The goal of this site is to put relevant and applicable tools and information at the fingertips
With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
We’re excited to announce that the Windows 8 Release Preview and the new developer tools are available to download now.
Check out the Building Windows 8 blog post about the release and review these key resources for developers:
· Hundreds of new and updated design resources, technical articles, and samples for Metro style app development visit the Windows Dev Center:
· Take a look at Windows 8 app developer blog:“What’s changed for app developers since Consumer Preview” for an overview of what’s new in Visual Studio, the platform, and the Dev Center and how to get your existing apps up and running on the Release Preview.
· Windows Store for developers blog “Changes to the Store in Release Preview”.
Over the past few weeks we have been travelling across the country to run Windows 8 events.
So Get started building Windows 8 Apps
1. Apply to join our UK Windows 8 for Application Developer LinkedIn Group.
2. We will reply asking you for some details of what it is you are building and then admit you into the group.
3. You build a great app following the guidance that we have online and which meets the Store certification requirements.
4. We will use the LinkedIn Group to invite you to an Application Excellence Lab at Microsoft in Reading where you’ll work with an engineer to ensure certification requirements are being met and that the app is providing a great experience to the user.
5. You leave the lab with a registration code that lets you begin the app submission process at the Windows Store
Getting Started building an App
Here are some recommended links to help with planning & designing Metro style apps…
· Watch 8 traits of great Metro style apps session from Build, to understand the key platform features and Metro design principles
· Read Planning Metro style apps, which walks you through the planning process to ensure your app has clear goals and a compelling “great at” statement
· If you have an existing site/app, read these design case studies to explore how to reimagine your web site or iPad app using Metro design principles
· Point your designers at the UX guidelines, checklists, PhotoShop templates etc on http://design.windows.com.
Key topics to help you design your first app are:
Grid system and app silhouette
Text and typography
Additionally there is lots of content, tools, samples and downloads on http://dev.windows.com. You can download the app samples and use the forums to ask questions.
Here are set of great Bookmarks in alphabetical order
Imagine Cup 2012 is on its way to Sydney, Australia where the best of the best will come together to find out who will claim this year’s cup. National finals are taking place now around the world as the most elite contenders are selected to compete on-site at the worldwide finals in July. Check out the Imagine Cup blog to find out which teams have advanced to the finals, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest news about which teams will take home the coveted Imagine Cup this year! Be sure to also sign up for news on next year’s elite Imagine Cup competition.
The F# for Education and Innovation workshop will be held at the University of Pisa on June 28, 2012. The free, one-day workshop provides a forum for attendees to learn and explore the use of F# 3.0 for education, research, and industry. Don Syme, from Microsoft Research Cambridge, will present the keynote session. The workshop will highlight the latest developments for information-rich programming in F# 3.0, delivered through Microsoft Visual Studio 11 and Try F#. The workshop is preceded by a free F# tutorial session on June 27. If you are interested in attending this workshop, please register here F# for Education and Innovation Workshop
With only Four weeks to go! TechEd Europe in Amsterdam! Will you be there to get up to speed on Microsoft latest technologies and tool sets? http://europe.msteched.com/
Follow all the latest discussion on Twitter #TEE12
TechEd Europe on Facebook
Reserve Your In-Person Experience At TechEd Europe 2012
With TechEd North America selling out, consider joining thousands of your global peers at TechEd Europe 2012 in Amsterdam, NL from June 26-29th. Use the extra time to plan your travel, organize your agenda, study for exams, arrange connections with others from around the globe, and optimize your in-person attendance at one of Microsoft’s premier technology events. Register now.
Learn All About Running Applications with SQL Server's Data Platform at TechEd Europe
Dive into the 40+ learning opportunities from the Database & Business Intelligence track and see how to get the most from your SQL Server as well as analyze the data using the Microsoft BI platform. Hear from Brent Ozar as he boils it all down to speed in his session Building the Fastest Microsoft SQL Servers. Enjoy the return of BI Power Hour, an entertaining session by Matthew Roche and Riccardo Muti. Explore performance with Denny Cherry in Optimizing Microsoft SQL Server Performance in a Virtual Environment. Spend 75 minutes on the Hadoop stack with Gert Drapers as he speaks on Big Data, Big Deal? And be able to answer, “Who accessed your sensitive tables in the last week?" or "What has your administrator changed in the past month?" after hearing Il-Sung Lee talk about Auditing in Microsoft SQL Server 2012.
Last week Geoff and I attended a number of University graduation showcase events across the country, firstly thank you for the invites and its great to see the outcomes of students projects and the use of Microsoft Technology. A number of students and academics also asked me some interesting questions in relation to the development of Windows 8 and specifically how to include some aspects of Windows 8 Metro into the curriculum. One of the easiest ways of implementing Windows 8 into your teaching is to simply add in a small work item of converting an existing app to Metro as a learning exercise, this may also be great a MSc or MPhil project for an existing application or service.
There are a lot of useful resources out there on porting existing applications to Metro apps, a successfully ported app will of course run beautifully on Windows 8 and this may be a great way of introducing/exposing students to the Metro UI and design principles:
Porting a website
Porting a Windows Phone app
Hope the above give you some food for thought of how you may start thinking about the opportunities of Windows 8 and the Metro UI.
