April, 2012

  

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Installing enterprise metro apps without using Microsoft Store

    • 8 Comments

    Over the past few days I have had a few questions re how does a University go about installing Enterprise apps onto Windows 8 machines without having to setup Microsoft LiveIDs on each of the machines,

     

    As your all aware from the Consumer preview, applications are installed via the Microsoft Store, authentication to the store is based upon your Microsoft LiveID. As a consumer you simply click on the store icon and use the Windows 8 Store to get an application onto Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

    store

    However if you are an Enterprise looking to get Metro applications onto your employees/students or lab Windows 8 desktops then you will likely want to do it more directly.

    Which is where “sideloading” fits in.

    Microsoft Technet has detailed documentation on Windows 8 Sideloading to add and remove line-of-business (LOB) Metro style apps

    In brief:

    • App must be cryptographically signed
    • App can only be installed on a computer that trusts the signing certificate
    • Group Policy must have the Allow all trusted applications to install setting.
    • Computer must be domain joined to run the app (not needed for install)

    At which point installing an app is as simple as

    add-appxpackage C:\app1.appx

    Additionally you can also remove apps via this process

    Remove-appxpackage C:\app1.apx

    More details on the Windows Store can be found here

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsstore/

    And Building Windows 8 blog

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Installing Windows 8 onto Samsung Series 7 Slate

    • 1 Comments

    clip_image001

    For those who have been asked about running Windows 8 Consumer Preview on the retail version of Nike-Tab (sold as the Series 7 Slate)… please note that has Samsung created a new webpage to assist users with the install + drivers which can be found here: http://www.samsung.com/global/windowspreview/

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Channel 9 Windows 8 Application

    • 6 Comments

    Channel 9 is home base online for technical know how, how to’s and tips and tricks.

    Channel 9 is used by millions of Developers worldwide each month through videos, how to articles and events.

    We are excited to announce that the team has just released a Channel 9 application in the Windows 8 App Store. 

    So Install the application today on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and easily browse the latest content on Channel 9, share content with your friends and view content on any of your Play To Enabled devices. 

    To find the app, Search the Windows 8 App store for Channel 9.

    clip_image002

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    DreamSpark, frequently asked questions

    • 2 Comments

    DreamSpark-2_bL_t

    Since its introduction in 2001, students and educators around the world have utilized DreamSpark to support and advance their learning and skills through technical design, technology, math, science and engineering activities. This software equips them with the tools they need to succeed during their academic experience and the skills they will need after graduation.

    · Microsoft works with educators, institutions and the academic community worldwide to expand opportunities for students and to encourage the development of a skilled workforce.

    · Microsoft is committed to providing students with access to programs and software – the tools they need to help them succeed in technology and design fields.

    · Microsoft believes in the power of technology to transform education, foster local innovation and enable jobs and economic growth for everyone. Microsoft DreamSpark is just another way of helping this next generation of young leaders seize the opportunity to harness the transformative magic of software.

    Examples of how DreamSpark might be used by educators:

    Educators have access to the top technical development and design products on the market just like their students. Teachers can teach classes on web development using Expression Studio.

    Students today get excited about seeing technology in action, and not just simply learning the fundamentals. With access to products like XNA and Visual Studio, educators can build exciting applications that demonstrate the power of technology.

    Q&A

    Q. What is Microsoft DreamSpark™?

    A. Microsoft DreamSpark ™ is a program that provides no-cost access to Microsoft designer and development tools for verified students around the world, to support and advance their learning and skills through technical design, technology, math, science and engineering activities. This program equips tomorrow’s developers with the professional tools to inspire and create today.

    The program has two primary goals:

    1. Give no-cost access to Microsoft products and platforms: DreamSpark subscriptions give students access to virtually every Microsoft product and technology, helping ensure they have the right technology choices for all current and future educational opportunities.
    2. Deliver outstanding value: These subscriptions give outstanding value through inexpensive cost of membership, and convenient management of licenses on a per-user basis, removing the complexity of licenses across multiple environments.

    Q. What is DreamSpark Premium?

    A. Advanced software applications can take years to develop, a costly investment that is often reflected in the purchase price. Microsoft makes these highly desired, advanced programs available to students far below the retail cost of any one program in the list. With this subscription, students can access a free online portal through e-academy that provides them with instant and easy access to all DreamSpark titles while also ensuring that institutions will not need to add internal resources or overhead to manage the DreamSpark software program.

