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!
So if you don't like the all White look of Visual Studio 2012 you can now customize the Visual Studio 2012 colour palette, with a FREE extension.
This extension is supported for Visual Studio 2012 Professional and higher.
Simply download the extension here to select the theme.
To use the new theme colour, within Visual Studio simply choose the theme and select the colour scheme desired.
ALT-C is an annual conference for learning technologists. This year it will be held at the University of Manchester on 11th – 13th September and Microsoft and Collabco will be exhibiting here for the first time.
Collabco will be supporting the Microsoft exhibition at the ALT Conference, showcasing the work that we have carried out at Blackpool & the Fylde College. The project involved adding value to an Office 365 for education solution for the college. Collabco’s Hub Metro solution, is a SharePoint 2010 based solution. It pulls together the essential elements of Office 365 for education, such as e-mail, MySites and calendars, together with the systems students need access to on a daily basis such as timetable, Moodle, e-payments and library systems.
Giving students (and ultimately staff) this “single pane” view of all the systems they need, with seamless access to the collaboration tools in SharePoint and Office 365 for education, delivers a compelling solution. This addresses many of the college’s requirements of an integrated learning platform and helps to further integrate Moodle into the delivery of learning to students. The college is able to customise the look and feel of the platform and add further connectors to new systems as they are brought on stream.
A further phase of the project will allow the college to deliver all of this information easily to the students mobile devices and smartphone, allowing them to be kept fully up to date and informed of assignment deadlines, overdue library books, room changes and other useful information.
With Windows 8 Live tiles on the Windows Start screen display information from your website and service and turn your app into a real time awareness engine - even when it’s not running. Your services and your app, will grab your users’ attention and keep them informed of the latest announcements and updates.
Windows 8 gives you the opportunity as an educational institution huge potential by personalising the learning and interactions with your students, the ability to list your apps in the Windows Store to current and potential students of your institution allows you to reach millions of potential applicants, learners or associated partners.
Further details of Microsoft Windows 8 development http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/windows8
Running Moodle on Windows Azure
Integrating Moddle and Live@edu
Running Opensource Applications on Azure
Building Custom Office or SharePoint apps
Windows Azure Educator and Student Passes for teaching, learning and research
Building Mobile Application with cloud services
So if you’re interested in exploring the use of any of these drop by the Microsoft stand for chat.
Windows Server 2012 Training & Certification Now Available to all Microsoft IT Academy members
if your interested in IT Academy please visit http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/itacademy/
1) Certifications and official Microsoft training and certifications are now available for Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, Private Cloud, Windows Store Application
In addition to this we now have new structure for Microsoft Technical Certifications
With a dedicated number of suitable examinations for the FE/HE education market which adds added value to the student experience and curriculum content aligning your courses with employees requirements.
2) Windows Server Certification and examination tracks
3) Microsoft Second Shot promotion is active so students (and lecturers) get a FREE retake if they do not pass first time for more info click here
4) Courseware available for Windows Server 2012 is now available to all Microsoft IT Academy members
Module 1: Managing a Windows Server 2012 Infrastructure
•What's New in Server Manager
•Introducing IP Address Management
•PowerShell and Server Core Enhancements
•What’s New in Active Directory
•Introducing Dynamic Access Control
Module 2: Network, Storage, and Service Access in Windows Server 2012
•What's New in Remote Access
•New and Improved Networking Technologies
Module 3: Server Virtualization in Windows Server 2012
•What’s New in Networking
•Introducing Hyper-V Replica
•What’s New in Live Migration
•What’s New in Guest Clustering and VM Monitoring
First Look Clinic Syllabus
Hands On Lab Syllabus
5) Microsoft IT Academy now includes a number of enhanced resources including new online digital content and resources for more information click here
Click Here for the FREE E-Book on Windows Server 2012
Well this week marked another important milestone for Microsoft with the release of Windows Server 2012, on Tuesday 4th of September, Microsoft made the official announcement of Windows Server 2012 you watch all the content at http://www.windows-server-launch.com
What’s new in Server 2012
Microsoft has positioned this as a very cloud-friendly OS. So its more important then ever to start ensuring your teaching cloud fundamentals to your students to help with this we have dedicated curriculum at http://www.microsoft.com/faculty
Here are some of the new features.
So, what are the press and analyst saying about Windows Server 2012?
Windows Server 2012 offers a major step in function capabilities aligned with several major strategic trends for both Microsoft and the rest of the industry.
The team at Forrester posted a blog titled, “Microsoft Announces Windows Server 2012,” Here are just a few quotes.
On the release of Windows Server 2012 as a whole:
“Make no mistake, this is a really major restructuring of the OS, and a major step in function capabilities aligned with several major strategic trends for both Microsoft and the rest of the industry. While Microsoft’s high level message is centered on the cloud, and on the Windows Server 2012 features that make it a productive platform upon which both enterprises and service providers can build a cost-effective cloud, its features will be immensely valuable to a wide range of businesses.”
