November, 2012

  

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Imagine Cup UK – North East regional activities http://www.imaginecupnortheast.co.uk/

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    ImagineCup

    ICNE

    So if your an academic or student based in the North East of the UK then you need to be aware of the Imagine Cup North East regional events which are being coordinated by Sunderland Software City. Last year the North East flew for the UK at the World Wide Finals with team eye works as the UK winner.

    Sunderland Software City and the regional support in the NE from Microsoft Partners and MVPs want to be the UK winners again!

    This week the teams from Sunderland Software City and a number of MVP Based in the North East held an event in Gateshead.

    I will be in the North East on Thursday and Friday presenting on the opportunity of Windows 8 Game Development at the University of Newcastle, Northumbria University and Teeside University so the Imagine Cup Gaming competition is ideal for students studying or with an interest in gaming.

    Sunderland Software City and the teams are hosting another event at the University of Teesside on the evening of Monday 3rd December and then are following this up with an event on Saturday 8th December which will help form teams and work on their entry ideas so we can ensure before Christmas teams are formed, know who they are working with (how to communicate with each other etc) and what they are working on. 

    Then at the end of January they are planning a 36 hour hack event with additional workshops and presentations (presentation skills, core skills - TFS, UX, Win8 Apps, WP8 Apps, Azure, Business Plans etc) running alongside the hack.

    If anyone shows interest and wants to know more direct them to www.imaginecupnortheast.co.uk where they can register for events

    You can stay in touch with us through www.twitter.com/imaginecupne and www.facebook.com/imaginecupnortheast

    For more details of ImagineCup see http://www.imaginecup.com

    The Competitions are:

    World Citizenship

    Make an app that could change someone’s life. Pick your cause: the environment, education, health, you name it. Use technology as an agent of change.

    Games

    Build amazing games for Windows 8, Windows Phone and the cloud.

    Innovation

    Reinvent social networks. Transform online shopping. Experience music in a new way. Do something amazing with GPS. It’s time to take that crazy idea of yours and ship it!

    For a student information pack click here

    For a faculty information pack click here

    If your interested in becoming a mentor click here

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Azure Camps in Manchester 10th Dec

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    Azure_Online_Banner_blue

    In conjunction with Salford Software we are holding an exclusive,  IT Professional Azure Camp

    Monday 10th December, 2012

    Location – Media City, UK Plot B4, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 2HE

    This event is a technical hands on introduction to some of the IaaS Cloud Services that Microsoft is now offering to Academic organisations.

    The camp will be led by an Azure specialist and is aimed at the IT Professional. On it you will build and deploy an entire SharePoint infrastructure with a dual-machine server-farm, Active Directory Domain Controller and SQL Server. On the road to that infrastructure you will create a dual-server, load-balanced IIS website, a WIndows Azure Virtual Network in to which you will deploy the Active Directory Domain plus all the member servers (SQL and SharePoint) and you’ll also learn how to generalise your images and add them to your library of images to make future deployment simpler.

    All running in the Cloud!

    You will walk away with a complete – Cloud based – service that you will be able to continue to use, further develop and show colleagues following the camp.

    Please register at the site below:

    http://www.salfordsoftware.co.uk/content/it-professional-azure-camp

    Windows Azure IT Pro Camp

    Time

    Topic

    09:00 – 09:30

    Registration

    09:30 – 10:00

    The Windows Azure Platform

    10:00 – 10:30

    Windows Azure Virtual Machines

    10:30 – 10:45

    Break

    10:45 – 11:15

    Lab: Windows Azure Virtual Machines

    11:15 – 11:45

    Windows Azure Virtual Networks

    11:45 – 12:15

    Lab: Windows Azure Virtual Networks

    12:15 – 12:45

    Lunch

    12:45 – 13:15

    Active Directory in the Cloud: Windows Azure Active Directory, Running a DC in Windows Azure

    13:15-14:15

    Lab: Running an Active Directory Domain Controller in Windows Azure

    14:15 – 15:00

    SQL Server and Sharepoint in the Cloud

    15:00 – 15:15

    Break

    15:15 – 16:45

    Lab: Running a complete infrastructure in the cloud (Sharepoint, SQL Server, Active Directory)

    16:45-17:00

    Wrap-up and Review

    Note: Because you can leave your Windows Azure service deployed and you will have all the configuration and projects etc. on your laptop when you leave the camp, any unfinished labs can be completed at home/in the office.

