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With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
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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.
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
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
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
This week sees the launch of Visual Studio 2012. On the 12th of Sept we launch Visual Studio 2012 with Jason Zander CVP who will be presenting the keynote.
This is where the development of apps really starts! Visual Studio 2012 is the most significant Tools product we have ever launched and has been 18 months in the making.
Visual Studio 2012 is key to enabling Agile software development.
Tim Anderson has been recently been undertaking interviews for The Register and The Guardian. If you’re not familiar with his work then you can see the first review he has written here: Visual Studio 2012: 50 Shades of Grey by Microsoft
The launch of Visual Studio 2012 on the 12th of September will be streamed on line: http://www.visualstudiolaunch.com/vs2012vle/Home
Visual Studio 2012 Roadshow
During the first week of Oct the UK Visual Studio team will be travelling the country bringing the launch experience to Edinburgh, Manchester, London and Reading. Further details about the Roadshow can be found here: Visual Studio 2012 Launch Roadshow
Download Visual Studio Now
Visual Studio 2012 can be downloaded for free from Microsoft DreamSpark
Windows 8 Game Apps - World Record attempt for the Largest GameJam in a single location
Friday, Sept 14th to Sunday, Sept 16th
University of Bedfordshire, Luton
For the past few weeks we have been working closely with a specialised gaming institution called Train2Game to ensure that their students are firstly aware and secondly up to speed on developing beautiful stunning and awesome games on Windows 8.
So this weekend Microsoft will be supporting Train2Game. Guinness World Record Attempt GameJam.
Yes… we have taken over the University of Bedfordshire in Luton for the weekend. The University IT Team have successfully upgraded to Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2012 via DreamSpark premium.
The IT team have built a custom image and have successfully deployed this to the current PC estate for use throughout the event.
All the PC’s located in the computer labs and study spaces are now Windows 8 and the event images compromises of Windows 8 RTM, Visual Studio Ultimate RTM and various design and graphics packages and tools necessary to build amazing games.
The event will start on Friday and last for the next 48 hours we have over 330 game development students, these students will work in teams developing Windows 8 Game Apps using only C++ and DirectX. A unknown theme will be announced at the keynote by Scott Henson of MS Studios and officials from Guinness World Records will be present throughout the event adjudicating the proceedings. The existing World Record is held by Singapore at 301 game developers so we will all hopefully be successful record breakers on Sunday.
In preparing for the Game Jam the 330+ students have, for the past six weeks, been developing Windows 8 games to practise their skills. These 330+ students can also now take advantage of these skills and build and deploy games for FREE to the Windows Store using their DreamSpark subscriptions which provide them free developer accounts for the Windows Store and Windows Phone MarketPlace.
The experience and our involvement will help encourage them continue developing games in C++ and DirectX for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Give the students some real practical example of working within teams and provide them with evidence and portfolios of real apps, with user ratings and feedbacks which they can then use to demonstrate skills to potential employers.
We are also working with Train2Game in building a Windows 8/Phone 8 Game Development module for their 9,000 students to take as an option on their Degree/Masters courses.
Happy coding! Oh yes, I will be playing some of the games developed on Sunday. So expect more details after I have recovered from sleep deprivation.
Xamarin is partnering with Windows Azure Mobile Services to expand the Mobile Services SDK to iOS and Android platforms. Xamarin products empower more than 175,000 developers to write native apps for iOS and Android—all in C#.
Mobile Services and Xamarin share a common goal: freeing developers to focus on what really matters. Mobile Services reduces the friction of configuring a scalable and secure backend and lets mobile app developers focus on delivering a fantastic user experience. Xamarin allows mobile app developers to make the most of C#, and enables mobile developers to support more devices with less code.
For tutorials and more information on how to get started, please visit the Xamarin blog and developer center.
The announcement on the Azure team blog:
We're pretty excited about this one, as it means that C# developers can use the same code to access Azure services from iOS, Android, or Windows.
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
GameSalad are another game creation company who has confirmed support for Windows 8 App Store publishing via GameSalad Creator Pro.
Once GameSalad Creator for Windows 8 is released, you will find a new "Windows 8" publishing target integrated directly into the web publishing flow, allowing you to quickly and easily publish any previously developed game or application to the Windows 8 Store.
GameSalad and Microsoft will be hosting a joint webinar for any developer (basic or pro users) interested in Windows 8 Store publishing on Friday, September 28th at 1:00PM CST. Please register here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/452117663 - Introduction to the Windows Store.
On Friday 26th October Windows 8 students and all consumers will have the opportunity to purchase Windows 8 and new Windows 8 PC’s. So the statement of ‘Post PC era’ may be killed overnight by a wide array of amazing new devices. If you are teaching development, gaming or architecture Windows 8 has a number of major changes.
So if your building an app for Windows 8 – or porting your existing app across – then make sure you get up to speed and attend one of our FREE camps and events.
Here’s a short ‘trailer’ on why you should be part of the Windows 8 journey…