“There is no doubt that this is the most significant jump in OS capabilities since Microsoft first introduced Windows as a server OS.”
Forrester Says Evaluate Windows Server 2012 NOW:
“But, and this is critical, you must begin to evaluate and pilot it even if you are still completing your rollout of Windows Server 2008, as many Forrester clients still are. My guess is that WS2012 is the future of Windows OS, and will probably serve as the core of Microsoft’s strategy for the next decade. I doubt their ability to produce a radical upgrade to this in the next four or five years, and even the next version of the OS is likely to look like WS2012. This implies that you need to understand how this new OS will change and enable your strategic IT road map, particularly since the new OS has features and capabilities that, if properly exploited by you (or by your competitors), could generate real competitive differentiation such as the ability to deploy applications more rapidly, manage them more efficiently, etc.”
What does this mean For IT Students and curricula?
Firstly if your teaching infrastructure, administration, storage, cloud or virtualisation its critical, that you begin to evaluate and become familiar with Windows Server 2012. As academics you have a number of ways of doing this.
1. Download a trial version from http://www.windows-server-launch.com
2. Download and install a full version for FREE for teaching, learning and research in your labs and computer clusters from DreamSpark Premium – http://www.dreamspark.com
3. Point your students at www.dreamspark.com and get them to install windows server 2012 and get familiar. For further details and FAQ click here
The key thing is that understand how this new OS will change and enable your strategic curricula roadmap, particularly since the new OS has features and capabilities that, could generate real competitive differentiation for your student employability giving them experience of skills such as the ability to deploy applications more rapidly, manage them more efficiently have experience of the Windows Azure IaaS, PaaS and SaaS options and virtualisation using HyperV.
1. You should evaluate this new release.
2. Make use of FREE training resources for your IT Services and support teams at https://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/
3. Attend one of our FREE IT Camps to get deeper understanding of Windows Server 2012 http://uktechdays.cloudapp.net/it-camps.aspx
4. Make use of the curricula and teaching resources at http://www.microsoft.com/faculty
5. Consider running older OS and software stacks within a VM, particularly given the improvements to the overall Hyper-V environment.
6. If your contemplating a major new cloud or virtualization project or initiative, Windows Server 2012 should be the platform of choice, simply because of the FREE licensing options for teaching, learning and research as part of DreamSpark premium.
To drive innovation and business opportunities in Finland's mobile ecosystem and beyond, Microsoft Corporations and Nokia invested up to 9 million euros into "AppCampus" program -a newly established mobile application development program at Aalto University during the next three years. The AppCampus program has been set up to foster the creation of innovative mobile applications for the Windows Phone ecosystem, and in addition, Nokia platforms, including Symbian and Series 40, to create a new generation of self-sustaining mobile startups.
Kicked off in May 2012, AppCampus is led and managed by Aalto University, which has a growing reputation as a hotbed of new startup companies. AppCampus is intended to attract thousands of application proposals from students and entrepreneurs from all over the world.
Apart from investing 20,000 – 70,000 euros per project, AppCampus also supports the admitted applicants with comprehensive support, training in mobile technology, design and usability, and funding to create innovative new mobile apps and services. Windows Phone Marketplace and Nokia Store offer local and global business opportunities to program participants via distribution to consumers around the world.
We don't take equity or commission from the investment. Successful applications are expected to be available exclusively on Windows Phone and other Nokia platforms for the first six months.
For more details see http://www.appcampus.fi
The simple answer is they can use this index to quickly find the user experience (UX) guidelines that can help you create a great Windows 8 style app.
This PDF file.
Windows 8 UI style apps are the focal point of the user experience on Windows 8, and great apps share an important set of traits that provide a consistent, elegant, and compelling user experience.
Use touch interactions that keep the user in control and confident, and leverage the screen or device edge so people can confidently find commands. See Touch interaction design.
These features help you create great experiences for every form factor and every viewing option your users have.
Contracts are the glue that binds Metro style apps together and to the system UI. Two apps that have implemented the same contract can work together to complete a broad or complex scenario. Some contracts are represented by charms. See a complete list of app contracts.
Capabilities identify the device features your app uses.
A tile is the front door into an app. Sitting on the Start screen, it is an extension of the app and can provide much more personal and engaging information than a traditional icon. Invest in designing a great tile to draw people into your app.
Provide fresh content through live tiles and notifications to let people feel connected to your app. Make sure you help your users connect with the people and devices that they care about.
Design your app's UI to showcase the content. Minimize distraction and help people get immersed in the content by leaving only the most relevant elements on screen. Following these guidelines will help you provide a consistent, elegant, and compelling user experience.
Text and input
Create a continuous experience across devices by roaming data and settings that lets people pick up a task right where they left off and that preserves the UX they care most about, regardless of the device they're using.
Every app should always have a solid foundation in order to reach as many people as possible.
Teaching Curricula see http://www.microsoft.com/faculty
Windows 8 resources for UK Developers see http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/windows8
Windows 8 resources for Gaming Developer see http://www.ubelly.com/gaming
Applications are now open!
