Faculty Connection is an online set of real-world resources and shared peer knowledge, the goal of the Faculty Connection site is to put relevant and applicable tools and information at the fingertips of technology educators.
The UK Academic Team is responsible for offering IT students and faculty members free access to software, for enhancing knowledge and skills by providing curriculum materials and other learning opportunities, for helping students achieve their dreams by organizing an international competition, and finally for assisting last year students through career resources and job opportunities at our customers and partners.
With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
Due to the number of comments I have had on this post, I just wanted to confirm what products will be available under DreamSpark for students.
MSDN Subscriber Downloads: August 15th, 2012
Visual Studio 2012 and Windows 8 are available as of, August 15th, on MSDN Subscriber Downloads to DreamSpark Subscribers.
To confirm DreamSpark Premium Subscription Program Administrators may follow these steps to get immediate access to the software:
1) Visit http://msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions/downloads
2) Sign in with the Windows Live ID associated with their DreamSpark Subscription
3) Search for the product of choice and click on “Download”
4) To acquire product keys the administrator may click on “Product Keys” and “Get Key” for applicable SKUs.
a. Note: Not all Visual Studio 2012 SKUs require a product key.
5) The file will be downloaded in .iso format.
a. Click here for instructions on how to use .iso files.
Please see the SKU Availability Matrix below for specifics on which products will be available on DreamSpark.com, and through DreamSprk Premium ELMS Institutional WebStores. The SKUs highlighted in red will be available starting August 25th, with the remaining releasing in a week thereafter, To confirm, Windows desktop operating systems are only available to students at education institutions which have purchased a DreamSpark premium subscription for STEM based disciplines .
Note: these SKUs will be available in the following languages on the 25th, English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese-Brazil, Russian, Chinese Simplified, and Chinese Traditional, with rolling releases of additional languages following on a week after:
For Visual Studio SKUs a separate Portuguese-Brazil language pack will be required, and will also be available on the 25th.
Visual Studio Professional 2012
Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web
Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows
Visual Studio Premium 2012
Visual Studio Ultimate 2012
Visual Studio TFS Express 2012
Visual Studio TFS Server 2012
Team Explorer for Visual Studio 2012
Team Explorer Everywhere for TFS
Windows 8 Debug/Checked Build
Windows 8 Enterprise
August the 1st marked a important day for academic institutions wishing to use/teach Windows 8 in the next academic session.
Windows 8 reached Release to Manufacturing, Windows 8 is now being issued to all PC OEM and manufacturing partners.
More details http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/08/01/releasing-windows-8-august-1-2012.aspx
So over the next few days/weeks you will see the availability of exciting new models of PCs loaded with Windows 8 and online availability of Windows 8 on October 26, 2012.
More details http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/08/01/windows-8-has-reached-the-rtm-milestone.aspx
Developers can visit the Windows Dev Center to get access to all the tools and resources they need to design, build, and sell apps in the Windows Store. While all apps during the preview phases were free, at RTM developers can begin charging for apps, so those with access to RTM bits will begin to see paid apps appear in the Windows Store.
Also, Windows Server 2012 has been released to manufacturing.
On September 4. That’s when Windows Server 2012 will be generally available for evaluation and download by all customers around the world. On that day we will also host an online launch event where our executives, engineers, customers and partners will share more about how Windows Server 2012 can help organizations of all sizes realize the benefits of what we call the Cloud OS. You will be able to learn more about the features and capabilities and connect with experts and peers. You’ll also be able to collect points along the way for the chance to win some amazing prizes. You don’t want to miss it. Visit this site to save the date for the launch event.
More details http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsserver/archive/2012/08/01/windows-server-2012-released-to-manufacturing.aspx
A large number of the UK’s Universities and colleges have been using XNA since 2004 within gaming course curricula on Windows, XBox and Windows Phone. We have a huge set of Free curricula resources for XNA game development at http://www.microsoft.com/faculty
XNA over the last 7 years has provide a number of students and indie game developers with an impressive content pipeline, game assets, load functionality, animation, math, sound and user input tracking via gamepad, mouse, keyboard and touch with game logic organized in a straightforward game loop architecture, more recently we have also added curricula for XNA and Kinect.