.NET Gadgeteer can be used in schools to help students make gadgets and learn C# programming along the way. These lesson plans give teachers all the material needed to run 8 1-hour sessions using .NET Gadgeteer. You will also need the hardware, details of which are given at http://netmf.com/gadgeteer.
The material consists of 8 sessions relating to 3 projects:
The aim of each session is:
Touchdevelop is an ideal teaching tools for schools, touch develop allows you to program a Windows Phone directly. You do not need a separate PC. Scripts can perform various tasks similar to regular apps. Any TouchDevelop user can install, run, edit, and publish scripts. You can share your scripts with other people by publishing them to the TouchDevelop script bazaar, or by submitting them as an app to the Windows Phone Marketplace.
How its being used for Education
Ninety eighth-grade students at Mill Creek Middle School in Kent, Washington, learned how to write smartphone programs with TouchDevelop, a Microsoft Research programming environment that enables users to create and test programs on Windows Phone. Most of the students had no prior experience with programming, but after tinkering with TouchDevelop for an hour, students came up with a variety of innovative and fun programs that they proudly demonstrated to their peers.http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=157112&s=0&e=150
Teach TouchDevelop Resources
Resources and Book on TouchDevelopment
In recent months Cloud has become a hot topic. But what is it? What are the implications for business and how do you train or up-skill staff to deal with it? If you want to know what Cloud is and is not, City & Guilds is providing the opportunity to meet and listen to key players in the world of Cloud. Major Vendors from the industry will provide an insight in how to handle Cloud, while leading Industry Certification partners will show what they are offering in terms of learning and assessment.
People do not have to be technically minded to be affected by Cloud, but many presume it is complicated and requires major change to infrastructure. The City & Guilds ICT Conference will help you decide if they are right and provide the opportunity to find support for other areas of ICT learning.
What's the event about?
Knowledge and practical actions to show what City & Guilds and its Vendor partners have to help centres, employers and learners get to grips with Cloud and other aspects of learning ICT for users and professionals.
Who should attend?
ICT/Business Management Tutors, Curriculum Leaders, Heads of Department for ICT and Business, whether in an FE College or Private Training Provider. Also businesses that are trying to understand what Cloud is all about and to find centres that can help in this and other areas of ICT training...
Location - Microsoft Offices, Reading
Date - 26 June 2012
Event Code - MST260612RD
To book simply click here using the event references above. If you have any queries, please contact Sue Bridge, Customer Support Events Coordinator on 01924 206777 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I had a interesting discussion this morning with a business school looking at introducing Mobile App development one of the key things within their assessment is the proof of prototypes and wireframes we got onto discussing the opportunity and advantages of using Microsoft Expression, SketchFlow.
SketchFlow addresses three pain points in software sketching and prototyping:
It makes it easier to experiment with ideas for dynamic user interaction. It facilitates communication of design ideas and intent between designers and other stakeholders. It makes it easier to gather, evaluate and use stakeholder feedback on design ideas.
The mission of the Expression team is to help designers to create great user experiences. We believe that this mission needs to begin with the early exploration phases of design. SketchFlow,
SketchFlow is a set of tools for Expression Blend to create sketches and prototypes of interactive content and applications, giving Blend a new role in pre-production and design phases of the development process.
SketchFlow is informal and quick, enabling you to sketch out plentiful ideas for dynamic interactions in a cost effective manner. SketchFlow also supports the evolution of your rough sketches into living and breathing prototypes that can be as real as you need them to be.
SketchFlow is part of Expression Blend so FREE from www.dreamspark.com
Throughout the software industry, we historically have not spent much effort on the earlier stages of design. This lack of upfront investment in design often leads to increased cost due to a need for expensive rework at a later stage and to products that may not satisfy our customers.
Great design for software needs a great design process, and ways to make the exploration, communication and evaluation of interaction and design fast and effective are an important part of great process.
Sketching, and, at a slightly later stage of the design process, prototyping, are wonderful techniques to explore a multitude of ideas quickly, without excessive investment and emotional attachment. Software interaction is highly dynamic, and over the last years we have consistently have pushed more in the direction of rich, dynamic visuals and interaction methods. Expectations have risen greatly. However, it is far from easy to create meaningful design studies and sketches of dynamic interactivity entirely with traditional tools. There are many reasons for that, including the fact that most design tools have been created as production tools, focused on the creation of final production assets, where precision, quality and finish matter. Another reason is that most tools still treat UI as something that is just a small derivation from an otherwise static comp.
SketchFlow provides a way to showcase your prototype to others using the SketchFlow Player. The SketchFlow Player allows you to explore the prototype from the first moment on, even while it consists of nothing but a few rough sketches. The player lets you navigate your prototype, run animations that illustrate how your prototype might work, or switch into different states of your UI, all without wiring up actual UI elements. This lowers the cost of evaluating ideas in early stages before much expense has been incurred.
But showing a prototype to others is only part of the review process, so the SketchFlow Player provides tools to collect feedback from reviewers. Reviewers can provide feedback either as text, like the comments in the Feedback tab in the screenshot below, or as ink, like the red arrow in the screenshot below. Then you can incorporate this feedback into the prototype using the Feedback panel in Expression Blend, allowing you to iterate on your design using suggestions from your team.
Tutorials on Sketchflow http://www.microsoft.com/design/toolbox/school/tutorials.aspx
For more information, watch a video on Sketchflow