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!
Windows 8 Code Weekend - 8-9th September – London
A dev4good event in collaboration with TheGivingLab.org and Givey.co.uk this year to bring together talented thinkers, designers and coders from around the UK to work on some real-world issues faced by UK charities.
The technology theme for the event is Windows 8, but no prior knowledge of Windows 8 app development is required. The goals for the weekend are simple. We want to learn how to create Windows 8 apps that could change the way people live their lives.
So if you are a software developer (on any platform), designer, academic, computing student, or are just interested in help out then we need you. It’s going to be a real challenge and sleep will be optional. Are you up for it? If you are, the event registration page is here.
Remember, this is a not-for-profit event being run by volunteers, so you won’t be paid for the work you do. You will, however, get to meet and work with some of the smartest developers and designers in the UK all while doing some real good for society.
How the cloud can help
There are 2 ways your Application can get data
Push and Pull – Maybe Both
Example of a Notification
Downloads and Setup - Windows Azure Toolkits for Devices
Windows Phone - http://bit.ly/watwp7
Android - https://github.com/WindowsAzure-Toolkits/wa-toolkit-android
iOS - https://github.com/WindowsAzure-Toolkits/wa-toolkit-ios
Windows 8 - http://bit.ly/Lcthn1
The Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games is a set of guidance, samples, and tools that helps developers quickly get started building a casual or social game on Windows Azure. https://github.com/WindowsAzure-Toolkits/wa-toolkit-games
Keeping data off the local device and in the cloud
Project Templates, Samples and Libraries Source Code http://watwindows8.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Project%20Templates%2c%20Samples%20and%20Libraries%20Source%20Code&referringTitle=Documentation#
Creating a New Windows 8 Cloud Application http://watwindows8.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Creating%20a%20New%20Windows%208%20Cloud%20Application&referringTitle=Documentation#
Running the Windows 8 Cloud Application http://watwindows8.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Running%20the%20Windows%208%20Cloud%20Application&referringTitle=Documentation#
Using the Windows 8 Cloud Application Services Application http://watwindows8.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Using%20the%20Windows%208%20Cloud%20Application%20Services%20Application&referringTitle=Documentation#
Sample Metro App using Windows Azure Service Bus http://watwindows8.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Sample%20Metro%20App%20using%20Windows%20Azure%20Service%20Bus#
Push Notification Worker Sample http://watwindows8.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Push%20Notification%20Worker%20Sample&referringTitle=Documentation#
Margie's Travel http://watwindows8.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Margie%e2%80%99s%20Travel#
ACS Windows Metro Sample http://watwindows8.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=ACS%20Windows%20Metro%20Sample&referringTitle=Documentation#
How to Deploy Your Services to Windows Azure http://watwindows8.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Appendix%20I%3a%20How%20to%20Deploy%20Your%20Services%20to%20Windows%20Azure%3f#
How to Obtain Namespace and Management Keys http://watwindows8.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Appendix%20II%3a%20How%20to%20Obtain%20Namespace%20and%20Management%20Keys%3f#
More information and details on Windows 8 Tile Notification Types http://bit.ly/A8GuVg
More information and details on Windows 8 Toast Notification Types http://bit.ly/MDHfJ4
More information and details on Windows 8 Badge Notification Types http://bit.ly/LTf4GP
More information and details on Windows 8Geolocation http://bit.ly/rFiLhN
More information and details on Windows 8 Notifications http://bit.ly/NSi8D6
MSDN Developers Portal - http://bit.ly/QNgt58
Windows 8 Developers - http://bit.ly/JH5jOQ
Try these NuGet Packages
Try Windows Azure in Education 150 day Academic Pass and 90 day Student Pass
If you have done any reading about Windows 8, one thing all the press is focusing on is Windows 8 offers and unprecedented opportunity to monetize your developer skills.
Combining the broad reach of Windows which already exists, a new developer platform in the form of Windows Store Apps, best-in-class developer tools Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server, a reimagined user experience with Windows Store, Metro Style Apps, support for new chipsets Intel and RTM, and a built-in Store with industry-leading business terms, with initial revenue share of 70% revenue for you 30 % for Microsoft and 100% in app purchase revenue to you.
Windows 8 is the largest developer opportunity, ever! So lets look at some of the reasons for developers to consider writing applications for the Windows Store.
There is more than 1.25 billion Windows users globally. The market potential for your selling your application is enormous. Clearly, the market for Windows-based applications far outnumbers anything else. Thinking about academia specifically, potential employers will be wanting to recruit students with the skills, experience and portfolio of existing Windows 8 apps to build their latest software releases.
2. The Scale of the Windows Opportunity
Simply put the Windows Store offers a marketplace for your application with a global reach of 200+ markets, 100+ languages, even distribution to enterprise customers. A generous revenue sharing model is in place. Imagine that you keep 70-80% of the revenue share from your application.
3. So what are we doing to help
4. So What type of App should I be building?
5. The Windows Store Ensures Visibility Strong support for search, category browsing, ranking lists, editorial content. The Windows Store features latest, most popular, and fast rising apps.
6. Enterprise Support Don’t limit yourself to consumer apps. Perhaps you have an idea for an Enterprise application. Luckily, the Windows Store will have rich support for deployment and management scenarios. Compliance and security is built in. There is support for direct control over the deployment of Metro style apps.
7. How you make money Your applications can be time-based and feature-based trials, paid apps, including in-app purchases. In-app purchases can help you customize the transaction flow with the customer. Sales analytics can also help you increase your reach.
8. Free Apps - Many choose to offer free applications + an ad model I personally think it makes the most sense to get your application out there as a trial. We have learned from the Windows Phone marketplace that trial versions get 70 times more downloads than paid versions. 10% of those convert to the paid version, typically within a few hours.