Within education XNA has been a huge driver for a number of students and developers who wanted to learn how to create games. XNA along with Visual Studio made it as easy as File –> New –> XNA Game Studio Project and you were off developing.
Since Windows 8 is built on the strong foundation of Windows 7, any app built for Windows will run in the Windows 8 desktop environment. This includes apps based on XNA, Win32, .NET, WPF, Silverlight, etc.
Windows 8 also introduces a new type of app called a Metro Style App for developers that wish to make their app available in the Windows 8 Store, for free or for sale. Using Visual Studio 2012, you have a language choice of C++, XAML with C#, VB or C++, or HTML5/JS to create a Metro Style App.
Using the XNA Framework is not a choice for building a Metro Style App. Official Microsoft guidance on game development is documented here.
Windows 8 allows you too build highly immersive games using HTML5/JS, XAML/C#, XAML/VB or C++ and DirectX.
However a number of you have already stressed too me, that you and your students have been developing with XNA and have an existing code base, or would like to import existing XNA games too Windows 8 your only option it would seem is running as a desktop app.
This is where MonoGame comes in…
MonoGame is an Open Source implementation of the Microsoft XNA 4 Framework. The goal is to allow XNA developers on Windows & Windows Phone to port their games to the iOS, Android, Mac OS X, Linux with both PlayStation Suite and Windows 8 support currently under development.
NOTE : This project is not linked with Microsoft or any of it subsidiaries. It is a non-profit, open source project. MonoGame is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL)
NOTE : This project is not linked with Microsoft or any of it subsidiaries. It is a non-profit, open source project. MonoGame is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL)
MonoGame provides a cross platform XNA Framework implementation for XNA developers who want to take their code to non-Microsoft platforms as well as the ability, to target Windows 8.
MonoGame for Windows 8 you can take your XNA code and with a recompile and some additional features too simply create a Metro Style App for example Armed within the Windows Store uses MonoGame. I have too stress MonoGame is still under development and so any use of it should come with a note of advice to stay on top of that effort.
In order to provide a complete implementation of XNA on Windows 8, MonoGame leverages SharpDX , an open-source project delivering the full DirectX API for managed code (.NET) and Windows 8 (WinRT). SharpDX is an open-source project, free of charge available under the following MIT License.
Windows 8 RTM is available for developers and new developer content based upon RTM is now available in the Windows Dev Center: http://dev.windows.com.
The Windows 8 RTM is available for developers blog details how to get a 90 day evaluation version of Windows 8 RTM if you’re not part of TechNet, MSDN or DreamSpark Premium for institutional administrators.
The Windows Dev Center, now contains brand new overviews and migration guides for apps built on RP as well as..
The Windows engineering and Windows Store teams are blogging regularly at the following sites
· Windows 8 app developer blog: Get coding and design best practices and tips, and updates on events and offers for developers.
· Windows Store for developers blog: Get all the latest news on doing business in the Windows Store.
Today marked an exciting day, we announced via S. Somasegar’s blog post and Jason Zander’s blog post that MSDN subscribers including DreamSpark premium institutional administrators now have access to Visual Studio 2012. DreamSpark subscribers can download and install Visual Studio 2012 later this month once its made available.
Additionally we confirmed that we will be having a Virtual Launch Event on September 12, 2012 for Visual Studio 2012 please see further details at http://visualstudiolaunch.com.
So from today all versions of Visual Studio 2012, including Visual Studio Professional, Premium, Test Professional, and Ultimate. Additionally, Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio Express for Web, Visual Studio Express for Windows 8, and Team Foundation Server Express are now available.
So What is new in Visual Studio 2012?
Visual Studio 2012 includes numerous updates to simplify the development experience, help teams collaborate more effectively, and delight end-users across a variety of devices. Although there are too many features to highlight here, below are a few key new features:
· Improved web development tooling with Page Inspector and DOM Explorer
· Support for Microsoft’s latest platforms including Windows 8.
· Visual Studio Light Switch and Blend for Visual Studio are included giving developers access to rapid application tools and designer surfaces.
· Write simplified asynchronous code using the .NET Framework 4.5
· Take team collaboration to the cloud with Team Foundation Service Preview or on-premise with the latest version of Team Foundation Server.
· Improved support for SharePoint development
There have been some changes to the Visual Studio SKUs, what is the current line up?