    You will need to bring a laptop and complete some pre-requisites to participate in the camp. Please see details below:

    You will need a working Windows Azure subscription and you need to have applied for and successfully been granted access to:

    Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks – for the IT Pro camp.

    There is a video that describes how to apply for these features here.

    Any working subscription is suitable; paid or free.

    You can get a free trial subscription. This grants you access to certain resources free for 90 days. You will need a Windows Live ID and a Credit Card to register. The spending limit on the free trial account is set at £0.00. When the free trial period of 90 days has passed you will be asked if you’d like to remove the spending limit and from that point on treat it as a standard paid subscription.

    If you use more than the free allocation of resources in a month, you will also be asked if you’d like to remove the spending limit. There is no perpetually free subscription available for Windows Azure.

    Details of the free trial accounts are here:

    To get a free trial subscription go to http://bit.ly/azure4free. . To register for this offer, you need a credit card to activate it, but the spending limit on the subscription is set to £0.00 so you won’t be charged.

    To add Windows Azure benefits to your existing MSDN subscription, go to http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/member-offers/msdn-benefits/

    To add Windows Azure benefits if you are a BizSpark customer, go to http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/member-offers/bizspark-benefits/

    To add Windows Azure benefits if you are an MPN member go to http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/offers/ms-azr-0002p

    There are also free trial subscriptions available to certain MSDN subscribers. Or if your at teaching academic you can apply for a Azure Educator account which offer a 12 month FREE subscription at http://www.windowsazure.com/education

    IT Pro camp pre-requisites

    As an IT Pro who uses a laptop, you’ll almost certainly have the required software already installed. You will need:

    A working Windows Azure subscription – see details above. You need to have successfully applied and been granted access to the Windows Azure Virtual Machines preview.

    A wireless-enabled 64-bit laptop with Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 8 RTM. The camp is written with Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2 users in mind. If you are using Windows 8 there will be variations in the way the UI is described.

    Bring the power supply: you will be using the laptop all day.

    A basic knowledge of the Windows infrastructure stack (Windows, Windows Server, Active Directory, Web, Security, SQL Server etc) to the level required by an IT Pro.

    Perform the following software setup:

    1. Log in to an account that has full administrative privileges on the 64-bit machine. This is the account you will do the machine setup from and also the lab-work. It’s essential to ensure you use the same administrative account for both setup and lab-work to avoid permissions problems. By far the biggest problems on this bootcamp are to do with permission problems on machine setup.

    2. Install the Windows Azure Powershell Cmdlets by following the instructions on this page:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/jj156055

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How much do I need to know about Windows Azure to attend this Camp?

    You don’t need any prior experience or knowledge about Windows Azure to attend this Camp. The purpose of the event is to provide you with the basic skills and knowledge to get started with learning about Windows Azure.

    Who can attend the Camps?

    Students, developers, technologists, IT Pros, architects, hobbyist, technology enthusiasts. Everyone is welcome! All we ask is that you are ready and keen to learn about Windows Azure.

    How much does it cost to attend this Camp?

    Your luck’s in – it’s free.

    What do I need to prepare in advance to make the most of the Camp?

    There are a basic set of things you should prepare before attending the Camp, listed above. Please make sure you are prepared so you can make the most of your day at the Camp.

    What if I have registered already and cannot make it on the day?

    Please let us know as soon as you can if you can’t make the camp as there’ll be plenty of people who are keen to take your spot. Please respect the trainers and your fellow delegates by turning up if you have registered and committed. Thanks!

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Get to grips with Application Lifecycle Management & Visual Studio 2012

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    Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio 2012

    Register and attend one of our Free and in-person events in London or Reading

    In these sessions we will look at the Application Lifecycle Management capabilities of Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server 2012 and how that supports the entire software development lifecycle.

    · Overview of the Microsoft development tools

    · Requirements capture and Agile planning

    · Development including version control, code quality and automated builds

    · Test case and defect management including exploratory testing

    · Automated and performance testing

    · Working with the extended team, including using the feedback client, reporting, IntelliTrace and System Center integration

    15th January 2013 – London

    24th January 2013 – Reading

    12th February 2013 – London

    28th February 2013 - Reading

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 – Now available

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    VS2012

    Visual Studio 2012 Update 1, is now available.  You can install it today from the download page (see "Visual Studio 2012 Update 1" under the "Additional software" section).

