Register at the event of your choice below. Go on. You know you want to.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    The Microsoft Windows Phone Camps – Powered by UK Tech.Days Fun, Free & Open to all!

    • 8 Comments

    1012_1a_Mango_Start_Phone_English_Red_061011_jpg

    Want to start developing for Windows Phone, but not yet taken the plunge?

    Then this free day of training is the quickest way to find out all you need to know.

    The Windows Phone Camps will show you how to learn and build Windows Phone apps from scratch. You'll be guided through the development process with a series of hands-on workshops and short tutorials, with some seasoned experts to give you one on one help when you need it. There'll be topics like; Introduction to Windows Phone Development, Controls & Control Toolkit, Execution Model, Storing Data, Launchers & Choosers, Accessing Cloud Services, Marketplace & Submission. Also, there will be informal Mango tutorial sessions on offer covering topics such as Multi-tasking, Debugging & Profiling, Motion API, Advertising SDK and Sockets. There's even an introductory design session to help you make your app look its best. Just pick the workshops that are most useful for you and work at your own pace.

    Once you've got the basics, you’ll be off and running and ready to develop your own apps. You can work on your own projects with assistance from our Windows Phone MVPs, and of course there's the all-important opportunity to meet up with likeminded devs.

    The camp kicks off at 9am and finish at 6pm. By registering and attending, you will receive (fanfare please) an exclusive Windows Phone Design Guide Sketch Pad as well as your own customized Hit & Run Windows Phone Camp T-shirt.

    Spaces are limited, so register your place in the Windows Phone Camp today!

    Got a question? You might find the answer below...

    How much do I need to know about Windows Phone to attend this camp?

    You don't need any prior experience or knowledge about Windows Phone or app development to attend. The purpose of the camp is to provide you with the basic skills and knowledge to get started with learning about Windows Phone app development.

    Who can attend these camps?

    Academics, Students, developers, hobbyist, technology enthusiasts. Everyone is welcome! All we ask is that you are ready and keen to learn about developing apps for Windows Phone.

    How much does it cost to attend this camp?

    Your luck's in - it's FREE.

    What do I need to prepare in advance to make the most of this camp?

    There are a basic set of things you should prepare before attending the camp. This includes bringing your own suitable laptop with the Windows Phone Developer tools installed (these are free), preferably the latest version of the tools.

    It would also be useful if you could read the following documentation:

    If you have a Windows Phone please bring it with you.

    Are you holding these camps elsewhere in the country?

    Yes, this is a series of Windows Phone Camps kicking off around the country. Follow us on Twitter (@ukmsdn) to see where we’re visiting next.

    What if I've registered already and can't make it on the day?

    Please let us know as soon as you can if you can't make the camp as there will be plenty of people who are keen to take your spot. Please respect the trainers and your fellow delegates by turning up if you've registered and committed. Thanks!

    Who are Hit & Run?

    They're do cool live on-site event screen-printing. You'll get the chance to create your very own t-shirt with your unique design at the end of the camp.

    What’s the Windows Phone Design Sketch Pad?

    In the spirit of highlighting good design, we intend to provide each attendee with an exclusive Windows Phone design sketch pad with Windows Phone design guidelines as well as open spaces and templates to sketch your next big Windows Phone app idea. Great stuff!

    Register at the event of your choice below. Go on. You know you want to.

    London - Saturday 17 September

    Manchester - Saturday 24 September

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Getting up to speed with JavaScript & HTML5

    • 0 Comments

    How does one get started? Here is a four-step program:

    The fundamentals. If you are looking to get started with the fundamentals, you may want to start online with JavaScript Tutorial. If books are more your speed, you should definitely start with Eloquent JavaScript by Marijn Haverbeke which is available in digital form as well for free.

    Next steps to the next level. Once you have the fundamentals under your belt, you should begin checking out the following videos:

    Did you know Internet Explorer has a JavaScript de-minifier? Ever been frustrated when you view source on a JavaScript file only to be frustrated that whitespacing and tabs have been removed? If you are in Internet Explorer and press F12, it will bring up the Developer Tools. On the Script tab, select the Script file you would like to view which will show you the file:

    clip_image003

    You can then click on the Configuration button and Select “Format JavaScript” and you will see the script in its un-minified state.

    clip_image004

    Today, there are more layout options available to us. For example, we can use CSS3 Media Queries to define styles based not on the actual browser being used, but the precise device capabilities being used to view our site. Media Queries is just one option, but we now are beginning to add other layout items to our arsenal with things such as CSS3 Flexible Box (“Flexbox”) Layout, CSS3 Grid Alignment, CSS3 Multi-column Layout, CSS3 Positioned Floats. If you are interested in learning more about layout options, check out:

    · IE 10: The Future of Adaptive Web Design

    · The future of CSS Layouts

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    HTML5 and Streaming Media Content

    • 1 Comments

    The following is a quick guide on HTML5 Video and the Microsoft Media Platform, I have recently had a number of question and interest from a  number of UK universities whom are looking at providing streamed media content both on and off campus.