    Q: What are the benefits of the DreamSpark program?

    A: Much more than a software subscription, membership includes:

    1. DreamSpark software subscription that includes Microsoft platform, server and developer tools software as well as betas, new releases and tech support.
    2. Special license rights allowing a department to install DreamSpark software on any number of departmental lab machines for instructional and research purposes.
    3. The ability for students taking at least one credit course offered by the member department to install the software on their personal machines for use in coursework and personal development projects.
    4. Instant online access to all DreamSpark content.
    5. No-charge access to e-academy’s License Management System (ELMS) for automated distribution of software and product keys to eligible users via the Web.

    Q: What happened to Developer AA?

    A: Developer AA isn’t gone—it’s simply been renamed to DreamSpark Premium. All of the titles that were previously available to you are still available. If your school had a Developer AA subscription through MSDNAA, you’ll continue to access software titles as you did before.

    Q: What happened to Designer AA?

    A: Helping students who want to be designers is critical, but we wanted to find a way to make this easier for institutions, so we have changed up the program. Instead of Designer AA membership, institutions can purchase a new DreamSpark membership that gives them access to all of Microsoft’s development and designer tools. If you currently have a Designer AA membership, don’t worry. You can continue to enjoy those benefits until your membership expires. When it’s time for you to renew, we’ll work with you to get you set up with a new DreamSpark membership.

    Product Mapping

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    Q: What software will be included in the DreamSpark program?

    Software for Production Use

    DreamSpark

    DreamSpark Premium

    Operating Systems

    Windows Client

    clip_image004

    Windows Server

    clip_image004[1]

    clip_image004[2]

    Developer & Design Tools

    Visual Studio Professional

    clip_image004[3]

    clip_image004[4]

    Visual Studio Premium

    clip_image004[5]

    Visual Studio Ultimate

    clip_image004[6]

    Expression

    clip_image004[7]

    clip_image004[8]

    Windows Embedded

    clip_image004[9]

    clip_image004[10]

    Applications

    clip_image004[11]

    clip_image004[12]

    Visio

    clip_image004[13]

    Project

    clip_image004[14]

    OneNote

    clip_image004[15]

    Servers

    SQL Server

    clip_image004[16]

    clip_image004[17]

    BizTalk Server

    clip_image004[18]

    SharePoint Server

    clip_image004[19]

    Q: What is the benefit of the DreamSpark program for educators?

    A: DreamSpark will give educators a chance to learn new technologies and develop courses that will excite students in the classroom. It will also help educators expand their personal and professional portfolios and enhance classroom objectives.

    Q: Why do educators need free developer and design tools?

    A: By providing the latest professional developer, design, and gaming software to educators at no charge, educators will have a unique opportunity to motivate and engage students and support those that wish to pursue a career in programming or design after graduation

    Q: What will students be able to do with this software?

    A: Students using these tools will be limited only by their own imaginations and time.  Use of developer tools in engineering, math, science and technology activities allow students to program everything from a cell phone to a robot or to create their own Web page. Students will also be able to invent compelling new gaming content and make their dream game a reality by porting their creations to their Xbox 360 console. Design tools allow students to vividly bring their creative visions to life in vibrant new Web site designs and more effective digital content, including animation, imagery and photography. And platform offerings deliver a security-enhanced and reliable environment, reliable and manageable environment for students to more quickly turn ideas into reality.

    Availability

    Q. When and where will Microsoft DreamSpark be available?
    A. Today, Microsoft DreamSpark is available to university students in 137 countries.

    Q: How do students download software?

    A: Visit www.dreamspark.com and follow the three steps to get verified located on the home page.

    Q. Is this program available to ALL students? What are the limitations?

    A. Yes. The focus of the program is technical students, but it is open to anyone looking to explore the possibilities of Microsoft’s development and design tools. The only limitation is students are only licensed for learning and research.

    Q: Why don’t you provide physical copies of software? 

    A: Providing software by download does not involve the production costs of creating physical copies, so it works well with software being provided at no charge. 

    Q. How many students total will this offer be available to eventually and how did you come up with this number?

    A. According to UNESCO, there are more than one billion university and high school students in the world today.

    Q: Why don’t you provide physical copies of software?  Are you trying to prevent non-broadband students from receiving the software?