    With this and future updates, we’re striving to ensure that developers and development teams always have the best solution for building modern applications and for managing the modern application lifecycle.  This approach to delivering updates, integrated directly into the IDE, should make it much easier for developers to keep the Visual Studio client up-to-date.

    Importantly, this isn’t just about bug fixes, though it contains quite a few of those to measurably address issues reported through Connect, UserVoice, and Windows Error Reporting.  This update also delivers a wealth of new functionality into Visual Studio 2012. 

    The new functionality in Update 1 primarily spans four areas of investment:

    1. Windows development,

    2. SharePoint development,

    3. Agile teams

    4. Continuous quality.

    For more details see http://blogs.msdn.com/b/somasegar/archive/2012/11/26/visual-studio-2012-update-1-now-available.aspx

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Free Training - Windows Store App Development for iOS Developers 13 Dec 2012

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    iphone   Apple-ipad-2-16gb-wifi surface1nokia-lumia-920-yellow-front-large

    Microsoft Online Event ID: 1032536068 13th Dec 2012
    Starts: Thursday, December 13, 2012 9:00 AM
    Ends: Friday, December 14, 2012 5:00 PM
    Time zone: (GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

    The iOS Resources page (www.interop.windows.com) is now live on dev center. This is a great starting place for iOS developers to begin their Windows app building.  So if your an existing iOS developer have you considered developing for Windows 8 and Windows Phone?

    This is FREE, two-day training designed to jumpstart your Windows Store app development run by the Big Nerd Ranch and Microsoft.

    You will learn the ins-and-outs of the Windows platform from iOS developers who are now building Windows apps. Sessions will follow a low-key, interactive format where iOS terms and concepts will be mapped to Windows alternates. You will also get hands-on time to apply what you’ve learned.

    What’s the agenda?

    Day 1:

    • Introduction to the platform and the Windows Store
    • Design differences between iOS and Windows 8
    • Tooling: Visual Studio and Blend
    • C# for Objective-C developers
    • Asynchronous programming
    • Consuming web services
    • Intro to building Windows Store apps with XAML (controls, layout and styling)
    • Advanced UI development with XAML (data binding, templates, and collections)
    • Contracts and extensions
    • Ask the Experts panel
    • InstallFest

    Day 2:
    • Process Lifecycle Management and State Management
    • Notifications and Live tiles
    • Bing Maps, SkyDrive, and Microsoft Account integration
    • C++ for Objective-C developers
    • Reusing code with Windows Phone
    • Hands-on-labs

    Live Streaming
    If you can’t attend in person, watch the live stream of the event at http://channel9.msdn.com. Please register for the live stream here, then just point your browser to Channel 9 or to our registration site on the day of the event.


    Notes
    Any iOS developer will benefit from this training, but we will focus more on those apps that are not games. For this event, there will be no deep game/graphics coverage (no OpenGL ES and no DirectX deep-dives).

    Questions
    Email your questions to windevcamps@microsoft.com.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    University College London (UCL), transforms its Computer Science teaching by introducing students to app-building tasks

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    University College London (UCL), transforms its Computer Science teaching by introducing students to app-building tasks which address real life problems for business, public services and charities.

    In order to achieve this, students and staff deploy a full range of Microsoft technologies, including Windows 8, supported by Microsoft’s developers and researchers. By doing so, the University is able to further to enhance the motivation and employment prospects of its students, confirm its role as an international force in the development of computing and set out a model that has far-reaching implications for teaching and learning in higher education.

    Something exciting happening in London

    The Department of Computer Science at University College London (UCL) has a global reputation. As the Department’s web page says,

    ‘In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 80% of our work was rated world-leading or internationally excellent.’

    At the same time, higher education is changing. Students no longer want to just sit in lectures and produce assignments seen and marked only by their teachers. They’d prefer to do things that matter, and change the world.

    Nowhere is that challenge more evident than in Computer Science. Here particularly, explains Dr Dean Mohamedally, Senior Teaching Fellow in Software Systems Engineering, tradition has been unceremoniously set aside, in this case by the arrival of apps – ‘micro software engineering’ packages that are closely targeted to real-world end users who have specific requirements and problems to solve.