We are always focused on providing the right products to meet the needs of our various customers. For Visual Studio 2012 we have the following SKUs.
· Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate
· Visual Studio 2012 Premium
· Visual Studio 2012 Professional
· Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012
· Visual Studio Test Professional 2012
We have also simplified our Visual Studio Express SKUs so developers can focus on the latest Microsoft platforms.
· Visual Studio 2012 Express for Web
· Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows 8
· Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Express 2012
Where do I go to get Visual Studio 2012?
There are a variety of ways to buy Visual Studio 2012. MSDN, DreamSpark Premium and DreamSpark subscribers will get it as part of their subscription. . Enterprise and volume licensing customers can get Visual Studio 2012 through their existing channels.
For developers that would like to purchase Visual Studio without going through an MSDN subscription, they can get it through a Microsoft Academic resellers:
· S. Somasegar’s blog post and Jason Zander’s blog post
· Visual Studio 2012 Launch Event
· Visual Studio Website
So what will OEM Windows 8 machine be like?
Samsung held an event yesterday to announce a trio of Windows 8 PCs - ATIV Tab, ATIV Smart PC and ATIV Smart PC Pro – and a Windows 8 Phone. So if you are interested in what Windows 8 OEM Find out more about the Samsung ATIV range
What about other vendors?
For other vendors offering you can check out the Microsoft News Center Gallery of OEM's offerings. There will be more to come, over the next few weeks as we approach the GA of Windows 8 26th October 2012
So what about apps?
If your interested in building or learning more about Windows 8 application development then you need to visit this new Microsoft UK Site which contains all the necessary information
Welcome to the Windows Azure Mobile Services public preview. Windows Azure Mobile Services is a turnkey backend solution to accelerate your connected client app development for common application scenarios such as structured storage, user authentication and push notifications all within minutes. I wanted to share some key information and resources for mobile services so that you can start to include it in your curriculum and academic activities for the coming year.
The Windows Azure Mobile Services preview aims to make it incredibly for developers to create turnkey backend cloud service for Windows 8 applications in minutes. If there is nothing else you do please spend 10 minutes watching the Introduction to Windows Azure Mobile Services by Scott Guthrie
To summarize you can use Windows Azure Mobile Services to:
· Create a simple and secure backend service to handle common tasks and free yourself to focus on the front end that your users value.
· Incorporate structured storage, user authentication and push notification scenarios into your app in minutes.
· This first public preview is designed specifically for Windows 8. Future updates will include support for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
More information is also available on Scotts blog Announcing Windows Azure Mobile Services
One of the key things that we’ve consistently heard from developers and you about using Windows Azure with mobile applications is the need for a low cost and simple offer. The simplest way to describe the pricing for Windows Azure Mobile Services at preview is that it is the same as Windows Azure Websites during preview.
Sign up for the free trial or add Mobile Services preview to your existing subscription
· Run up to 10 Mobile Services for free in a multitenant environment
· Free with valid Windows Azure Free Trial
o 1GB SQL Database
o Unlimited ingress
o 165MB/day egress
· Scaling up to dedicated VMs
· Once Windows Azure Free Trial expires - SQL Database and egress
Today academics and students developer can get started with the Mobile Services preview from WindowsAzure.com via Windows Azure for Educators trials which has been updated to include dedicated pages for mobile developers to highlight Mobile Services and link out to tutorials and resources that will help developers get started. The tutorials and resources are provided that support the three key Windows 8 + Windows Azure application scenarios Data, Auth and Push Notifications. In addition to this the pricing calculator has also been updated for mobile services.
The Windows 8 Camp In a Box resource that includes presentations, hands-on-labs and samples that is used by both the Windows 8 Developer community.
Check out the Windows Azure developer Windows Azure Training Kit.
· Presentation: New Building Connected Windows 8 Apps with Windows Azure Mobile Services with accompanying demo scripts
· Hands On Lab : New Getting Started with Windows Azure Mobile Services
The following popular Channel 9 shows are available with more coming shortly
·Announcing Windows Azure Mobile Services by Scott Guthrie
I am getting a lot of requests from the academic community for what support we are providing them for adopting the new Windows Server 2012? Another question is in regards to the alignment of training? and how can this be aligned into curricula? with the launch of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 Release to Manufacturing ‘RTM’
I have talked a lot about Windows Resources in the past few blogs including our full curricula resources at http://www.microsoft.com/faculty
In specific to Windows Server 2012 we have two specific certification paths MCSA/MCSE and we now have all the course materials available for your courses this academic year.