    A: Providing software by download does not involve the production costs of creating physical copies, so it works well with software being provided at no charge.  Microsoft is not trying to prevent non-broadband students from receiving the software.  On the contrary, we hope to eventually provide this no-charge software benefit to all students, in all countries.  It will take a concerted, cooperative effort on the part of both Microsoft and academic institutions to connect to areas without existing infrastructure of student databases and server technologies.

    Cost

    Q: Why are you giving software away?

    A: In giving tech tools away without charge to students around the world, Microsoft is providing future developers and designers with professional-grade tools to create and expand their skills.  We believe that it is very important to equip students with tools that will help to foster their education in technology.  Such tools would typically be beyond the reach of these students even at very low prices. 

    Q. What is the commercial value of this software?

    A. This software is being provided to students for non-commercial use in particular academic activities.  Pricing for commercial uses varies by channel and the associated rights, but products for non-academic use by non-students would typically be hundreds of dollars or more. 

    Student Identity Verification

    Q:  How do you ensure that a student is really a student?

    A:  Microsoft verifies students by using various reputable student databases to confirm student identities.  Students will choose the identity provider that maintains the database (i.e. their school, organization, or other academic-based group) that will confirm their student status.  The Microsoft system will connect with the identity provider, and the student will supply his or her credentials to the identity provider for verification.  Microsoft will then receive confirmation from the identity provider as to whether the student is a current student.

    Q:  If students are receiving the full professional software versions, then can’t professionals just find a college student to obtain the software license from?

    A:  All students receiving free software through this program will need to accept an end user license agreement (EULA) that specifies that the software will only be used by the student for non-commercial use to support and advance their STEM-D learning and skills.  Students will only have rights to one single-user license per verified identity.  If a student were to obtain a valid single-user license and give that license to a non-student that would be in violation of the EULA and the student would no longer be eligible to continue to use the software or to obtain other software under the program. 

    Q:  Why do students need to sign-in?

    A:  The sign-in process allows students to get verified initially once and bypass the verification step for future visits to DreamSpark.  Once verification is completed and if they are signed in, students will be brought directly to the download page.  All students will keep their eligibility for 12 months and will have the option to renew after 12 months. 

    Q: Will you be collecting student information, and using it for other purposes?

    A: Microsoft is not collecting any student information from third-party identity provider databases, other than binary notification of whether the person is a student or not.  When students seek to download the software, they will be asked to verify their student status with a verification source of their choice, and the verification source will request the student’s credentials in order to verify their student status.  The credentials students provide to the verification source are not viewed or tracked by Microsoft – that is, the student is verified externally by their chosen verification method and not by Microsoft, and any exchange of sensitive credentials with the verification source will be between the student and the verification source.  Microsoft will store the general location of students, which assists with download bandwidth efficiencies.

    Q: Is there an approved list of universities? Are only students enrolled in brick and mortar universities included or are online students as well? (i.e. what about 2-year or community colleges)

    A: As this is a cooperative effort with local communities, we are working with local entities within each country to determine who the universities are.

    Q: Are only undergraduates qualified or can graduate students download DreamSpark?

    A: Graduate students are welcome to participate.

    Q:  Why are university administrators being asked to share their student database?

    A:  This program is designed to give students Microsoft technology tools at no charge as long as their student status can be verified.  University administrators hold the keys to enable verification.  If administrators are willing to cooperate and enable their students to verify themselves against the university database, universities will be able to equip them with free professional-level tools. 

    Q:  How can univeristy administrators offer this benefit to the students in their school/country?

    A:  This benefit is available to all students around the world.  However, this program requires all students to have their status verified by an authorized verification source.  Academic institutions or governments may already have all the requirements necessary to verify their students.  Microsoft can help prepare student databases to use the program.  Once institutions determine they have a reliable database of student information, we can help them become an identity provider (IDP). 

    Verification Technology

    Q: Why is Microsoft using Open Source Software (OSS) as part of the student verification process?

    A: Microsoft is pleased to be able to use Shibboleth, an open source authentication and authorization infrastructure product, as one solution for verifying students so they can receive Microsoft DreamSpark program benefits.  Shibboleth is an existing middleware solution that is widely used by universities, and federations using Shibboleth software exist in many countries.  Its use provides access to a network of institutions and students, enabling immediate connection to over 10 million students, with a path for other academic institutions to sign up.  Shibboleth also enables sites to manage the authorization decisions permitting the sharing of specific information between an identity provider database and an external party (such as Microsoft) – such as binary notification of whether the site user is a student or not, without releasing other student information. 