    ‘Students can now take what was previously given as a coursework exercise, harness it, and put it in a wrap up package and most importantly, ship it to do something useful.’

    At UCL the response has been decisive and quick. In September 2011, a number of syllabus updates were put into motion. Starting with first years and Masters courses, there was a radical rewrite of courses that would put the building of apps at the core of learning to program, on all taught degrees. UCL treats apps development as a core computer science skill, where each and every CS student gets to solve real-world problems through deployment.

    ‘Deployment’ is a key word and concept for the problem solving approach, says Dean Mohamedally. It is a word that has previously been mistreated in Computer Science – how do we get the final reach to users?

    ‘That magic word is going to define the future of computer science for all our year groups. Their student CVs will show a wealth of harnessed knowledge in Computer Science, released to the domain that would use them best.’

    As a result, during 2011/2012, first year students were resourced and guided as they built android apps right from their first major Object Oriented Programming course. These eventually included the building and deployment to the field of some very well-received data-gathering tools for charities working in the developing world

    ‘These two charities, Restless Beings and Health Partnership Nepal, asked if we could help with their data collection methods,’ says Dean. ‘They had healthcare workers in Asia and Africa collecting information on children who are in harm’s way and they were setting up the necessary administration to get health supplies out there. In regions where surgeons need to audit further and gather data on necessary medicines, data reporting is critical to their success given limited access available for resources.’

    Unsurprisingly, the effect on student motivation of this kind of engagement is dramatic, and many students go far beyond the immediate demands of their coursework to help. As a result of this evident success, UCL Computer Science courses at all levels are increasingly focused on writing applications that address real problems and requirements. Here, the University’s carefully fostered relationships with businesses and other organisations in healthcare, finance and the charity sector pay special dividends, and there’ll be no shortage of real problems for students to solve.

    Engaging with Microsoft

    By September 2012, with Windows 8, and Windows apps well on the way, the Department of Computer Science has built on their world-leading experience across their fields, in Software Systems Engineering, Networking, Machine Learning, Programming Principles, Logic and Verification, Virtual Environments and many more. Through all of these subject arenas, they have turned increasingly to Microsoft technologies, services and especially Microsoft people highly entwined – all of the named groups above have ties directly with Microsoft Research.

    As Dean puts it regarding the teaching arena -

    ‘We’ve made a huge push for Microsoft technology. Its what the world uses to solve problems and our students should be at the forefront of solving. We have found that many of our courses can open new opportunities by using the Microsoft development tools.’

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    There’s a specific approach, he says.

    ‘Our teaching steers them with the theory and depth of each Computer Science knowledge domain. We teach them to identify the needs of the client to define the problem, to talk through and learn to communicate properly their cases both as individuals and as teams, to analyse and to test with strategies and to ensure logical design through formal proofing methods. Microsoft’s well published specifications, APIs and technology access in education enables students to explore how to make full use of the subtleties of the technology platforms available, merging with the domains of Computer Science.’ For example, the use of F# in algorithm design and the new features of HTML5 + JavaScript to construct user interfaces for apps.

    Already, over the Summer of 2012, two major projects were tackled by UCL MSc Software Systems Engineering students, in co-operation with Microsoft and using Microsoft development tools.

    One project, ‘Powersource’ , is a Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 plug-in for tracking the progress of ‘Agile’ software development teams in both the academic and business environments. Applied to a school or college for example, it could provide a teacher with continuous feedback on the work of teams of computer science students, detecting errors and bugs in their work before they reveal themselves at the end of the process. ‘Powersource’ was built with development tools including Visual Studio 2012 Team Foundation Server 2012 and Windows Presentation Foundation. It will be released globally on ‘CodePlex’, Microsoft’s Open Source Project Hosting website.

    Another MSc project, ‘Pasteur’, also exploited the features in Visual Studio and using .NET ‘Gadgeteer’. It demonstrated a platform for consultant surgeons in a cloud solution, hosted on Windows Azure, to measure the physical dexterity of trainee paediatric surgeons with a range of sensor types. The Gadgeteer platform from the Devices and Sensors group at Microsoft Research is a cutting edge platform for learning about sensor control as well as providing a vast array of componentized device types. This enables developers to simulate the prototyping of brand new categories of devices.