The Windows Server 2012 MCSA now becomes the core starting point for a student’s career in IT, providing a platform for multiple paths including Server & Desktop Infrastructure, Private Cloud etc.
Here are some key pointers:
NEW MCT Prep-Kits
· MCT One Note Trainer Pack and 45 min video on www.mctvirtualsummit.com
· Activate your FREE MCT membership through IT Academy now!
MCT Download Centre
· MCT Prep versions of Windows Server 2012 Microsoft Official Curricula available
· WS2012 JumpStart Videos here
· Free MS Press Book, Introducing Windows Server 2012 here
· Information on the new MCSA exams for Windows Server 2012, inc. upgrade paths here
We have also just launched the new www.coursewaremarketplace.com service yesterday which now includes Windows Server 2012 content.
This includes new features like:
- Digital and Printed content (digital discounts)
- Collaboration features for note taking and annotations across classes
- E-reading software supported by multiple platforms and browsers
- Includes Windows 8 App at W8 launch
Over the past few weeks, I have had a few questions around the ability of Windows Azure http://www.windowsazure.com/education to run non Windows operating systems. In this post I will explain the process of installing Linux on Windows Azure.
Firstly some key facts about Windows Azure support for Linux
Creating a virtual machine that is running the Linux operating system is easy when you use the image gallery in the Windows Azure Preview Management Portal. With no prior experience with Windows Azure, you can create a virtual machine running the Linux operating system in the cloud that you can access and customize.
Images are provided by these trusted members of the Linux community:
Here is a step by step walkthrough adapted from Bruno Terkaly Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/b/brunoterkaly
Select a flavour of Linux
Selecting a flavour of Linux
Specifying Linux VM Details
Your Virtual Machine Running (Portal)
Understanding the Dashboard, Endpoints, and Configuration
How to open endpoints to your Linux VM
Opening a TCP port
Working with Putty
Your terminal screen to your Linux VM
What if you already have a Linux Sever you simply want to move to the cloud?
Here is a quick step by step guide for creating and Uploading a Virtual Hard Disk that Contains the Linux Operating System
You create a virtual machine in Windows Azure by using a virtual hard disk (VHD) file. You can choose to create a virtual machine by using a VHD file that is supplied for you in the Image Gallery, or you can choose to create your own image and upload it to Windows Azure in a VHD file.
Choose one of the partners below for help creating Linux virtual machines in Windows Azure:
Learn how to create your own virtual hard drive (VHD) with a Linux operating system on it, and then upload it and use it to create a Linux virtual machine in Windows Azure.
There was some very interesting news this week for the hundreds of UK Gaming course and thousands of UK gaming students from the Unite 12 conference in Amsterdam.
An announcement was made by Unity CEO that the Unity games engine is to support Microsoft's Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, after an update to version 4 of the multiplatform tool.
The news emerged during the opening keynote of the Unite 12 Unity user conference this week in Amsterdam where David Helgason, CEO of Unity Technologies. Stated “Our mission at Unity has always been to provide solutions for developers to effortlessly bring their work to as many different platforms as possible,The Unity community has been asking for access to Windows Phones and have been eagerly anticipating the release of Windows 8. We’re happy to announce that we will support both.”
The number of high quality Unity-authored games for the PC, Xbox, and mobile devices already created is staggering and we’re looking forward to seeing these products appear in the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Marketplace. So if your an existing Unity developer or academic teaching Unity this is great news to allow your students to develop and make available apps on a multitude of OS’s. No date has been confirmed for the update, but Unity 4 Pre Order are now open via http://unity3d.com/
Another interesting announcement was also made for existing Unity and Visual Studio Users by Syntax Tree with a product called UnityVS.
Simply put UnityVS is a Visual Studio plugin for programmers using Unity. It lets you write and debug your scripts inside Visual Studio. for more details see http://unityvs.com/
At http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh452780.aspx we list options for developing Windows 8 games.