    Competitive

    Q:  Are you trying to flood the market with developer tools?

    A:  Microsoft is putting developer and design software in the hands of verified students to support and advance their learning and skills through technical design, technology, math, science and engineering activities. The student developer population has been growing recently, with many developers coming from fields of study other than computer science.  Even non-technical majors can benefit from using these products.  We want students to grow their capabilities by providing them with developer and designer tools that expand the limits of their imagination.  We’re putting tools in the hands of students that they would typically not be able to afford. 

    Q:  Are you trying to put other developer software companies out of business?

    A:  This program targets students and eduators, who represent a fraction of all software developers and designers. Software under this program is only available for non-commercial use to support and advance students’ academic work involving science, technology, engineering, math and technical design activities.

    Q:  Are you embracing the “free software” model by offering development and design tools to students at no cost? Will you make it free for all?

    A: Our design, development and platform tools offer significant benefits for developers, customers and partners alike. Our goal with Microsoft DreamSpark is to ensure that today’s students have even greater access to the tools they need to succeed in their studies and prepare themselves for today’s increasingly competitive business world.

    Q: Is this just a ploy to keep up/compete with open source proliferation in education?

    A: No, Microsoft is not offering students free access to developer and design tools to compete against open source software. This program is targeted specifically at students to provide them with access to the software tools used in business today and help extend the skills of the next generation of developers and designers.  The company has and will continue to make strategic bets on the Windows platform while continuing to support interop and other open source initiatives and partnerships.

    Microsoft products offer tremendous value that is perceived by the marketplace and by our customers. 

    Microsoft is a platform company committed to building technologies that empower communities of developers and partners to deliver compelling software solutions to customers. This approach is reflected in the size and health of the technology ecosystem in which Microsoft participates, including millions of developers around the world who have created a vast array of applications using Microsoft platform technologies such as Microsoft Windows, Windows Live, Microsoft Office, .NET platform, Microsoft Windows Server, and Microsoft Xbox.  Microsoft’s open source strategy is focused on helping customers and partners be successful in today's heterogeneous technology world. This includes increasing opportunities for developers to learn and create across both community-oriented open source and traditional commercial approaches to software development.

    Q: Is this the first step in Microsoft lowering its prices (possibly even free) to compete against open source?  What are the next products that might be included in this program?

    A: Microsoft products offer tremendous value that is recognized by the marketplace and by our customers.  This program is targeted specifically at students in connection with their academic studies to help prepare them as the next generation of developers and designers.  DreamSpark is the latest in a series of offerings for students just as MSDNAA (Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance), Imagine Cup, and other offerings Microsoft provides to academia.  Additional developer tools may be made available to students in the future under this same program, but we do not foresee that other major customer groups or products will be significantly impacted by this program.

    Q:  Do any other companies offer a free software package like this?
    A:
    Yes, other software vendors like Adobe and IBM have offers in market to make software available to students at low costs or no charge. However, we believe that Microsoft is leading the way in providing such a comprehensive offering available to the student market at no charge.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows 8 Versions Announced

    • 0 Comments

    win8logo

    As your aware from the Building Windows 8 blog a key driver for Microsoft is that All editions of Windows 8 offer a no-compromise experience.

    One of the key announcements by the Windows team is that, Windows 8 will be the official product name for the next x86/64 editions of Windows. PCs and tablets powered by x86 processors (both 32 and 64 bit), we will have two editions: Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.

    NOTE: As with previous versions of Windows, we will also have an edition of Windows 8 specifically for those enterprise customers with Software Assurance agreements. Windows 8 Enterprise includes all the features of Windows 8 Pro plus features for IT organization that enable PC management and deployment, advanced security, virtualization, new mobility scenarios, and much more. 

    Windows RT will be the official product name for Windows on ARM or WOA. This single edition will only be available pre-installed on PCs and tablets powered by ARM processors and will help enable new thin and lightweight form factors with impressive battery life. Windows RT will include touch-optimized desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

    The below chart breaks down key features by edition (this list should not be considered an exhaustive list of features):

    Feature name

    Windows 8

    Windows 8 Pro

    Windows RT

    Upgrades from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium

    x

    x

     

    Upgrades from Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate

     

    x

     

    Start screen, Semantic Zoom, Live Tiles

    x

    x

    x

    Windows Store

    x

    x

    x

    Apps (Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos, SkyDrive, Reader, Music, Video)

    x

    x

    x

    Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote)