    Both these applications were highly praised, eagerly received and fully supported by their client groups.

    ‘Those advanced projects, given their appropriate use of the state of the art and that they apply to a highly significant user base, is entirely inspirational for younger students who have a serious drive to explore,’ says Dean.

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    ‘DreamSpark’ and Windows 8

    UCL Computer science students use a range of technologies – ‘Technology agnostic’ is how Dean describes the approach. At the same time there’s no doubt that Microsoft’s development tools, supported in action by Microsoft developers and researchers, are increasingly becoming key drivers of learning and creativity in the Department.

    Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server, for example, are in constant use and they, together with a wide range of other development tools are available to students within the Microsoft online education resource ‘DreamSpark’.

    ‘DreamSpark is very important for us,’ says Dean Mohamedally. ‘It gives students all the development tools that they need for their learning – full versions, the latest databases and servers, at no cost.’

    DreamSpark Premium also now includes Windows 8 and from November 2012 student app developers will be working in Windows 8. There is, for example, an MSc course where students will design and build apps for Windows 8 devices, for Kinect for Windows, Windows 8 Phones and Tablets, using programming tools in Visual Studio.

    ‘They’ll be full-bodied apps with real world users in their design,’ says Dean Mohamedally. ‘Their marking criteria are set specifically to encourage them to reach the standard to approve that their work will go in the Windows Store. There is visibility and a measure of success in the feedback of end users downloading your own technology.’

    Second year Systems Engineering undergraduates, in teams of four or five, are also developing projects using Windows 8. One group is creating a learning environment for a local secondary school that emphasizes student collaboration and creativity. The solution uses the Microsoft PixelSense, Kinect for Windows along with Windows Azure Cloud access for collaborating with students on devices along with touch and motion gestures. One group is working with the University College Hospital (UCLH) to creating a mobile data monitoring service to help collate nutrition data, via a Windows 8 app, in post-operative heart patients. This system will make use of touch screens and especially digital inking, a great business-case feature that has been available in Windows for several years growing in accuracy. Another of the groups is working on a networked vehicle system to be fitted in a taxi or delivery service. In this project, the students are going all out with gadgeteer sensors, pico projectors and use of the Windows Azure Storage Services REST API for providing a service layer of communication to all related vehicles.

    Dean is excited by the way the students are treating access to new technologies. ‘Its no longer relevant to industry, to just say a student knows a language like Java and therefore they are a programmer. What about robust coding, variety of languages, exposure to bug fixing, and the nuances of adopting underlying protocols to form a solution? What about clarity in test suites, securing your deployed code and the ability to function in a team – both when requirements are fully defined, and when the need to prototype and build something totally new is needed?’

    ‘The Kinect hacks that students did with betas from Microsoft before the Kinect SDK was made available were the tip of the iceberg – they want to play, find applications of use and show what else can be realized with new technologies. They are absorbing techniques and methods at an incredible rate.’

    He has added possibilities for his students’ work offered by Windows 8 –making use of multi-monitor and touch-screen capabilities, for example, to enhance the rich interaction and information visualization features that are important in many of the new industry applications being developed. Even he himself uses Windows 8 in teaching with a great new paradigm of presenting – hosting three screens in a lecture simultaneously, with one for Powerpoint presentation, one for compiling code in Visual Studio or designing classes in Visio, and the final screen for either Skype, output to devices, debug output or other information.

    ‘We have a new ability to add a skype screen to the lecture – we can literally add an external guest, an industry partner or even an examiner to join the class and answer questions like a window through the wall, whilst showing Powerpoint and the code output in Visual Studio – this is done using regular HD cameras and large monitor screens via Windows 8’

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    Most important, though, for the students, is the prospect of writing projects which will run on all major hardware platforms; PCs, Windows Phone and Windows surface tablets. The underlying architecture of windows 8 is common to all of those devices. To facilitate this realization, they built a special purpose apps lab that all devices could be used for testing software developed by students.

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    ‘In the global marketplace you know that’s good economics,’ says Dean.

    Even before Windows 8 was available, software under development at UCL was being built with an eye to Windows 8 features, with the co-operation of Microsoft developers,

    ‘Microsoft gave us sessions where they explained what Windows 8 could do, and we did some forward thinking,’ says Dean.