    Microsoft has developed the IE Test Drive Video Format support page to see some examples of how various codecs work across the different browsers.

    Testdrive

    What this means?

    Web developers are generally happy to leave their existing solution in place to play their pre-existing video/audio content using plugins. However many are now supplementing these plugins with the HTML5 Video and Audio tag if the browser is able to play their particular codec of choice natively. This is ideal as the most popular mobile platforms H.264, AAC and MP3 are generally well supported using the HTML5 video and audio tags.

    How Do You Get Started?

    clip_image004

    The Microsoft Media Platform (MMP) frameworks are the glue that holds together individual pieces of the Microsoft end-to-end media solution.

    Are the services scalable?

    Microsoft MMP  is the the video platform that sits behind the Rugby World Cup 2011 event.

    The Microsoft Media Platform: Player Framework (that is licensed for commercial use under the Microsoft Public License Ms-PL) has recently added a preview of support for HTML5 (API Documentation) that enables you as web developers to compliment the Silverlight player framework with a HTML5 video experience that enables you to reach additional mobile platforms.

    Commercial Software offerings

    There are a number of commercial solutions available that do all the work for you.

    Example of these include

    JW Player™ (licensed for commercial use)

    SublimeVideo® (Player as a Service).

    What if You Want to use your Own Player or existing solution?

    It is surprisingly easy to utilise your own video solution using the default browser controls and codecs that the browser supports. The markup below shows what you need to play a video in HTML5 with a “Fall Back” to an unlisted video on YouTube.

    image

    Configuration considerations

    1. Video MIME types supported

    Cross Browser HTML5 video running under IIS

      Video Formats supported -

      • m4v,
      • mp4,
      • webm,
      • ogg,
      • wmv,
      • swf fallover.

    The order of your markup does matter please list them as above

    Add in the MIME Types support to IIS.

      Under IIS 7+ this is found under Website -> IIS -> MIME Types, and you’ll want to add:

      File name extension / MIME type:

      • .webm – “video/webm”
      • .ogg - “application/ogg”
      • .ogv - “video/ogg”
      • .mp4- “video/mp4″
      • .m4v - “video/m4v”

    Turn off Compression under Website -> IIS -> Compression, and unchecking “Enable dynamic content compression”, and “Enable static content compression

    Using Microsoft Azure Service

    Azure Storage Explorer also allows you to do this on individual files. of one of the following formats:

    • .mp4 - “video/mp4″
    • .m4v - “video/m4v”
    • .webm - “video/webm”
    • .ogg - “application/ogg”
    • .ogv - “video/ogg”
    • Set these in the web.config

    Video Fall-back settings

    • Fall-back content (like the YouTube example above) is only displayed by browsers that do not support the <video> tag.
    • If the browser supports the video tag but cannot play any of the media types that you have requested the fall-back code won’t fire. In this case you need to use JavaScript to detect this scenario using the canPlayType() method and provide fall-back content as shown in the example below.

    image

    3. Byte Range Requests (seeking)

    • Content should be served from a HTTP 1.1-compatible web server to enable seek ahead to the end of the video.
    • If you server is not HTTP 1.1-compatible (e.g. Azure Storage) you must encode the video with key index frames in the file & not at the end so that seek ahead still works. The “H.264 YouTube HD” profile in Expression Encoder 4 Pro does this.
    • Also note that if the video file is gzipped seeking won’t work. Since with most codecs the video/audio data is already compressed, gzip/deflate won't actually save you much bandwidth anyway.
    • IIS also supports Bit Rate Throttling to save you bandwidth on the server side when delivering video content.

    What’s next for HTML5 Video?

    There are currently a few key areas not addressed by the current W3C Video Standard (full screen support, live streaming, real time communication, content protection, metadata and accessibility). Recently the W3C Web and TV Workshop discussed some of these areas and offered some early thinking on how they may be adopted as web standards in the future.

    A real issues is the lack of a solution for live and adaptive streaming. Currently there are three proprietary solutions that support live and adaptive streaming.

    Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH) is currently in Draft International Standard. It looks likely that it will get W3C support if it is offered royalty free.

    DASH supports:

    • Live, on-demand and time-shifted content delivery and trick modes
    • Splicing and ad insertion
    • Byte-range requests
    • Content descriptors for protection, accessibility and rating

    Access to beta test and learn more about HTML5 media services?

    HTML5Labs is where Microsoft prototypes early and unstable specifications from web standards bodies such as W3C. Sharing these prototypes helps Microsoft have informed discussions with developer communities to provide better feedback on draft specifications based on this implementation experience.

    On the labs site Microsoft has released a Media Capture Audio Prototype that implements the audio portion of this W3C specification. The next prototype will support Speech recognition and will implement the Microsoft proposal available on the W3C website.

    Overall Conclusion

    If you are hosting progressive download video and audio on the web you should be looking to support HTML5 video and audio today to extend the reach of your content.

    Useful Resources

Page 3 of 3 (25 items) 123