       

    x

    Internet Explorer 10

    x

    x

    x

    Device encryption

       

    x

    Connected standby

    x

    x

    x

    Microsoft account

    x

    x

    x

    Desktop

    x

    x

    x

    Installation of x86/64 and desktop software

    x

    x

     

    Updated Windows Explorer

    x

    x

    x

    Windows Defender

    x

    x

    x

    SmartScreen

    x

    x

    x

    Windows Update

    x

    x

    x

    Enhanced Task Manager

    x

    x

    x

    Switch languages on the fly (Language Packs)

    x

    x

    x

    Better multiple monitor support

    x

    x

    x

    Storage Spaces

    x

    x

     

    Windows Media Player

    x

    x

     

    Exchange ActiveSync

    x

    x

    x

    File history

    x

    x

    x

    ISO / VHD mount

    x

    x

    x

    Mobile broadband features

    x

    x

    x

    Picture password

    x

    x

    x

    Play To

    x

    x

    x

    Remote Desktop (client)

    x

    x

    x

    Reset and refresh your PC

    x

    x

    x

    Snap

    x

    x

    x

    Touch and Thumb keyboard

    x

    x

    x

    Trusted boot

    x

    x

    x

    VPN client

    x

    x

    x

    BitLocker and BitLocker To Go

     

    x

     

    Boot from VHD

     

    x

     

    Client Hyper-V

     

    x

     

    Domain Join

     

    x

     

    Encrypting File System

     

    x

     

    Group Policy

     

    x

     

    Remote Desktop (host)

     

    x

     

    Over the coming months,the Windows Team will share more information about Windows 8, including details on pricing.

    Check out the preview of Windows 8 for yourself.

    If your interested in developing for Windows 8 check out the following example from my colleague Mike Taulty, from the UK MSDN team. Mike has produced a number of walkthroughs in screencast form these include a simple music 'app' in HTML and a app for searching flickR in both XAML and HTML.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Kinect for Windows curriculum resources

    • 0 Comments

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    I am happy to let you know that the new Kinect for Windows curriculum resources are now available for download from Faculty Connection.  These resources, created by Rob Miles (University of Hull, UK), are arranged into a half-semester course consisting of Lectures, Labs/Demos with Tutorials accompanied by a 57-page ebook.  It contains information on the Windows Kinect sensor bar, the Windows Kinect SDK v1.0 and how to write Kinect programs/apps. It assumes a working knowledge of the C# programming language, the XNA framework and program development using Visual Studio.

    These materials can be used as follows:

    · Integrated into a CS course, such as Programming 2, HCI, Computer Graphics, NUI, etc.

    · Two-day instructor led workshop

    · Self-study

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    1. Introduction

    a. Welcome

    b. What you need to develop code

    2. An Introduction to Kinect

    a. The Kinect Sensor

    b. Inside a Kinect Sensor Bar

    c. Connecting the Sensor Bar

    d. Installing the Kinect for Windows SDK

    e. What We Have Learned

    3. Writing Kinect Programs

    a. Using the Kinect Video Camera

    b. Using the Kinect Depth Camera

    c. Using Sound with Kinect

    d. What We Have Learned

    4. Kinect Natural User Interfaces

    a. People tracking in Kinect

    b. Creating Augmented Reality

    c. Adding Voice Response

    d. What We Have Learned

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft announces Open Technologies, Inc.

    • 1 Comments

    openness

    Microsoft has created a new wholly owned subsidiary known as Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc to advance Microsoft’s investment in openness – including interoperability, open standards and open source. 

    The Interoperability Strategy team has worked closely with many business groups on numerous open source and standards efforts on behalf of Microsoft. It was recently involved in numerous standards initiatives, including HTML5, HTTP 2.0, cloud standards in DMTF and OASIS and in many open source environments such as Node.js, MongoDB and PhoneGap.

    This new subsidiary is further demonstration of Microsoft’s long-term commitment to interoperability, greater openness, and to working with open source communities.

    Microsoft and our business groups will continue to engage with the open source and standards communities in a variety of ways across the company, including working with many open source foundations such as Outercurve Foundation, the Apache Software Foundation and many standards organizations.

    The subsidiary provides a new way of engaging in a more clearly defined manner. This new structure will help facilitate the interaction between Microsoft’s proprietary development processes and the company’s open innovation efforts and relationships with open source and standards communities.