    ‘So we knew what was coming and it was a case of how far you could take what we were doing as close to Windows 8 features as possible. It would only need small team then to make it ready to deploy on Windows 8.’

    In touch with the future

    This short study makes it clear that Microsoft is doing much more than simply supplying software and hardware for Computer Science courses at UCL. As Dean puts it, it’s about Microsoft developers and researchers helping academics and students to make the most of the technology.

    The Department of Computer Science recently hosted a Windows 8 developer day alongside Microsoft UK, of which all student years were kindly invited. In testament to the value that students placed, over 220 students from across the Computer Science year groups attended. At this event it was announced that UCL would be hosting the UK finals for the Imagine Cup – the largest student competition for Microsoft. This event will take place in March and April on UCL’s main quad campus.

    For details on the Imagine Cup see

    Student Guide

     

    Faculty Guide

     

    Mentors Guide

     

    In order for this new way of teaching to succeed, it is of the highest value to UCL that the Department of Computer Science works as a family in forming its relationship with Microsoft. Its Admin and Finance team, the Technical Support Group team, the world class Research groups and of course the Teaching teams, all identify the areas that Microsoft technologies best integrate into their aspects and respective responsibilities that ultimately lead to the new highly problem-based learning curriculum.

    The one lasting message that comes from UCL, with Microsoft’s support is the following.

    ‘Students must become visible. They must demonstrate skills that show that they are strategic. They must be fearless with new technology and ideas, and above all – they must publish to make change.’

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Developing a Windows 8 Application prototype

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    I have a had a number of questions last week, from some of the UK’s University Gaming Students and Academics re Windows 8.

    Over the past few weeks as part of my UK  tour with Aardvark Swift recruitment, I have been highlighting the opportunity of students building portfolio’s and publishing apps on Windows 8 Store to demonstrate their abilities to help them gain employment see the PowerPoint deck below.

     

    For more resources on Windows 8 development see http://www.ubelly.com/gaming

    If your interested in attending a free Windows 8 developer camp see http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/windows8

    Game/App prototyping

    One of the questions, I was asked last week was how can student use tools to develop prototypes and proof of concepts for academic activities, I wanted to share with you the following templates for PowerPoint. Using these templates, you can quickly put together a Windows 8 app layout and iterate on it. All elements in the set are based upon regular PowerPoint vector shapes, and are fully editable and customizable.

    As anyone who has seen one of my presentations, PowerPoint is a really great rapid prototyping tool its slide-by-slide approach allows you to present a flow and tell a story with your designs. You can even create basic clickable prototypes by adding hyperlinks between slides. Furthermore, PowerPoint is available on almost every computer, including the new Windows Surface devices that run Windows RT, and is fairly simple to get started with.

    Download the Templates For Free!

    The wireframing set is available as a .pptx file (for PowerPoint 2007 or newer) that you can download using the link below:

    It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  You can therefore use it any way you want, private or commercial, just as long as you distribute the resulting work under the same license and give proper credit to the original creators:

    What’s Included?

    Example grid page
    Example grid page displaying item previews arranged in groups.

    Example page displaying details
    Example page displaying details for a single group with previews for each item in the group.

    Example page displaying
    Example page displaying one item in detail.

    Example page displaying a list
    Example page displaying a list of items and the details for the selected item.

    Example of a Metro app
    Example of a Metro app in snapped view state.

    Example of an app
    Example of an app in fill view state.

    Collection of common UI controls
    Collection of common UI controls (part 1): button, text box, list box, check box, radio button, toggle switch, etc.

    Collection of common UI controls
    Collection of common UI controls (part 2): search box, date/time picker, slider, progress bar, scrollbar, etc.

    Grid view
    Grid view (with groups).

    List view
    List view and charms bar.

    App header
    App header, app bar, and toast.

    Message dialog
    Message dialog.

    Text styles
    Text styles.

    240 app icons
    240 app icons (part 1).

    240 app icons
    240 app icons (part 2).

    Touch gestures
    Touch gestures.

    What about using tools such as PowerMockup

    While you can build great prototypes with FREE tools and PowerPoint, you may find yourself wanting the templates to be in a format that is easier to search through.