1. The Windows Dev Center
2. 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.
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.
The UK IT Pro Team will be back on the road as of September delivering IT Camps to venues up and down the UK. After a brief break during the summer, the team are back to deliver technical content in an IT Camp format, and we are pleased to announce the first set of dates to coincide with the launch of Windows Server 2012.
These hands-on sessions will give you an introduction to Windows Server 2012 and ample opportunity to discuss any specific issues and concerns you may have with Microsoft experts Simon May and Andrew Fryer as well as professional peers working near you.
The agenda will be set by you, but here are some topics that are likely to be covered:
- What’s new in Windows Server 2012
- How to create Virtual Machines
- High availability with clustering
Try Windows Server 2012 If you want to get the most from the camp experience then we advise you download and have a play.
Download Evaluation Version
The Microsoft UK IT Pro team
Questions, comments, feedback? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Or Tweet: @technetuk
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London, 07 September – Cardinal Place
Southampton, 13 September – De Vere New Place
Manchester, 18 September – The Lowry Hotel
Birmingham, 19 September – Etc Venues, Maple House
London, 26 September – Novotel London West
London, 28 September – Etc Venues, One Drummond Gate
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Improve your IT skill set and help advance your career with a free, easy to access training portal. Learn at your own pace, focusing on Microsoft technologies, gain points and get recognition
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
We are pleased to announce new versions of Blend + Sketchflow preview for Visual Studio 2012. Bringing Blend and Visual Studio together offers more value. Blend is a great tool offering a wide variety of designers and developers the ability to quickly and easily build great looking and powerful UI.
These new versions make available capabilities that were previously only available in Expression Blend such as Windows Presentation Foundation, Silverlight and SketchFlow support, unifying the design-centric tools for building Windows Store Apps and Windows desktop apps to Visual Studio users.
This is for evaluation only and none of the platforms contain a go-live license. Therefore you SHOULD use other released versions of Blend for production work.
What is the Blend + Sketchflow Preview for Visual Studio 2012?
Blend for Visual Studio 2012 can help you design user interfaces for applications with robust tools that solve complex design tasks for building Windows Store apps.
The Blend + Sketchflow Preview introduces powerful WYSIWYG design capabilities to Visual Studio developers by providing support for WPF and Silverlight.
What is the difference between Blend + SketchFlow Preview for Visual Studio 2012 and Blend for Visual Studio 2012 RTW? Do I need both?
Blend for Visual Studio 2012 is a unique, innovative authoring tool with rich visual tools for creating Windows store apps using HTML/CSS and XAML. Blend is installed with most versions of Visual Studio 2012.
Blend + SketchFlow Preview for Visual Studio 2012 delivers WPF, Silverlight, and SketchFlow support compatible with Visual Studio 2012. You can install this alongside Visual Studio 2012 RTW.
What is SketchFlow; how does it differ from Storyboarding in Visual Studio 2012?
SketchFlow provides an informal and quick way to explore, iterate and prototype user interface scenarios. SketchFlow is for building working prototypes of software for developers, while the new storyboarding capability allows PowerPoint to be used for capturing lightweight requirements from stakeholders.
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
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
Want to get upto speed on Windows 8 during the summer holidays? Here is a list of camps for you to attend. There are limited numbers at each event so if you want free training, app support and to get ahead of the curve with Windows 8 then you should sign up now!
What to expect:
The Windows 8 Camps have been designed to show you how to build a Windows 8 app. You can tailor the day to make it as personally productive and rewarding as possible. You can work on your own projects with assistance from Windows 8 experts, network with others and also have the option of attending short tutorial sessions on Windows 8 related topics.
The Windows 8 Camps will cover an introductory overview session as well as a range of short tutorial sessions. Short tutorial sessions will include topics such as the basics of the OS and interaction with the OS, Metro style UX with examples in Store apps, The Store and the developer opportunity, the high level view of the platform - i.e. WinRT and the choice around implementation technology, and the tooling - the role of Visual Studio and Expression Blend. In addition, you will learn how you can publish your Windows 8 app into the Windows Store in advance of general release through the Windows 8 App Excellence Labs at this camp.
The Windows 8 Camp will kick off at 9am and officially finish at 6pm, or 9pm for the hardcore attendees
Before you arrive, please ensure you have downloaded:
1) Windows 8 Release Preview installed and running on your machine 2) Visual Studio 2012 Express RC installed
Lastly, please let us know as soon as you can if you cannot make the camp as there will be many developers who are keen to take your spot. Please let us know (via written email) at least 2 days in advance if you are unable to attend the camp or a £20 administration fee will be charged. Please respect the trainers and your fellow delegates by turning up if you have registered and committed.
Thank you and we look forward to seeing you at the Windows 8 Camp. Click here to register for an event near you!
Don't forget we have lots of Windows 8 curricula resources available and additional resources see
Curricula resources via Faculty Connection http://www.microsoft.com/faculty http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uk_faculty_connection/archive/2012/07/09/windows-8-curricula-and-resources-now-at-faculty-connection.aspx
Windows 8 Camp in Box http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uk_faculty_connection/archive/2012/07/16/windows-8-training-camp-in-a-box.aspx
Creating your first Windows 8 Metro Style Design Game http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uk_faculty_connection/archive/2012/07/16/creating-your-first-windows-8-metro-style-design-game.aspx
XNA Developers and Windows8 http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uk_faculty_connection/archive/2012/08/01/xna-developers-and-windows-8.aspx
Get up to speed on Windows 8 in 6 weeks http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uk_faculty_connection/archive/2012/07/24/get-up-to-speed-on-windows-8-in-6-weeks.aspx