    This structure will make it easier and faster to iterate and release open source software, participate in existing open source efforts, and accept contributions from the community. Over time the community will see greater interaction with the open standards and open source world.

    As a result of these efforts, customers will have even greater choice and opportunity to bridge Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies together in heterogeneous environments.

     

    For more details see the following blogs

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/interoperability/archive/2012/04/12/announcing-one-more-way-microsoft-will-engage-with-the-open-source-and-standards-communities.aspx

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/port25/archive/2012/04/12/announcing-one-more-way-microsoft-will-engage-with-the-open-source-and-standards-communities.aspx

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Move Your Career to the Cloud with the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert certification

    • 2 Comments

     IT_AcademyMCP

    Last week Microsoft Learning announced that it has reinvented its certification program to directly address technology’s evolution to the cloud. 

    With the rapid growth of jobs in the cloud computing industry, there are not enough qualified workers to fill positions due to lack of knowledge or skill in this  specialized area. 

    Microsoft new cloud certifications will help bridge the IT skills gap for a number of students and partners as new jobs are created and will help build cloud-related skills validation, whether on premise or in the cloud.  Under this new product strategy, certifications will align to key technology solutions designed to better support organizations in increasing adoption and deployment efficiencies, enabling individuals to design, optimize, and operate mission-critical IT technologies. 

    Microsoft learning are also making extensive changes to the MCSD developer certification to create an attractive way for HTML5 web developers to demonstrate their skills, whether they’re building for Windows 8, Windows Azure or Office 365.

    Check out the Channel 9 video that covers all the new exams in more detail.

     

    Here are some more detail about the changes

    Microsoft has reinvented its certification program by  building cloud related skills validation into the industry’s most recognized and respected certification program in the world. Microsoft Certifications now validate a broader and deeper set of skills and experience across a technology solution platform.

    The Expert level is Microsoft’s flagship product for those who want to lead their company’s journey to the cloud.   It is the destination for established IT Professionals and Developers who have expertise working with Microsoft technology solutions. 

    The Associate level is the prerequisite certification necessary to get your Expert level certification.

    After people have achieved their Expert level certification, The Master level is for the select few who wish to further differentiate themselves from their peers.

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is a reinvented certification for today’s technology solutions

    Microsoft has reinvented its certification program by building a broader and deeper set of technology solutions skills validation, starting with cloud-enabled solution skills. As one of the most recognized and respected certification programs, Microsoft is charting the path for IT Professionals and Developers to keep their skills relevant as new technology solutions are released.

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) emphasizes solutions

    Microsoft has reinvented its certifications to validate the skill sets needed to develop, deploy, and maintain Microsoft technology solutions. These certifications recognize IT Pros and Developers who have skill sets that run both broad and deep. Certifications are available at three skill levels:

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)

    The Associate level is the prerequisite certification necessary to get your Expert level certification. This certification validates the core skills you need to get your 1st job in IT.

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) &
    Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)

    The Expert level is Microsoft’s flagship set of certifications validating that your skills are relevant in the constantly changing tech environment. The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is the destination for established IT Professionals who have expertise working with Microsoft technology solutions. The Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) is the destination for established Developers who have expertise developing solutions with Microsoft tools.

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM)

    After you have achieved your Expert level certification, Master is the next destination. This certification is for the select few who wish to further differentiate themselves from their peers and achieve the highest level of skills validation.

    The Cloud Changes Everything

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) helps bridge the new cloud computing talent gap

    “With the demand for cloud skills growing quickly, the gap between hiring demand and talent supply across the United States is getting larger and causing more difficulties in sourcing candidates.” Wanted Analytics, Hiring Demand for Cloud Computing Skills Skyrocketing, March 2012

    The need for cloud computing skills has been pushing the market for months. Solution providers are seeking cloud-ready employees to bring their businesses to the next level. The cloud computing market is evolving at such a pace that while the number of job postings is skyrocketing, the talent isn't there to fill the positions.

    In the past 20 years, Microsoft Certifications have been THE tool to address the skills gap. To be relevant, certifications need to continue to be the tool needed and recognized in the market.

    That’s why Microsoft has reinvented its certification program—to certify a deeper set of skills that are mapped to the Cloud and to real-world business contexts. Rather than testing only on a component of a technology, IT Professionals and Developers are now tested on more advanced skills and a deeper understanding of the technology.