    In this case, I can highly recommend taking a look at PowerMockup, an add-on for PowerPoint.

    PowerMockup provides a searchable library of wireframe elements that can easily be dragged and dropped onto a slide. Best of all, the tool allows you to add your own creations to the library and share them with others.

    Andreas Wulf, www.powermockup.com has created these FREE additions

    After downloading the files, switch to the “PowerMockup” tab in the PowerPoint Ribbon bar, click on “Import Files”, and select the downloaded .pmst files. Here is a screenshot of how it will look like after you have imported the templates:

    PowerMockup

    All elements, including the icons, are properly named and tagged, making them easily searchable.

    PowerMockup

    I hope you enjoy the set!

    Source: http://designmodo.com/windows-8-wireframe/#ixzz2DGKTR0dv

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Inter Uni Game Jam 2012

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    As you are all aware, last weekend was Uni Jam 2012, at Nottingham Trent University.

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    Presentation from the welcome keynote and announcement of the theme.

     

     

    Setting up at Inter Uni Game Jam

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    Participation

    Students from the following universities attended the event:

    Nottingham Trent University

    University of Nottingham

    Kingston University

    City University London

    University of Derby

    University of York

    University of Warwick

    Anglia Ruskin University

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    Highlights

    It is clear from the video footage taken during the event that the general atmosphere was great. The attendees were upbeat and enthused about the opportunity with everyone smiling even in the middle of the night people. Even in cases where development was being halted by bugs and other issues, all the students managed to stay positive and enjoy themselves.

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    Another highlight was when a member of the team from Warwick University offered to help the 2 man team (from Kingston and London City University) with a maths problem. This goes a long way to showing that although it was a competition, the spirit of the event was friendly and students from different universities were able to work together to create brilliant games.

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    A quote from the DevSoc Facebook page following the event was "I came to Uni in October, hoping to be able to learn how to make games, and with DevSoc, I successfully made one after a month. Can't argue with that!!!" This is what the vision for the game jam was all about, so feedback like this has made all the work worthwhile.

    Full videos of the event and interviews with the teams can be found at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCElCpSPU28MP_e3IhDerJ-A

     

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    Inter Uni Game Jam 2012 Winners

    Prizes were awarded by the judges as follows:

    Accessibility - NTU DevSoc (Patrick Merritt, Paul White, Eamonn Hayden, Charlotte Ash) Windows Phone 7/8, XNA MonoGame

    Game Play - NTU DevSoc (Luke Shires, Alex Roberts, Nick Powell, Charlotte Neill, Russell Claxton) Windows 8 XNA MonoGame

    Graphics - University of York (Samuel Twidale, Joe Williamson, Tom Rosling) Flash

    Innovation - Anglia Ruskin University (Ed Horsey, James Roberts, Kieran Linnie, Owen Westfield Bell) Unity

    Windows 8/Windows Phone - NTU DevSoc (Luke Shires, Alex Roberts, Nick Powell, Charlotte Neill, Russell Claxton) Windows 8

    People’s Choice - NTU DevSoc (Luke Shires, Alex Roberts, Nick Powell, Charlotte Neill, Russell Claxton) Windows 8

    Random Prize Draw for a Windows Nokia Lumia Phone - NTU DevSoc (Eamonn Hayden)

     

    Acknowledgements

    This event would not have been a success without all the support we have received from third parties. Our thanks go to:

    Nottingham Trent University – Dev Soc’s Alex Close and his excellent organisation,  huge thanks to the Computer Science Department for providing on going support through the planning and running of the event and providing us with an excellent venue.

    Stewards and Nottingham Trent DevSoc team – For volunteering their time to help run the jam. Some stayed awake for the whole 24 hours to make sure they could help if they were needed.

    Sponsors

    Microsoft - For sponsoring the Windows 8/Windows Phone category, Peoples choice category and random prize draw.

    Pocketeers - For sponsoring for the Innovation prize category.

    Marmalade - For sponsoring the Game Play prize category.

    Desura + Indie Royale - For sponsoring the Innovation prize category.

    Pololu – For sponsoring the Accessibility prize category.

    Rebellion + 2000AD - For sponsoring the Graphics prize category.

    Insane Dev (Steven Batchelor-Manning) - For sponsoring the Accessibility prize category and coming down to the venue to show support.