The Microsoft Student Partner Programme recognises top young minds from around the world that are passionate about technology. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop real-world skills to help you succeed in your future career, to help others learn about the technology of today and tomorrow, and to connect with other like-minded students, all whilst having a ton of fun along the way. The program is our way of encouraging students who are interested in building a closer relationship with Microsoft, and those who are simply hooked on technology, or talking about it to others to develop their skills further.
CLICK HERE TO APPLY!
So what exactly is a Microsoft Student Partner?
As a team MSPs are responsible for helping students and start-ups design, create and publish great quality apps for Windows 8, Windows Azure and Windows Phone.
An MSP’s role is to help us achieve this by:
So we are looking for students who:
We do want to encourage discussion and debate about technology and hence your experiences and opinions are extremely valuable. If you want to share your passion and develop industry-leading skills, we want to hear from you.
What will you get in return?
As part of your role as an MSP you will receive the following
How do we select MSPs?
The application process will open in August 2012 and we’ll review applications in September. Subsequent selection will take place until the end of December 2012.
To consider applying for the MSP Program, you must be:
What are we looking for?
All MSPs should have the following basic qualities:
What’s the fine print?
How to apply?
Applications for the 2012-2013 Academic Year are now open. To apply for the Microsoft UK MSP programme, please refer to the competencies required and the responsibilities above.
Complete the application form by clicking here.
·You will need to provide contact details from an academic member of your department or the professional who you have worked with in the technology industry
For all questions regarding the Microsoft UK program, please email email@example.com
The RTM versions of Visual Studio 2012 require developer activation to enable the developer to develop a Windows Store application.
This activation is via a registered LiveID/Microsoft Account, and simply enrols VS2012 for a 90 day development license.
I have a had a number of question how do we do this?
The process you must be undertaken by a local admin on the desktop, you must also have access to Visual Studio and register your LiveID/MicrosoftID against the machines copy of Visual Studio 2012..
To enable you to undertake the activation on a large scale deployment such as University or college lab environment here are some tips
We are in the process of producing necessary documentation and white papers but In the meantime the following FAQ is helpful:
· Does the developer license only have to be acquired/renewed in relation to Windows Store app development? Yes. To be precise: You need the developer license to install, develop, test and evaluate new style apps BEFORE you submit them to the Window Store. To be able to submit an app to the Windows Store, you'll need to open a separate Windows Store developer account through the developer website.
· Is the license per user or per machine? Per User and machine, see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh974578.aspx
· It seems that you have to have local administrator privileges to renew the license, is that correct? YES
· Is the renewal of the license something that could be automated by an administrator via remotely deployed PowerShell scripts? YES, see section "Getting a developer license at a command prompt" at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh974578.aspx
· How can I use a DreamSpark account? Here is how to associate your DreamSpark account to a Microsoft account and also get a developer license for Windows Phone/Xbox development http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uk_faculty_connection/archive/2012/02/29/dreamspark-and-apphub-account-creation-simplified.aspx
The Kinect for Windows team announced our Fall Roadmap today on our blog.
It includes an SDK update that we will release on October 8th.
In addition to making Kinect for Windows hardware available in seven new markets this autumn, we will be releasing an update to the Kinect for Windows runtime and software development kit (SDK) on October 8.
So what is included in the update
This release has numerous new features that deliver additional power to Kinect for Windows developers and business customers. We will share the full details when it’s released on October 8, but in the meantime here are a few highlights:
· Enable businesses to do more with Kinect for Windows We are committed to opening up even more opportunities for the creation of new end user experiences. We’ll be adding features such as expanded sensor data access—including colour camera settings and extended depth data—to continue to inspire innovative uses of the Kinect for Windows technology in new and different places.
· Improve developer efficiency We continue to invest in making our platform easier and more powerful for developers. That’s why we’ll be releasing more tools and samples in October, such as a new sample that demonstrates a “best in class” UI based on the Kinect for Windows Human Interface Guidelines.
· Extend our Windows tools and operating system support We want to make it easy for our customers to be able to build and deploy on a variety of Windows platforms. Our October update will include support for Windows 8 desktop applications, Microsoft .NET 4.5, and Microsoft Visual Studio 2012.
So let me know what exciting projects your working on using the Microsoft Kinect for windows SDK.
Windows Azure Educator Grants are a great way for you and your students to get access to Azure for the duration of your class. These passes are available for faculty teaching Azure.
Azure in Education Passes
· 5 month passes for PAAS: Any educator may apply online requesting access, and sharing the course name he/she is teaching, and how many students/passes they are requesting.
· NEW 5 Month passes teach with IAAS: Premium services will be enabled, to include 3 core = 2 small VMs (Windows or Linux VMs.), 10 Free Website/ Media Services(TBC)..
· NEW 12 month passes for Educators. Any educator applying for a grant, will receive an educator pass that is 12-months long and renewable, as part of their class request.
· Imagine Cup Passes – Competitors will be offered passes
For additional questions or special requests email AzureU@microsoft.com