    New Certifications Are Available Now

    Private Cloud and SQL lead the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) reinvention

    We’ve posted a lot more information about the reinvented program and the first new certifications: Private Cloud MCSE, Database MCSE & Business Intelligence MCSE:

    Microsoft Certification overview page: http://aka.ms/MSCerts

    Microsoft Certification overview video: http://aka.ms/MSCertsVideo

    MCSE information page: http://aka.ms/MCSE

    MCSE video on YouTube: http://aka.ms/MCSEvideo

    MCSE Private Cloud: http://aka.ms/MCSEpvcloud

    MCSE Data Platform: http://aka.ms/MCSEDP

    MCSE Business Intelligence: http://aka.ms/MCSEBI

     

    So please encourage your students and staff to take advantage of a new 2-for-1 exam offer from Prometric http://aka.ms/Prometric241

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    How do Microsoft certifications relate to academic or vocational qualifications

    • 0 Comments

     

    This is a question, I seem to be asked a lot at present….

    How do Microsoft certifications relate to academic or vocational qualifications?

    If your an existing Microsoft IT Academy members, we have lots of information on certification mapping available in the IT Academy members-only site that gives an overview. However it is also possible by accessing the QCF Database. This database holds information relating to qualifications and units that are approved by Ofqual. Generally this means that they are available for delivery as components of academic or vocational programs of learning. Microsoft certifications relate to Units on the QCF.

    Here are a few pointers:

    · Microsoft certifications are “Units on the QCF”

    · Most Microsoft certifications are on the QCF

    · It is easy to search on the QCF to find which Microsoft certifications are listed

    · The information can be exported in a spread sheet

    · The QCF list the Units and any Qualifications that contain them

    · IT certifications are listed under 6.1 for IT professional and 6.2 for User

    · IT Professional Units are technical e.g. Windows 7 or Server 2008

    · IT User Units are applications like Word or PowerPoint

    · Units have a credit value and a level

    · Microsoft Units are contained in the ITQ, BETEC and many vocational qualifications. More recently, the Microsoft Technology Associate has been included or aligned in Apprenticeships and Computer Science GCSEs

    The following information shows how to check the detail of Microsoft Units and their possible inclusion in Qualifications:

    Go to http://register.ofqual.gov.uk/Unit

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    6.1 and 6.2 cover ICT. Search on both. 6.1 lists IT Professional Qualifications (Practitioner)and 6.2 Lists IT User qualifications. You will be able to view or export to a spread sheet. The data includes Level and Credit values. Obviously it is possible to search for Microsoft in the exported data.

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    Double click on the Unit Reference number and it will display the Learning Outcomes

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    Use the link half way down the page, “View Unit’s Qualifications” and it will list all the qualifications that contain the Unit.

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    Select the Unit and this now gives more information on the qualification

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    And if you continue to scroll down the Ofqual Qualification page there is an additional link right at the bottom to the Performance Figures

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    Microsoft certifications can attract Performance Points as Units within a Qualification

    An alternative way is to search for Microsoft at the initial stage by entering “Microsoft” in the title box. The list can then be accessed in the same way as above.

    The following document “Curriculum mapping to Standards” gives an overview of mapping.

    ITSkillsman are a Microsoft Academic Service Partner (MASP) and are able to provide independent advice on the inclusion of Microsoft certifications in programmes of learning.

    For more information please contact Mike Evans on 01460 281114 or 07831 600375

    e-mail mike.evans@itskillsman.co.uk or visit www.itskillsman.co.uk or www.itcertsolutions.co.uk

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Did your School, College or University Students enter the Imagine Cup 2012

    • 0 Comments

     

    “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.”

    The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition. It provides an opportunity for students to use their creativity, passion, and knowledge of technology to help solve global challenges and make a difference in the world. While competing for cash and prizes, students gain real-life experiences, make new friends, and change the world.

    Now in its tenth year, the Imagine Cup has grown to be a truly global competition focused on finding solutions to real-world problems. 358,000 students representing 183 countries and regions registered for the Imagine Cup 2011 Competition. The Imagine Cup is one way Microsoft encourages the brightest young minds to join together and use technology to take on the toughest problems facing our world today, whether it is combatting diseases, improving education or creating disaster communication systems.