    Dynamite Jack – For sponsoring the Graphics, Innovation, Accessibility and Game Play prize categories.

    Wiseman Designs - For providing treats for all competitors in the form of Haribo and Freddos.

    Fellow judges

    Mode7 Games (Paul Taylor) - For judging the competition and providing a Frozen Synapse key to everyone who participated in the event.

    David Smith - For judging the competition and providing ongoing support throughout the competition.

    So get publishing apps and creating a portfolios here are some useful takeaways

    Games are the #1 download and #1 money making app category so get developing!

    Pick your niche, grow from there have a look at the excellent things www.devsoc.co.uk have achieved.

    XNA and MonoGame provides a solution to get your existing XNA assets and games running as a Windows 8 Store App

    MonoGame provides a cross platform solution so that you can leverage your existing XNA development effort, across multiple marketplaces to develop a portfolio of games across platforms

    Follow the certification guidelines (WACK) to make your app Windows 8 Store ready and use your www.DreamSpark.com Free windows phone and Windows 8 developer accounts to publish your titles to store.

    Enter as many competitions and Game Jams to grow your experiences also enter competitions such as www.imaginecup.com for teams and http://www.aswift.com/searchforastar for individuals.

    Useful Resources and links

    http://www.ubelly.com/gaming Building Windows 8 Games

    http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/windows8/ Windows 8 UK Camps and Training Events

    http://bit.ly/GJ_W8Samples Windows 8 Samples

    http://dev.windows.com Windows 8 developer resources

    http://dev.windowsphone.com Windows Phone 8 developer resources

    http://www.monogame.net  MonoGame

    http://monogame.codeplex.com MonoGame Installer for Windows

    http://www.github.com/mono/MonoGame Git Resource

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Power UP competition for Windows 8 Game Developers

    • 0 Comments

    ubelly

    Microsoft has launched a developer contest called 'Power Up'. The competition is aimed at UK Inide Developers who want to develop and
    publish awesome games for Windows 8.  

    If you are using .Net or 3rd Party Frameworks like GameSalad, GameMaker, Construct2 or if your an existing developer using XNA today to develop Xbox Indie titles why not port your existing titles or create a new ones for the Windows 8 “Power Up” competition and be in with a chance to win some “money can’t buy” prizes.  

    We have worked with MonoGame in the UK recently at a University hack to port existing XNA games to Win8 RT and then develop those games to be published in the Windows 8 Store.  You can read more details here.

    If you’re the winner of ‘Power Up’ you will win some amazing prize, including a free PR campaign, mentoring with industry leaders drawn from
    the Boards of UKIE and TIGA and a commercial trailer for your awesome Windows 8 game app. You simply need to ensure game is published in the UK Windows 8 Store before December 14th.  Full entry details, terms and conditions can be found at www.ubelly.com/gaming

    Prizes range from free PR for a month, mentoring by industry veterans, Nokia smartphones, Visa Gift Cards from YoYo Games to name but a few.

    The competition is open now and you have until December 14th, 2012 to enter. To be in with the chance of winning one of our fantastic prizes, after
    successfully submitting your app to the UK Windows 8 store, follow the steps
    below to enter the competition.

    Send the following details to Andrew Webber, UK Marketing Lead for Indie Game App Builders at andrew@microsoft.com

    • Your name
    • Studio Name
    • Email Address and Phone
           Number
    • Name of the Game App
    • Include a copy of your Store Certification email for the App you are submitting.

    There is no limit to the number of entries, all entries need to be received by 11.59PM GMT 14th December 2012.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Student can do really amazing things! Imagine Cup

    • 0 Comments

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    clip_image001

    At the 2012 competition, QuadSquad, from the Ukraine, created a device that allows deaf individuals to communicate using custom-designed sensory gloves and a smartphone app to translate sign language gestures into speech. The device is nothing short of incredible and the team won the software design category with their product, Enable Talk.

    Time has just recognized the team as having one of the best inventions of the year. This incredible achievement has once again shown why Imagine Cup is an opportunity that every student should take advantage of as the ideas that are fostered during this competition can truly impact the world around us in a positive way.”

    For more details of the Imagine Cup see http://www.imaginecup.com

    If your interested in entering a team, or becoming an mentor see out guides here

     

     

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