     

     

    UK Entries for 2012 Imagine Cup Competition

     

    Aberdeen College

    Aberystwyth University

    Alperton Community School

    Anglia Ruskin University

    Anniesland college

    Ashbourne College

    Ashington College

    Aston University

    Aylesbury College

    Banff and Buchan

    Bangor University

    Belfast Metropolitan College

    Birkbeck College, University of London

    Birmingham City University

    Birmingham Metropolitan college

    Bishopsgarth School

    Blackpool & the Fylde College

    Boston College

    Bournemouth University

    Brunel University

    Bsix Brooke House Sixth Form College

    Burton College

    Canterbury Christ Church University

    Cardiff Metropolitan University

    Cardiff University

    Cardonald College

    Carnegie College

    Castlereagh College

    Chichester College

    City College Plymouth

    City of Glasgow College

    City of Sunderland College

    City of Wolverhampton University

    City University London

    College of North West London

    Collegite High

    Coopers Company And Coborn School

    Cumbernauld College

    De Montford University (Leicester)

    Dumfries and Galloway College

    Durham University

    Edge Hill University

    Edinburgh's Telford College

    Exeter College

    Fareham College

    Fitzharrys School

    Forth Valley College

    Glamorgan University

    Glasgow Caledonian University

    Glyndwr University

    Gunnersbury Catholic School

    Haberdashers' Aske's Boys School

    Halesowen College

    Heriot Watt University

    Highdown School and Sixth Form Centre

    Holy Cross College, Bury.

    Imperial College London

    Isle of Wight College/Chichester University

    John Flamsteed Community School

    Ken Stimpson Community School

    Kilmarnock College

    King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys

    King George IV College

    Kings College London

    Kingston University

    Kirkham Grammar School

    Kirkintilloch college

    Lancaster University

    Leeds Metropolitan University

    Leeds University Business School

    Leicester College

    Liverpool Hope University

    Liverpool John Moores University

    London Metropolitan University

    London School of Commerce

    London South Bank University

    Loreto College

    Manchester Metropolitan University

    Meridian Business School

    Mill Hill Country High School

    Monkseaton High School

    Motherwell College

    Newcastle College

    Newcastle University

    Newcastle Upon Tyne University

    Nottingham Trent University

    Oriel High School

    Orkney College

    Paddington Academy

    Queen Marry University of London

    Queens University Belfast

    Ravensbourne

    Reading University

    Reid Kerr College

     

     

    Robert Gordon University

    Runshaw College

    Sheffield University

    Sir John Deane's 6th Form College

    Solihull College

    South Downs College

    South Essex College Basildon Campus

    Southport College

    St Andrews University

    St Leonard's RC Comprehensive School

    St Pauls Catholic College

    St Peter's Sixth Form College

    St Wilfrids Sixth Form

    St.Augustine High School

    Staffordshire University

    Stevenson College

    Sunderland College

    Sutton Coldfield College

    Swansea University

    Teesside University

    The Coopers' Company and Coborn School

    The Grange School

    The Sutton Academy

    The University of Birmingham

    The University of Bradford

    The University of Nottingham

    The University of Salford

    The University of Sheffield

    The University of the West of England

    The University of the West of Scotland

    Titanic Quarters Belfast BMC (Belfast Metropolitan College)

    Torquay Boys' Grammar School

    Trinity Saint David

    Trowbrige Collage

    Tyne Metropolitan College

    UCLAN

    UKE Learning

    University of Aberdeen

    University of Abertay Dundee

    University of Bath

    University of Bedfordshire

    University of Birmingham

    University of Bolton

    University of Bradford

    University of Brighton

    University of Bristol

    University of Cambridge

    University of Central Lancashire

    University College London, UCL

    University of Chester

    University of Derby

    University of Dundee

    University of Durham

    University of Edinburgh

    University of Essex

    University of Glamorgan

    University of Gloucestershire

    University of Greenwich

    University of Hertfordshire

    University of Huddersfield

    University of Hull

    University of Kent

    University of Kingston

    University of Leeds

    University of Leicester

    University of Lincoln

    University of Liverpool

    University of Newcastle upon Tyne

    University of Northumbria

    University of Nottingham

    University of Manchester

    University of Oxford

    University of Plymouth

    University of Reading

    University of Salford

    University of Sheffield

    University of Southampton

    University of St Andrews

    University of Strathclyde

    University of Sunderland

    University of Surrey

    University of Teesside

    University of the West of England

    University of the West of Scotland

    University of Ulster

    University of Wales

    University Of Westminster

    University of Wolverhampton

    University of West London

    West London College

    Wiltshire College

    Woldgate College

    Workington Sixth Form

    Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan, Abergele

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